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After nine hours of talks, CPS and CTU both report progress, but differ on how much

The Chicago Teachers Union and the school district will continue talks Sunday to beat a midnight strike  deadline set by the union.


After nine hours of bargaining Saturday, both the district and union emerged after 9 give their separate views of how much progress they made.

Board president David Vitale says the district’s latest proposal addresses all the union's big issues: compensation, "step" increases on the salary schedule, job security, merit pay, health care.

"This is a proposal that we believe is very close to what is needed to do a deal. We have listened, we have moved dramatically on almost all of these issues to try to accommodate them and to respect our teachers. We have high hopes that when we get back together tomorrow, we can move to the end game."

A half hour later, union president Karen Lewis and teacher-negotiators came out singing the classic union hymn "Solidarity Forever."

Lewis agreed that progress had been made, but "I’d say it’s an improved offer. I don’t know that I would use the word 'dramatically.'"

Asked if she believes a contract can be wrapped up today, Lewis said she does not have a crystal ball.

A strike would affect some 350,000 students.

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