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Chicago cancels classes after teachers refuse to show up for in-person instruction over Covid concerns

Jan. 7, 2022
Chicago Teachers Union contends the district's Covid-19 protections are inadequate.

Classes have been canceled in Chicago Public Schools Wednesday after the teachers union voted to refuse to show up for in-person work.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the work action was endorsed by 73% of Chicago Teachers Union members.

The union says it took the action out of concerns about inadequate Covid-19 protections. Members intended to continue to teach remotely, but the district canceled classes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

District CEO Pedro Martinez and public health commissioner Allison Arwady say that despite a spike in Covid cases, children need to be back in school and that it’s a relatively safe environment with proper mitigation.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned that teachers who don’t show up Wednesday will be placed on no-pay status — a move that would likely escalate the dispute.

The union's House of Delegates, its 600-member governing body, approved a resolution for members to teach remotely from Wednesday until Jan. 18, unless an agreement with district is reached or the rate of Chicago Covid-19 cases falls below a certain threshold.

The resolution was subsequently approved by the union’s 25,000 rank-and-file members.

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