CHICAGO (CBS)– Contrary to hopes earlier in the day, the Chicago Public Schools announced late Tuesday that classes would be canceled for a 10th day on Wednesday as a teachers’ strike continues.

The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates met on Tuesday, union officials said the purpose was never to take a vote to end the strike.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the CTU rank-and-file accused Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS of misleading the city by suggesting the House of Delegates had met for a vote – when in fact the meeting was only to let its members know where they stand.

No deal was reached on Tuesday, and classes were canceled as the longest Chicago teachers’ strike since 1987 presses on.

In a nighttime news conference, CTU President Jesse Sharkey did say there was further progress Tuesday night. But he said the union is “looking for an agreement to address a wide range of issues” and is holding out until all issues are addressed.

He suggested that an agreement could be in sight, but there are matters that still have to be agreed upon.

“If we can achieve a tentative agreement tomorrow morning, we would bring in our delegates to vote that in the afternoon,” Sharkey said.

CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said Tuesday night said Mayor Lori Lightfoot had set up a meeting with the expectation that there would be a vote to end the strike within the day – which she called an “unfair expectation” that was intended as a pressure tactic.

“Once this deal is settled, I do believe it is going to be a historical document that will begin to provide stability for the schools, and because it is that important – because we are in the moment, let’s get it right,” Gates said. “You don’t go on strike for these many days to come back and say, ‘I wish I would have.’”

Earlier in the evening, Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Janice Jackson urged teachers to accept the deal the city has put on the table — claiming CTU is holding up a deal to end the strike over issues that she says don’t belong in contract negotiations.

The mayor and Jackson emerged from a 3.5-hour meeting with union leadership around 5:15 p.m., without a tentative agreement.

“What we heard is it’s still not good enough,” Lightfoot said.

A union House of Delegates to discuss the status of contract talks began at 6 p.m. As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported, sources said the House of Delegates was meeting Tuesday night to go over what is on the negotiating table line by line, not to vote or to call off the strike.

“We had a meeting where grown-ups got to ask questions, got to comb through some details,” which is a responsibility that the CTU owes its delegates, Gates said.

Jackson said the city had agreed to the union’s demand for $35 million to reduce class sizes, and for $5 million in additional pay for veteran teachers.

Lightfoot said the union wants her support for an elected school board proposal in Springfield and changes to state law that limits the issues teachers are allowed to strike over. Lightfoot said she supports an elected school board, but not the legislation the union is backing, and she said neither issue is a matter for collective bargaining.

She also said she cannot agree to the union’s demands regarding additional teacher preparation time, saying CTU’s proposal would reduce the amount of class time for students. The union has proposed either 30 minutes of additional prep time at the start of the day, or setting aside one day per school quarter for prep time.

“What’s prolonging this strike is the union’s insistence on a shorter school day or a school year, and their insistence that I agree to support their political agenda,” Lightfoot said. “What’s left are three issues that we cannot agree to.”

During the mayor’s update on contract talks, the union sent out a press release accusing CPS of “toying with parents and the entire city by sowing misinformation about the status of negotiations.”

The union accused the mayor and CPS of sending a robocall to parents claiming the House of Delegates might vote to accept a tentative contract agreement, when she knew there was no deal to approve.

“There’s no TA (tentative agreement). Lightfoot & CPS sent misleading robocall re tonight’s House of Delegates mtg. HOD is about bargaining status & next steps to win a just contract,” Gates tweeted.

Earlier, CPS had presented a more hopeful tone than usual since the strike began — saying depending on what happened at the CTU house of delegates meeting, the teachers’ strike that could end and classes might be able to resume on Wednesday.

The district typically has announced decisions to cancel classes for the next day by about 4 p.m., and this time did not do so until after 8:30 p.m.

The CTU later said repeatedly that the House of Delegates meeting had nothing to do with any agreement or end to the strike. Nonetheless, even after that, Jackson urged union delegates to accept the deal the city has put on the table.

“You have the power to end this strike and get our students back in classroom tomorrow, and get teachers back in classroom where I know they want to be. The ball is entirely in your court, and I know that parents, teachers, and everybody involved wants to see a resolution to this issue,” she said.

Ahead of announcing classes would be canceled Wednesday, CPS said the PSAT test would not be administered during the day regardless. The National Merit Scholarship program will use high school juniors’ April scores for consideration, and the PSAT that was to be administered Wednesday will be rescheduled.

Mayor Lightfoot also earlier expressed hope that the delegates would still cast a vote and end the strike Tuesday evening strike so that student athletes wouldn’t have to forfeit playoff games this weekend.

“You asked that question of what I think about as I’m standing here is think about Simeon. And I think those young men, who’ve worked their behinds off and have a good opportunity to get deep into the playoffs, deserve that opportunity,” Lightfoot said. “Their fate should be decided on the football field, not here and not at the house of delegates.”

The Illinois High School Association on Friday decided to loosen restrictions into the state playoffs after hearing from Simeon Career Academy on behalf of the football team.

The appeal took two IHSA rules to task: the requirement of playing eight varsity games prior to post-season, and the requirement that a team have three practice days before competition if its practices were canceled for seven days or more.

The IHSA Board waived the eight-game requirement for Simeon, at 8147 S. Vincennes Ave. in Chatham, Phoenix Military Academy, at 145 S. Campbell Ave. on the Near West Side; and Chicago Military Academy, at 3519 S. Giles Ave. at Bronzeville, making them eligible to be placed in the playoff field on Saturday.

But the board voted against waiving the three-practice requirement, which would require the teams must resume practice by Wednesday.

