The students of Chicago public schools will soon be able to head back to class on Wednesday in the wake of the teachers union and the school district finally coming to an agreement after a long few days of a standoff between the groups as many teachers refused to work.
Lori Lightfoot, the Democrat Mayor of Chicago, brought the news to the public late Monday evening.
She gave the news out over Twitter, stating, “After a productive day at the bargaining table, I am pleased to report, CTU [Chicago Teachers Union] will end their work stoppage. CPS put a great proposal on the table that both bargaining teams discussed in detail today. We will be able to get our children back in the classroom on Wednesday.”
She went on to say, “Some will ask who won and who lost but no one wins when our students are out of the place where they can learn the best & where they’re safest.”
After a productive day at the bargaining table, I am pleased to report, CTU will end their work stoppage.
CPS put a great proposal on the table that both bargaining teams discussed in detail today.
We will be able to get our children back in the classroom on Wednesday. 🧵
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) January 11, 2022
As reported by the Washington Post, Lightfoot stated to reporters that Chicago would increase the scope of testing and more thoroughly expand contact racing. They also plan to provide a series of standards for the shutting down of the schools in case of outbreaks. The members of the Chicago Teachers Union discussed worries and fears over the possible contracting of the virus in schools.
As reported by The Daily Wire, the teachers union instructed its members to stay home from schools, and the argument amongst the two groups spread out into this week as classes continued to be canceled.
CNN went on to report that over 340,000 kids in the school system have been in class at all since the 4th of January.
As stated by Jesse Sharkey, the teachers union president, roughly two-thirds of the teachers union’s House of Delegates slated their votes to go back to schools, as reported by The Post. The other 25,000 members of the union still need to vote in order to give approval to the agreement.
Instructors in Chicago have been attempting to get more safety conditions in schools, such as k95 masks for the students and teachers alike, testing to take place more often, and the ability to use unpaid leave if a worker’s medical issues make them high-risk for complications with COVID-19. The teachers also set up standards for the stopping of in-person teaching in the middle of outbreaks of the virus.
This deal also holds a clause that states that the school will go remote if over 25% of the staff end up testing positive for COVID-19, reported Fox News.
As stated in a press conference, Lightfoot said, “no one’s more frustrated than I am. No one’s more frustrated than I am. We should have stayed at the table and worked this out. That’s why I said early on ‘enough is enough’ and drew the line. This was not necessary to happen.”
She went on to say, “Three work stoppages in three years? Of course people are frustrated. Why wouldn’t they be?”
She highlighted that the planned agreement takes them out through the end of summer school this year.
“This mayor is unfit to lead this city, and she is on a one-woman kamikaze mission to destroy our public schools,” stated CTU Vice President Stacey Davis Gates before noting that the deal is the “only modicum of safety that is available for anyone who steps foot into” the Chicago school system, reported Fox News.