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Chicago teachers, school board halt strike talks

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago public school board president says talks with the teachers union have been called off as the clock winds down to avert the city’s first teachers strike in a quarter century.

David Vitale says that it is unknown whether union officials will carry through on their threat to order a teacher walkout Monday, but they were scheduled to speak to the public at a 10 p.m. news briefing Sunday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the school board and union leaders have been locked in months of tense negotiations at a time when unions and collective bargaining have come under criticism around the nation during difficult economic times.

Union President Karen Lewis says teacher pay and job security were among the major issues that have kept tense, closed-door negotiations going.