Mayor Rahm Emanuel is ready to "finish it" already.
As Chicago teachers picketed for the third day Wednesday, Emanuel said there's no reason students can't return to classrooms while union representatives and school officials hammer out the final contract issues.
"There is nothing that can't be worked through while our kids stay in the classroom," Emanuel told reporters in a news conference ahead of Wednesday's City Council meeting. "My staff, as well as the Chicago Public School leadership team, is committed to working through these issues, never leaving the table to get this job done. And those issues can be negotiated simultaneously while our kids are in the classroom learning."
The mayor's sentiments were echoed separately by the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor of St. Sabina's Parish.
"I support the teachers’ right to fight for their rights and I have to believe that the Board of Education wants the best for the students, but after three days of 400,000 children out of school without learning and vulnerable to violence, I believe it’s time for the children to go back to school and the teachers union and the board to commit to staying at the table until a deal is worked out.
Although there is great support for the teachers, and there should be, it will not be indefinite support. And as time goes on that support will begin to waiver. Let us, the adults, commit to the bargaining table and get our children back to school."
Negotiations continued Wednesday as teachers attended three rallies and kept pace outside the board of education headquarters. The union said it submitted a new written response to CPS' latest proposal, handed down Tuesday night.
NBC Chicago has an array of reporters and producers covering the Chicago teacher strike. Check our live blog for continuous coverage and updates throughout the strike.