Chicago school teachers picket outside Lane Tech College Prep High School on Tuesday.
By NBCChicago.com and NBC News staff
Chicago teachers took to the picket lines for a second day Tuesday as the union and school district negotiate over two final sticking points: teacher evaluations and job security.
It's not clear how long the showdown will last, but as of Monday night, Chicago School Board president David Vitale remained optimistic about coming talks.
"We're not going to finish this today," Vitale said. "We should resolve this tomorrow."
Hours later, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis sounded less confident.
"The board president hasn't been at very many meetings. He just sort of swooped down for — I guess he's their closer, maybe. And so he, I think, has a very different view of the actual work that goes on," she said.
Lewis fears the proposed evaluation procedures, which include basing evaluations in part on student testing, would cost thousands of union members their jobs.
But Vitale said that's not the case.
"That is an inaccurate statement. There's no factual basis behind that, and frankly I think it's irresponsible to claim that," he retorted.
In the picket line in front of Chicago Public Schools headquarters, where a 2:30 p.m. mass rally is planned, marchers expressed impatience, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"This could have been solved on day negative five," complained Christopher Barker, a math teacher at George Manierre Elementary School, speaking to the Tribune. But he added, "I'll be here as long as I need to."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urges teachers to "stay at the table" and negotiate a deal "for our children." Watch the news confernce.
A fellow picketer Susan Hickey, a social worker for the district, was worried about students most in need of help.
"These children need these services," Hickey told the Tribune. "They need more quality services."
The only consolation, she said, was that the strike provided "a bit of a history lesson."
"We're telling them, 'This is how you stand for your rights,'" she said.
Monday was the first full day of the teacher strike. While scheduled talks got started in the morning, they weren't as eventful as they could have been. Lewis arrived for the meeting about 90 minutes after the scheduled start. And when she did, she had little to say.
She later told reporters she was late because she wasn't feeling well. Still, it left Vitale and his colleagues frustrated.
"We're ready to go to work. We're disappointed that the urgency we feel doesn't seem to be shared on the other side," he said.
WMAQ's Phil Rogers shares the latest on the teachers strike in Chicago. Emmeline Zhao then joins to discuss the key issues separating Chicago Public School and the Chicago Teachers Union.
More than 26,000 teachers and support staff went on strike Monday morning after talks broke down a night earlier. The move left more than 350,000 students in nearly 700 schools without classroom instruction.
Teachers at Chicago's charter schools, which serve about 45,000 students, were not striking and those schools remained open.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged officials to get the deal done so kids could go back to class.
"Stay at the table," he said during a visit to Maranatha Church on Monday. "Finish it for our children."
Chicago teachers make an average of $76,000 per year, second highest to New York City. Vitale said the deal CPS put on the table includes a 16 percent raise over four years.
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