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Frustrations Mount over Teachers’ Contract

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The CEO of Chicago Public Schools says he’s looking into the possibility of asking for help from Springfield to avoid a teachers’ strike.

For Chicago Public Radio, Sam Hudzik reports.

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The Chicago teachers’ contract expired at the end of June, and their union isn’t ruling out a strike this fall. In Springfield yesterday, schools chief Arne Duncan said he’d consider a state government fix to keep teachers working during contract negotiations. Pam Massarsky is a lobbyist for the teachers union.

MASSARSKY: Well, he obviously isn’t doing anything at the bargaining table, so he’s looking for an outside entity to impose requirements on the teacher’s representatives.

If the union files a notice of intent to strike with the state, a ten-day “cooling off” arbitration period is already required under the law. A legislative fix would likely be needed to extend that time frame.

A Chicago schools spokesman says there’s been no serious talk on the subject.

Both sides hope to settle the contract dispute before classes begin on September 4.

For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Sam Hudzik.

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