* Mayor Lightfoot last night…
“Today marked the 49th time that CTU and CPS negotiators met at the bargaining table, and the 142nd day that CTU has still not provided us with a comprehensive counter-proposal. Instead of providing a response to our comprehensive proposal, CTU presented its demands to set the City’s affordable housing policy through their collective bargaining agreement, demanding that the City enact CTU’s preferred affordable housing policy as part of their contract.
“My administration is committed to addressing Chicago’s affordable housing challenges. That’s why I appointed the City’s first housing commissioner in a decade, and announced a new and transparent plan for distributing Low Income Housing Tax Credits, with more progress to come. The CTU shares much of our vision on affordable housing, and I invite them to engage in the policymaking process with housing providers, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders who must be a part of this important discussion.
“Affordable housing is a critical issue that affects residents across Chicago, and everyone’s voices need to be heard during this process. As such, the CTU collective bargaining agreement is not the appropriate place for the City to legislate its affordable housing policy.
“We are a week away from our deadline to resolve this contract and avoid a strike. We need CTU to come to the table with written proposals on the core issues we need to address in order to resolve the contract. Once this contract is resolved, our Department of Housing will continue to work closely with stakeholders—including unions like the CTU—to ensure everyone in all of our communities has access to a safe, affordable, accessible place to live.”
CTU spokeswoman Chris Geovanis said late Tuesday that housing costs need to be addressed to help students and lower-paid support staff who she said don’t make enough to live in the city, even though they are required to.
It’s “sad that [the mayor] continues to distort our proposals and try to force a wage agreement that would still leave the children of teaching assistants and school clerks eligible for free and reduced lunch under federal poverty guidelines,” Geovanis said.
The two sides will bargain every day this week except Wednesday in observance of a Jewish holiday. Negotiators will also meet Saturday.
Still, there doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight with just more than a week left before the union’s Oct. 17 strike deadline.