In a social media post, the Chicago Teachers Union has announced it has reached a tentative deal with Chicago Public Schools, but says that a “return to work” agreement has yet to be reached in the ongoing teachers strike.
The post was sent out just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night following a House of Delegates meeting.
According to the House of Delegates, 362 votes were cast in favor of accepting the tentative agreement, with 242 opposed to the deal.
"We believe this is an agreement that will produce real lasting benefits in our schools," CTU President Jesse Sharkey said.
One of the late sticking points in negotiations has been the refusal by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to add make-up dates to the end of the school calendar.
"We do not understand why the mayor can't simply call and say 'we'll give you an agreement to make up the instructional time,'" Sharkey said. "If I get a call and she says that, we will be back at work.
"Our delegates told us in no uncertain terms we weren't going back to work unless there was a provision made to make up the instructional days missed in the last 11 days," he added.
Sharkey also said that the union feels it's "being punished because we had the audacity to defy the mayor."
Lightfoot fired back at Sharkey, saying that during a three and a half hour meeting at City Hall, the issue of making up instructional days did not come up.
"Not once in the meeting did they raise compensation for strike days. Not once," she said. "He gave me his word. At some point, these negotiations have to end."
Late Wednesday, CPS officials announced that classes will be canceled for the 11th day as the strike continues.
Teachers are expected to gather at City Hall on Thursday to press Lightfoot to add the additional days to the calendar, but the mayor was adamant that she would not back down on her previous statements.
"I have been clear from day one that CPS would not make up any strike dates, and at this late hour, we are not adding any new provisions," she said.