Chicago Teachers Union Finally Folds After Months of Refusing to Return to Classrooms


The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a deal with the nation’s third-largest school district to get students back in classrooms, union officials announced early Wednesday.

The vote by the union’s roughly 25,000 members ends the possibility of an immediate teacher lockout or strike.

The agreement follows months of negotiations — which had intensified in recent weeks — with plans that included more teacher vaccinations and metrics to allow school closures if COVID-19 infections spike.

The union said 13,681 members voted to approve the agreement and 6,585 voted against it.

In a statement, the union described the agreement as the “absolute limit to which [Chicago Public Schools] was willing to go at the bargaining table to guarantee a minimum number of guardrails for any semblance of safety in schools.”

Biden Snubs Brazilian President by Walking Offstage Without Handshake, Viral Reaction Says It All

Union president Jesse Sharkey criticized the agreement in an email to members.

“This plan is not what any of us deserve. Not us. Not our students. Not their families,” the email said. “The fact that CPS could not delay reopening a few short weeks to ramp up vaccinations and preparations in schools is a disgrace.”

In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson defended the agreement, saying it “ensures families have options to choose in-person learning and make a plan that is best for them.”

After weeks of pointing to the $100 million that has been spent to make schools safe, Lightfoot and Jackson said that the vote by the union “reaffirms the strength and fairness of our plan, which provides families and employees certainty about returning to schools and guarantees the best possible health and safety protocols.”

Do you support reopening schools?

Negotiations since going fully remote last March have been heated amid worldwide debates over reopening schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools is low and that teachers do not need to be vaccinated in order for schools to reopen safely.

The first wave of students and staff in pre-K and special education is due back Thursday, with parents still having the option of remote learning.

Those students briefly returned last month, but were then sent home amid the escalating fight with the union, which voted to reject the district’s plans.

Students in K-5 will return March 1, with staff returning Feb. 22. Students in grades 6-8 will return March 8, with teachers returning March 1. No plans have been set for high school students, who will continue with online learning.

Sexually Graphic Version of 'The Diary of Anne Frank' Leads to Teacher's Dismissal

[jwplayer Ep5xVEgz]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City