Chicago cancels lessons after lecturers union votes for distant studying

Chicago Public Faculties canceled lessons Wednesday after the town’s lecturers union voted to work remotely amid an omicron variant-fueled surge in COVID-19 circumstances.

On Tuesday, members of the Chicago Lecturers Union voted 73% in opposition to in-person studying in favor of “remote-work solely job motion,” which Mayor Lori Lightfoot and faculty leaders stated would set off a closure the next day and probably longer.

“Because of the Chicago Lecturers Union voting to not report to varsities tomorrow, there will likely be no in-person or distant instruction for CPS college students tomorrow, January fifth. All after faculty packages, athletic practices, and different occasions are additionally canceled,” the CPS Twitter account stated after the union vote.

In a tweet thread saying the ultimate tally of the vote late Tuesday, the union stated the motion will solely finish if the surge in COVID-19 circumstances “considerably subsides” or the mayor’s workforce at CPS indicators an settlement establishing circumstances for return which can be voted on and authorized by the CTU Home of Delegates.

The CTU had been threatening to go on strike for a number of days amid a dispute with metropolis officers over what they see as inadequate COVID-19 protocols.

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Chicago faculty officers stated that if the lecturers union refuses in-person lessons, the motion will likely be thought-about an unlawful strike and disrupt plans for the roughly 290,000 college students at noncharter faculties.


“In the event that they do take a vote to do a walkout tomorrow, I’ve to cancel lessons,” CPS chief govt officer Pedro Martinez stated earlier than the vote was finalized. “I’m not closing the faculties. The colleges are going to be open. And so once more, all workers will likely be welcome to come back to highschool as a result of we’re going to have a plan for our households. I’m not going to let our dad and mom down.”

Lightfoot held a press convention Tuesday night through which Martinez thanked the workers who confirmed up, “got here in, and [greeted] our youngsters,” even amid “misinformation about faculties not being secure.”

Lightfoot, a Democrat, lamented how the state of affairs feels “like Groundhog Day” after every part the town has handled “over the past two years” through the pandemic, together with a tense standoff with lecturers that ended 11 months in the past with an settlement to get college students again into lecture rooms within the nation’s third-largest faculty district.

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“We requested CTU management, ‘Take a second, overview the plan, come again to us with a response on the bargaining desk, delay the vote, don’t do an unlawful work stoppage,'” Lightfoot stated. “To that, the reply was, ‘No, sorry, we’re transferring forward.'”

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