Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said her schedule is booked for next week.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said he’s willing to clear his.
He also said he is willing to meet at union headquarters to bring the CTU to the table and begin discussions over the district’s longer school day initiative.
“We’re making every effort to accommodate what they want,” Brizard said Friday. “We’re the ones who reached out … my calendar is clear. The last meeting was canceled by the CTU — not by us.”
Friday’s developments were nothing new for two parties who have agreed on virtually nothing since the mayor and the district began calling for an extra 90 minutes of instruction.
Since the district began offering financial incentives to schools and teachers voting for the extra time, the issue has become even more heated.
Lewis refused to join an advisory committee, even after the district offered to add five of her choices to the committee. The union has filed a complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, which this week found enough evidence presented of a labor violation to warrant a hearing in December.
Now, they can’t settle on a date for the highly anticipated meeting on how to implement a longer day in 2012-13, when a new state law allows the district to approve it without union approval.
“I’ll probably have some conversations (with Brizard) not next week, but for sure the week after that,” Lewis said at a press conference at CTU headquarters Friday.
Lewis had suggested meeting this past Tuesday at CTU headquarters to talk about next year’s longer day plans, but CPS officials rejected that plan in favor of meeting at a school that had approved an extended day.
A half hour before the scheduled meeting, CPS agreed to come to the union offices, but by then Lewis had asked for the meeting to be rescheduled.
As a peace offering, Brizard had asked the union to work with the district to identify 25 schools that could pilot a longer day in January. But Lewis said she never agreed to meet regarding that.
“We’re not going to go down that path,” Lewis said. “I don’t think that’s a discussion we’re going to have at this point. We want to talk about how to plan for next year. That’s what we’ve said we want to do.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun