CHICAGO (WLS) --Teachers' pensions are at the center of negotiations right now. Chicago Public Schools - by contract with the teachers - has pitched in money for the teachers' pension plan since 1981.
On Friday CPS CEO Forrest Claypool announced those payments will continue - for right now - but will likely be phased out in any future contracts.
"That is the case of the pension pick-up. It has specific language that says this provision is no longer in effect once the contract expires. That's very clear. It's unequivocal under labor law, no doubt about it. The sentence is crystal clear," Claypool said.
"Mr. Claypool has rescinded his threat today. But he is clear that he will enforce a seven percent pay cut at further date. This is unwise and not productive towards concluding a labor agreement," said CTU President Karen Lewis during a news conference Friday.
The two sides held dueling news conferences Friday as children attended class at Cather Elementary. Both sides say students are the focus as they negotiate a new contract.
Teachers have already voted to go on strike in May, if necessary. But they've been talking about moving that date to April 1 after the district announced three mandatory furlough days Thursday. Students will be impacted by the furlough days - they will not have class on March 25, Good Friday.
In the midst of this are the students and parents.
"I understand why the teachers want to do that. They're supposed to get paid for what they're supposed to do. But then again I don't understand why the kids have to suffer because they can't come to an agreement," said Chirday Ard, a mother.
A fact-finding report that is taking a hard look at both requests will be out in mid-April. On Friday, the CTU renewed its threat to take action on April 1 - but left all options open - whether that's a strike, a march, or some other demonstration.
Both sides plan to do another round of negotiations next week.