Chicago lecturers vote to modify to distant studying amid COVID surge as dispute with college system intensifies

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The Chicago Teachers Union voted Tuesday evening in favor of going to distant studying for the nation’s third-largest college district amid the COVID-19 surge, CBS Chicago experiences.

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Pedro Martinez stated if the CTU voted for distant studying and to not return to school rooms, there can be no courses Wednesday.

Martinez stated college buildings might be open and lecturers, workers and college students are welcome to come back to school rooms – however courses might be referred to as off.

“If they do take a vote to do a walkout tomorrow, I have to cancel classes,” Martinez stated earlier Tuesday. “I am not closing the schools. The schools are going to be open. And so again, all staff will be welcome to come to school because we are going to have a plan for our families. I am not going to let our parents down.”

CPS officers asserted {that a} CTU vote to authorize lecturers to work remotely starting Wednesday would quantity to an unlawful strike.

The CTU informed its lecturers in a memo that January 18 would be the subsequent day of in-person instruction, however CPS hasn’t but addressed the plan past canceling courses Wednesday -– and Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier stated the union would not get to make such a choice.

When a reporter requested late Tuesday whether or not CPS would go forward and change to distant studying if a CTU motion had lecturers not displaying as much as college for a number of days, Mayor Lightfoot stated: “The CTU doesn’t make decisions about how our CPS system works. The CEO does. He’s the boss.”

The union stated the vote in favor of remote-work-only was 73 %.

In a press release, the CTU stated partly that its members “understand the frustration that is felt by tonight’s decision, and assure our families that we will continue to work diligently, as we have for months, to encourage the mayor and her CPS leadership team to at last commit to enforceable safety protections centered on the well-being of our students, their families and our school communities.”

“A vote to stop reporting to work would cause profound harm to children’s learning and health and be another damaging blow to the well-being of our students and their families,” CPS added.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey stated the “teachers are being put in the unfortunate situation where we are trying to keep people safe and we aren’t being given the tools to do so.”

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