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) said the strike must end at a reasonable time on Wednesday for all the playoff football teams to gather for practice later that day.

A total of 19 CPS football teams are running out of time for the playoffs. Nearly 3,000 student athletes have already had to forfeit their playoffs in other sports.

Seemingly contrary to what Gates and other CTU officials said later, Gates earlier tweeted the house of delegates meeting would be to decide whether to suspend the strike or “fortify ourselves and press on.”

Earlier, Gates, Sharkey, and other top union officials were spotted heading to the mayor’s office Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. Jackson and Deputy Mayor for Education Sybil Madison were also spotted, CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported.

Gates later reported on Twitter that she’d had a 60-minute meeting with Mayor Lightfoot.

“She reiterated the same things…this deal is already done and there’s nothing left to get except what’s left to get,” Gates tweeted.

The union earlier said it had an agreement with city negotiators that Mayor Lightfoot rejected. The mayor said late Tuesday that the report was false.

CPS late Tuesday put its latest proposed tentative agreement online. The agreement continues to call for 16 percent compensation over the course of a five-year contract.

The CTU has called for a three-year contract with a 15 percent raise.

It also calls for 209 additional social worker positions and 250 additional nursing positions by July 30, 2023, with a social worker and nurse assigned to every school. Further, there would be 180 additional case managers by the same date.

There would also be 120 new positions by the 2022-2023 school year geared toward the schools with the highest need, including counselors, restorative justice coordinators, and librarians, the CPS proposal said.

The proposed deal also offers $5 million annually for a sports committee. That committee would disburse funds for increased coaching stipends and new equipment and resources.

The offer also would $35 million — up from $25 million — to reduce oversized classrooms, as well as another $5 million for pay raises for senior teachers. But that would only apply if the CTU withdraws its outstanding proposals.

9 CTU Members Arrested At Protest
Meantime, several union members were protesting Tuesday the headquarters of Sterling Bay, developer of the Lincoln Yards megaproject, saying the company should give millions of dollars of the $1.3 billion in tax increment financing money earmarked for Lincoln Yards to schools instead. The union said nine CTU members were arrested at the protest.

Police confirmed they arrested nine people in the 1300 block of West Fulton Street around 1:50 p.m., after officers gave the picketers warnings to leave the building and they refused.

Sterling Bay officials said it was not them, but the owners of their building, who had the protesting teachers arrested.

Teachers have been on strike since Thursday, Oct. 17, and students have missed nine days of classes so far. It is the longest teachers strike in Chicago since 1987, when teachers walked out for 19 days.

CTU and CPS negotiators had met for 16 hours on Monday, emerging around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday without a deal. Both sides accused each other of holding up a final deal that appeared close Monday night.

Negotiations resumed Tuesday shortly after 10:15 a.m. Tuesday Chicago Public Schools chief education officer LaTanya McDade said the main sticking point has gone from class size and staffing – which teachers have said is a huge focus from day one – to teacher preparation time.

CPS also said earlier in the day that giving teachers any more prep time by reducing class time for students would affect progress schools have made in recent years.

“The proposals that the union has put forward would either significantly reduce the number of instructional days throughout the school year, or decrease instructional minutes within each day – student day of attendance – both of which have the potential to compromise the academic progress that we’ve made in this district for our students,” McDade said.

Mayor Lightfoot repeatedly has said she will not agree to any reduction in class time for students.

However, the union has said the class day could be restructured to give teachers more prep time without reducing class time for students.

Lightfoot earlier Tuesday also accused the union of trying to add more issues to the bargaining table after coming close to a deal on class sizes and staffing.

“The CTU’s bargaining team continues to move the goalposts, and bring in more issues that do not belong in any collective bargaining contract,” Lightfoot said Tuesday at City Hall.

The mayor said the union wants to negotiate changes to state law regarding the issues teachers may strike over, and is demanding she support specific legislation to create an elected school board in Chicago. Lightfoot said she supports an elected school board for CPS, but not the legislation the union is backing, calling it flawed. She also said both matters are strictly legislative issues, not contract issues.

“Are we really keeping our kids out of class unless I agree to support the CTU’s full political agenda wholesale? If the CTU wants a deal, there’s a deal to be had right now on the table,” she said. “It’s time to move forward towards a resolution, and stop throwing more items at the wall at the 11th hour. Take yes for an answer, CTU.”

The CTU denied that it was demanding that Mayor Lightfoot support an elected school board in a way the union saw fit.

“No one’s asking for that. We’re just asking that the mayor stop contradicting herself and the platform she campaigned on. There was a deal on the table and she bricked it. Wouldn’t be the first time,” the union tweeted.

In a thread of tweets on teacher prep time, the CTU said in part: “So when we demand prep time, it’s because we know it’s essential to professional growth, student growth and classroom success. The fact that it’s a sticking point for the mayor and CPS is a matter of either stubbornness or insensitivity. Neither of which are good.”

Frustrated parents said both sides need to come to an agreement, because the strike is hurting children more than it will help them.

“If you were doing this for the children, you would be in the class room right now, because the children need you there,” CPS parent Natasha Dunn said.

CPS is also evaluating options for making up school days, amid reports that the district has now fallen under the 180-day school year requirement imposed by the state. Previously, Mayor Lightfoot said days missed by a strike would not be made up.

“The district is in the process of gathering a full understanding of potential outcomes and next steps regarding whether or not the district will make up school days missed beyond eight,” CPS said in a statement. “The Board would have to vote to add on any additional student attendance days and the district hopes to have additional information and a decision prior to the November Board meeting.”