Chicago reaches deal with teachers union, preventing strike as in-person classes now set to resume

by Joel Abbott · Feb 8th, 2021 3:52 pm

Last Updated Feb 10th, 2021 at 12:49 am

Government officials and the Chicago Teachers Union reached a "tentative agreement" on Sunday for reopening area schools, ending weeks of fighting between the groups.

Last Monday, the union said it would go on strike after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to lock out teachers, resulting in a short extension of remote classes while talks continued.

Lightfoot then doubled down on resuming in-person classes, saying that teachers who failed to return on Monday would be marked absent without leave and will be barred from using any school district systems.

Many feared the decision would trigger a strike vote with the union, but a the agreement was made to meet some of the teacher's demands while resuming in-person classes for students.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) posted the reopening schedule on Twitter, with younger students returning first beginning February 11.

As part of its demands, the union wanted all teachers to be vaccinated before returning to work, including young, healthy staff who would be vaccinated ahead of seniors and at-risk individuals with pre-existing conditions. CPS said that the city would work with Walgreens to vaccinate teachers, beginning with those with younger students.

Lightfoot also celebrated the news.

"Let me express my gratitude to our parents and our students for their fearlessness and for drawing superhuman patience to navigate everything that's been thrown at you over this last year," she said. "This entire school year has been incredibly hard on you and your families and I understand that."

➡️ Read more: Oregon teachers are refusing to return to classrooms, despite being pushed to front of vaccination line


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