Chicago Teachers Enter Day 2 of Strike

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According to NBC Chicago, the Chicago teachers are continuing their strike for a second day in a row as negotiations press onward. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials are still in talks with union leaders, but the two parties have to reach an agreement on two major points, specifically teacher evaluations and job security for union members at public schools.

With both parties attempting to work out a solution and Chicago public school students still unable to go to school, here are some facts and details about the progress of the negotiations and the strike itself:

* The Chicago Tribune reported that talks resumed Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the law offices of Dowd, Black and Bennett in downtown Chicago.

* CPS changed its initial wage offer to teachers from a 2 percent base wage increase for each year of the four-year contract to a 3 percent increase for the first year and a 2 percent raise for each of the three following years.

* Additionally, the district offered from flexibility on the recall policy for teachers who had to be laid off due to school closings or consolidations, a change in which union leaders said doesn't extend as far as it needs to.

* CNN added that the union is also unsatisfied on the issue of teacher evaluations. CTU President Karen Lewis said the concern was that up to 6,000 teachers could lose their jobs under the evaluation system.

* As two other aspects on the bargaining table, the union wants to prevent the district from making any changes to teacher health benefits and wants to make improvements on classroom conditions.

* At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued to back CPS, saying that the union's reasons for hitting the picket line are "not strikeable" and that school principals need authority over hiring teachers instead of the district or the teachers union, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

* Similarly, it's possible that the district could file a lawsuit to end the strike, but both sides are pushing to end through continued talks and negotiations.

* Another NBC Chicago story added that striking teachers were planning another mass rally on Tuesday at school district headquarters before marching to the Chicago Board of trade.

* CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said of the negotiations, "The Chicago Teachers Union has 49 Articles in its contract, to date, we have only signed off on six of them…It is not accurate to say both sides are extremely close -- this is misinformation on behalf of the Board and Mayor Emanuel. We have a considerable way to go," noted Chicago Now.

* Another article from the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a McKeon & Associates poll concluded that 47 percent of registered voters in Chicago support the striking teachers while 39 percent oppose.

* Of those surveyed, 6 percent said they considered Mayor Emanuel's handling of the situation to be "excellent" and another 13 percent said it was "good."

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. Currently pursuing her master's degree in environmental science, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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