Chicago mayor orders teachers to return to classroom as tug-of-war with union intensifies

CPS' original plan aimed for a Feb. 1 return into the classroom to get in-person learning, but fell through following a vote from the Chicago Teachers Union earlier this month taught members to continue distant learning rather.

Chicago mayor orders teachers to return to classroom as tug-of-war with union intensifies

"All educators, pre-K through eight and audience teachers should report," Lightfoot said in a press conference Sunday evening. "If you do not have an approved lodging, we hope to see you back in class. Those of us who don't report to work...we will need to take action. Let us prevent that."

CPS CEO Janice Jackson warned that teachers who refuse to appear for in-person instruction is going to be kicked out of the district's remote learning computer system, Google Suites.

"My message to teachers is that we are all on precisely the exact same team. Most of us want the exact same thing, Jackson explained. "We have to move past the debate on whether we should be reopening schools."

According to Lightfoot, the Chicago Teacher's Union didn't Appear for discussions on Sunday. Lightfoot explained that she expects union leaders will continue to sue and urged CTU to possess"a renewed sense of urgency" in reaching an agreement immediately.

"We have been waiting all day [Sunday] for in-person negotiations to begin," said Lightfoot. "We will remain up all night to get a deal done. We've been awaiting the CTU. 'Where are you? Why should not they return to us'"

CPS' unique plan aimed for a Feb. 1 return to the classroom for in-person learning, but fell through after a vote by the Chicago Teachers Union earlier this month instructed members to continue distant learning instead. In addition to 10,000 teachers, roughly 65,000 students were set to report on Monday.

As negotiations remain stalled, Lightfoot said parents shouldn't bring their children to college for in-person learning Monday, encouraging them to send children to learning hubs provided by CPS. CPS said parents must aim to bring students back to college beginning Tuesday, according to a letter issued to pupils Sunday evening.

Both sides pointed fingers at each other on social networking Sunday, with the teachers marriage begging that its bargaining team was"educated not to attend discussions today unless our educators, clinicians, PSRPs, nurses, librarians and other rank-and-file teachers were ready to make major concessions."

Chicago Public Schools reacted saying CTU leadership said that they were"inaccessible to fulfill until they could develop a response to our most recent offer."

CTU fired back with a lengthy Twitter thread, criticizing Lightfoot to get"speaking to the'hyper-democratic' character of CTU" in a negative light and noting they are seeking for their 28,000 rank-and-file associates for direction during this dispute.

"What our members are asking for is right based on what school districts are performing throughout the country. . .We want the same for our teachers and students in Chicago Public Schools," the union included. "Parents, town, mayor, Board of Ed. . .everyone is apparent: Our associates are prepared to keep negotiating and working. When there's a choice to end discussions, cause a catastrophe, or cut off 80 percent of students in the city who have selected remote learning, that choice won't be ours."

The union is requesting that schools reopen once all teachers have been vaccinated. In addition, they want medically vulnerable educators or those living with people who have compromised health to have the choice to work remotely and also for schools to give advice based on wellness metrics if schools need to shut in-person learning due to a spike in COVID-19 instances.

Lightfoot explained that Chicago Public Schools have been working with the union to discover solutions that would allow students to return to peer reviewed learning, with over 70 formal meetings since June and a $100 million investment in wellness screenings, temperature tests, personal protective gear and regular cleaning.

Additionally, she noted that pre-kindergarten and audience teachers were back in classrooms for three weeks with no significant problems and insisted that the CPS program has been assessed by medical specialists including Chicago Department of Health Director Dr. Allison Arwady.

"Remote learning doesn't work for everybody, especially for our pupils most in need,"" Lightfoot said. "Our schools are secure."

However, CTU pointed out that, regardless of what Lightfoot and CPS say, the parents of over 80% of Chicago's eligible public school pupils have selected to continue remote learning.

The latest announcement comes after progress in negotiations was made on Saturday, together with four tentative agreements on health and security protocols, ventilation, contact tracing, and health and safety committees, based on Chicago Public Schools.

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