AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — After months of negotiating, the difference between a strike or a new contract could come down to the next hours of talks between the Akron public school system and their teachers’ union.

Earlier this week, Akron Education Association President Pat Shipe sat down with FOX 8 to explain why they issued a 10-day notice for a teachers strike, after eight months of talks for a new contract.

“Our teachers are overwhelmingly concerned about some of these issues that they’d rather strike and protect the students in the building because these issues are so incredibly concerning for them,” said Shipe. 

While there has been progress made on some issues within the contract talks, Shipe said that the two sides remained far apart on issues that included wages, health care and overall safety.

“The No. 1 issue is safety and security within our schools. Our members are exhausted that it’s still an unresolved issue,” explained Shipe. 

Talks continued between Akron public schools and their teacher’s union through Saturday, with the district offering the following statement:

“Negotiations concluded at 7:28 this evening after some progress was made. Both sides reconvene tomorrow in the presence of a federal mediator.”

The deadline for these talks ends Sunday at midnight. If no deal gets done, the teachers’ strike begins on Monday.

“Our members are overwhelmingly prepared to strike should we not resolve the unresolved issues,” Shipe said.