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Chicago Public Schools and Teachers Union Reach Tentative Reopening Deal

Pending ratification by the teacher’s union, the agreement would put an end to labor dispute and ward off a possible strike.

Video source: YouTube, WGN News

After months of negotiations, the Chicago Public School District and Chicago Teachers Union have reached a tentative agreement to return students and teachers to classrooms.

The deal announced Sunday by Mayor Lori Lightfoot between the nation’s third-largest school district and the union which represents 28,000 educators, would gradually reopen schools for in-person learning over the next few weeks, according to multiple reports.

Pending ratification by the teacher’s union, the agreement would put an end to labor dispute and ward off a possible strike, Reuters reported. 

Over the past several months, the district and union have been in a stalemate over how to safely reopen schools, with teachers demanding stronger safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms.

As part of the tentative resolution, pre-kindergarten and special education students would return on Thursday. Kindergarten through fifth grade students would be back in the classroom on March 1 and sixth through eighth graders are expected to return to in-person learning on March 8.

The district said it is still working with the union to address a plan for reopening high schools. 

Under the terms of the new agreement, 1,500 educators would be vaccinated each week and additional staffers would be inoculated through the city’s pre-existing programs for the state’s phased vaccination rollout plan.

The plan also establishes protocols and metrics to determine if the district needs to revert to remote learning should a spike in cases occur.

About 67,000 students opted to return to campus on Jan. 26, but in-person instruction was canceled due to the ongoing labor dispute. Since the start of the pandemic last spring, the district’s 335,000 students have been learning remotely.

In a tweet Sunday, Lightfoot said:

Union officials took to Twitter shortly after Lightfoot's announcement to clarify there is no agreement yet.

A union representative told ABC it plans to meet Sunday to discuss the district’s proposal and could possibly vote on Tuesday.


Source: Equities News

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon should be turning the volume up. Their current quiet murmur is just not enough.