CHICAGO—After nearly four months of negotiations, contract talks between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are getting acrimonious.
Union President Karen Lewis said Thursday that a poll of teachers at 150 schools showed overwhelming support for a strike.
Jean-Claude Brizard, holding a separate news conference, rebuked the union for bringing up the possibility of a strike while talks are still underway.
"It's unfortunate that the CTU will be talking about a strike when we know we have so much work we have to do within our schools," Brizard said.
Even if support among teachers is there, the possibility of a strike remains distant.
Under a new state law, if talks bog down there are still steps the two sides must take that would take at least four months to complete before a walkout can be initiated.
About 75 percent of union members now need to approve it, rather than the simple majority of votes previously required.
And the timeline leading to a strike has also been drawn out by a review panel fact-finding process if an impasse is declared.