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Teachers union rebuffs Chicago mayor's request to end strike

On the fifth day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks Monday to reporters after visiting Chicago Public Schools students at a contingency site, James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago.
On the fifth day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks Monday to reporters after visiting Chicago Public Schools students at a contingency site, James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the Chicago Teachers Union to call off its strike before there's agreement on a new contract, but the union isn't having any of it.

In a letter to CTU President Jesse Sharkey, Lightfoot said the two sides have made progress but that since it is unclear that an agreement can be reached Monday, she encouraged the teachers to return to work while negotiations continue.

The union's president, Jesse Sharkey, said that while he's confident that the strike could end this week, the city needs to commit to "new resources" before that happens.

The district announced Monday afternoon that classes will be canceled for a fourth day on Tuesday.

Teachers are demanding a salary increase, smaller class sizes and more librarians, nurses and other support staff.

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