The Chicago Public Schools has taken a one-year teachers contract proposal off the table, and now plans to pursue a longer labor agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union.
The union's contract with the school district expired June 30, and the two sides had been negotiating over a one-year agreement.
At a Friday news conference in response to CPS' move, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said a deal had been close to being reached.
"We are concerned because we were very close to finalizing something that would have given the city and school district a year to stabilize its finances and allow us time to collaborate on how best to get relief from Springfield and look at a series of revenue options. That rug was pulled out from under us," the labor leader said. "They could have been the heroes in this but instead sheriff Claypool has decided to blow things up and show us how tough he can be."
Lewis also said the city's proposal of having teachers cover the 7 percent that the district pick ups for their pensions is "strike-worthy."
Legal teams from the union and school district will reportedly meet next week.
A Friday statement from the school district said "CPS remains dedicated to reaching a multi-year agreement with our teachers that respects their hard work and protects the academic gains that they've helped our students achieve."
"We will continue to negotiate in good faith at the bargaining table to reach an agreement on a broader and longer contract that is beneficial for our children, their teachers, the taxpayers and the entire system," the statement adds. "However, we will not roll back standards for teacher performance, and we will make sure that our highest-performing teachers can continue to serve in classrooms."