Slideshow: Teachers rally in Union Park as contract talks continue

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An estimated 25,000 supporters of the striking Chicago public school teachers attended the rally at Union Park to show solidarity as negotiations for a new labor contract continue on September 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Gibby.

An estimated 25,000 supporters of the striking Chicago public school teachers attended the rally at Union Park to show solidarity as negotiations for a new labor contract continue on September 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Gibby.

An estimated 25,000 people gathered in Union Park Saturday to show support for the striking Chicago Public School teachers as negotiations over labor contracts continue.

 “We have a framework, we do not have an agreements,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told the crowd of red clad teachers and supporters.

 Organizers said the purpose of the rally was to show support and unity even as contract talks continue. If an agreement can be made, students could be back in school by Monday.

 The afternoon featured musical performances by local high school students, a prayer by Rev. Jesse Jackson, and concluded with a march through the streets to Garfield Park.  

For some teacher’s at the rally improvements in classroom resources are a major issue. “I would be very happy to be back in school on Monday and everyone of my kids to have a seat to sit in,” said striking teacher Melissa Gerleve. “That’s all I want.”