The Chicago Teachers Union, which includes one union leader who has bragged about being a “socialist” who has led four strikes and said teachers shouldn’t be returning to classrooms while she was on vacation in Puerto Rico, has voted to refuse to show up to work on Monday, according to reports out of the city.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Nader Issa tweeted Sunday afternoon that members voted to defy a reopening plan with 71% of the membership voting in favor of defying the school district. Issa further reports Chicago Public Schools “have agreed to a request from CTU leadership to push back the return of K-8 teachers and staff to Wednesday, January 27…to ensure we have the time needed to resolve our discussions without risking disruption to student learning.”
The teachers union has since fired back on Issa, tweeting “this is unequivocally false. CPS unilaterally made the decision to move the return date for K-8 teachers back to Wednesday, January 27, 2021. We currently have no agreement with the district on any terms.”
What does it all mean? Students aren’t going back to classrooms and teachers aren’t agreeing to return to any classrooms this Wednesday.
In its statement after the vote was taken, the Chicago Teachers Union says this “fight” with the school district is “winnable” if membership stays united.
“Remember, we are not negotiating class size, benefits or staffing; we are bargaining for minimal risk of COVID-19 infection, and minimal risk of death,” CTU stated.
“We will continue to work remote so we can keep ourselves, our families and our school communities safe. If we are locked out by the mayor and CPS, then the choice to strike is theirs, not ours.
“Remember, our fight is about a pandemic and making assurances for safety, and you have voted overwhelmingly in support of safety. There’s no doubt we all want to return to in-person instruction. The issue is CPS’ current unpreparedness for a return to in-person instruction, and the clear and present danger that poses to the health of our families and school communities.”
After a flurry of tweets between both sides, the school district’s latest update that K-8 will return to classrooms Monday, February 1. “It’s our goal to reach an agreement with CTU as soon as possible to ensure tens of thousands of additional students have the opportunity to safely return to our classrooms,” CPS tweeted.