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Chicago Teachers Picket, Demand New Contract

CHICAGO (CBS) --Just two weeks before the start of the new school year, the Chicago Teachers Union is ratcheting up the pressure on the school board for a new contract.

WBBM's Regine Schlesinger reports from a school in the Little Village neighborhood that the union has organized informational picketing outside a number of schools already.

It's hoping to appeal to parents to pressure the school district to come to terms on a new agreement before the start of classes on Sept. 4.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger Reports


Some of the teachers chanting and marching at Castellanos Elemenary School in Little Village on Monday say that are worried about the lack of progress so far and expressed concern that there will be a strike.

The rank and file have already authorized a strike if talks break down. The union would need to give CPS a 10-day notice before walking off the job.

Union and CPS officials have reached a deal on a longer day for kids, which would not extend hours for teachers. However, many issues have not been resolved, including salary.

"Our focus should be on our kids and reaching a fair agreement at the negotiation table, where we have made significant progress over the last few weeks," said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll. "Students must always come first and shouldn't be distracted from their learning, especially now that kids throughout the district are benefiting from the start of the full school day."

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