The Chicago Teachers’ Union said on the 24th that its members voted against policies related to returning to campus due to the fear of the epidemic.
District officials have said that refusing to return to school may constitute an “illegal strike”.
Chicago Public Schools expects about 10,000 teachers and other staff from kindergarten to eighth grade to return to school on Monday (25th) to prepare about 70,000 students who will start school on February 1, according to the New York Post. However, the Chicago Teachers Union opposed the plan.
The union said that more widespread vaccinations must be made before teachers can safely return to school. The two sides have been negotiating for several months. After the announcement of the vote, negotiations continued with a view to reaching an agreement.
Officials of Chicago public schools said on the 24th that they had agreed to postpone the return of these teachers to school by two days to allow more time for the two sides to negotiate.
However, they said that teachers from kindergarten to eighth grade are still expected to resume offline teaching on February 1.
“The consensus we’ve reached now far exceeds disagreements, but our discussions continue and it takes extra time to reach a solution,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said in a statement.
The Chicago Teachers’ Union said that members are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 if they resume offline teaching without vaccination and other safeguards.
They believe that if the school district tries to punish teachers who do not teach offline on the 25th, the school district should be responsible for the strike.
It is reported that this school district with about 355,000 students turned to full-time online teaching in March 2020 due to the epidemic, and now it is gradually starting offline teaching.
Earlier this month, some preschool and special education institutions resumed offline teaching, and teachers who did not participate in offline teaching were punished.