Parents express concern as CTU strike date approaches

- We are less than thirty-six hours away from a potential teachers strike in Chicago and parents still don't know what to expect.  Negotiations are in full swing this weekend between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools.

A strike would impact 378,000 students – which may be a possibility this Tuesday.

Before the Tuesday deadline, some parents plan to rally in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Ravenswood home calling for new school funding. 

“We want to send the message that we support our teachers," said Catherine Henchek with the organization ‘Parents are with Teachers.’ “We do believe that there is money there that we could avert the strike.”

The group says hundreds of millions of dollars in Tiff surplus funding could be put into the schools and on Friday Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said Tiff funding is something the two sides are discussing - adding the union will not accept any cuts in pay.

For the past year the union and the district have been going back and forth on things like cost of living raises, pension contributions and health care.

A labor expert tells us a decision most likely won't be made until the 11th hour Monday night.

“At the beginning of negotiations is like watching paint dry, but by the time you get to this point, which is very late in the game, it speeds up at an enormous rate,” said Emily Rosenberg the former Director of DePaul’s Labor Education Center. 

Plans seem to be in place for a Tuesday strike at least according to CTU's website.

A memo urges members to watch their email and the website for updates.  It also says that on Tuesday morning they should report to their schools for picketing starting at 6 am.

The Chicago Teachers Union needs 75 percent support to strike.

Schools will still be open if there is a strike and for a fee YMCA locations will be offering programs.

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