Will CTU avoid strike? Negotiating Thursday

- A teachers strike seems to be a possibility for Chicago Public Schools as the first day of school approaches. The Chicago Teachers Union president said whether or not they hit the picket line is up to Chicago Public School officials.

“I don't know, you need to ask Forrest Claypool that," said Union president Karen Lewis, who was asked if there will be a strike.

The union has been operating for more than a year without a budget, going back and forth with district officials over raises and pensions.

Lewis says they will go back to the negotiating table with district officials Thursday.

This comes as the new school year is about to start - the first day is set for September 6th. The district is also gearing up to vote on a new budget next week while trying to close a budget gap of close to $150 million dollars.

Now a "strike training day" is scheduled for teachers this coming Saturday on the UIC campus.

When asked what CPS CEO Forrest Claypool is missing when it comes to the negotiations, Lewis had an interesting response.

"The ability to do math and a heart and whatever else that we are missing out of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz," said Lewis.

Claypool said Tuesday he doesn't see why they can't reach an agreement with the union: "our teachers do important work, we want to give them a generous contract as we can possibly provide, given the dollars available."

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