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Teachers Enter Second Day Of Strike At Urban Prep Charter Schools After 3 Years Of Negotiations

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The Chicago Teachers Union was on strike for a second day Tuesday at Urban Prep Academy Charter Schools.

The strike comes after three years of negations and still no deal.

One of the main issues is pay. Teachers at the charter school say they are making less than teachers with the Chicago Public School District.

Urban Prep Academies Charter Schools is an all boys school with three campuses in Bronzeville, Englewood, and the Near West Side.

Another area of negotiation is special education. CTU says the charter school network is not working to keep teachers long-term in order to meet the needs of the special education students.

They also say resources to help those special education students are not enough.

Then there's the contract issue. The union only wants to sign a new contract through the end of the 2022 school year.

Urban Prep tells said it's offering teachers a three year contract to avoid having to start the negotiation process again in a matter of months.

But after negotiations Monday, still no deal.

Another bargaining session was in progress Tuesday. Teachers were out picketing at the Englewood campus Tuesday morning.

Urban Prep Chief Operating Officer Troy Boyd issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"Urban Prep remains disappointed in the Chicago Teachers Union's decision to continue to strike over one unresolved issue: the term of the contract.

"The reality is that we have a tough road ahead to recover from the pandemic and the toll it has taken on our young men, both academically and socially-emotionally. This strike is not in the best interest of our students, particularly during the last six days of school after more than a year of COVID-related school disruption. To minimize the impact on students and allow them to complete the academic year as scheduled, Urban Prep has made arrangements for all students to remain in school and take final exams under the supervision of administrators, while the teachers are on strike.

"Urban Prep will continue to negotiate with the CTU in good faith while balancing the interests of our teachers, students and schools. On Monday, Urban Prep met with CTU under the guidance of a federal mediator until 11pm and returned again this morning at 10:30am for another two hours of negotiations. We will meet again this evening."

Boyd wrote that Urban Prep had presented the CTU with a salary offer including retroactive raises from the past three years and guaranteed raises for the next three, and had also offered benefits to teachers that no employee in Urban Prep's 15-year history has ever received. On Monday evening, Urban Prep also increased the number of personal days available to teachers, created a mentoring program to compensate mentor teachers, and cut the number of days teachers need to work by one week, Boyd wrote.

Boyd wrote that the CTU rejected the offer.

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