Chicago Teachers Union Local 1 issued a list of demands late Thursday, telling Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot that their concerns should be addressed prior to students’ return to in-person learning — which is scheduled to happen this coming Monday, January 3.
“Our union proposes Mayor Lightfoot and her CPS team must put mitigations in place — including COVID-19 testing — by Jan. 3 to ensure safety as classes resume. If mitigations are not in place, in-person learning must be paused so the district can implement proper safety measures,” @CTULocal1 tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Our union proposes Mayor Lightfoot and her CPS team must put mitigations in place — including COVID-19 testing — by Jan. 3 to ensure safety as classes resume. If mitigations are not in place, in-person learning must be paused so the district can implement proper safety measures. pic.twitter.com/v4OTVWF8wq
— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) December 30, 2021
The list of demands included, but were not limited to:
- a requirement for all staffers, students, vendors, and volunteers to take and provide proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours of returning to classrooms
- 300 testing sites as well as take-home tests for any students or members of the community who could not get one
- implement pauses in in-person learning if the COVID-19 case numbers reach certain thresholds, returning to classrooms only when mitigation efforts provide results
- reinstate the health screener policy that was used during the 2020-2021 school year
- provide KF-94, KN-95, or N-95 masks to all students and staff who need them — including pediatric-sized masks for students who required those
- a mandatory shift to remote learning if 20% of the staff are quarantined due to exposure or infection
- principals must have the authority to transition individual classes to remote learning if an individual in that class tests positive
The Chicago Teachers Union raised the possibility of going to remote learning earlier in the week, as The Daily Wire reported:
The Chicago Teachers Union is defiantly challenging the Chicago Public Schools, polling its membership to ask them if they would “support a district-wide pause and temporary shift to remote learning.” The same union released a video in January 2021 showing six of their members who were dance teachers performing an interpretative dance to express their feelings about refusing to return to work unless they felt “safe.”
The union posted a safety survey on its website, ostensibly looking to determine how many union members would support a move to remote learning:
To help get our entire union ready for whatever may unfold in early January, we’re organizing an all-member meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28. At this meeting, we’ll be discussing how each member and every school safety committee can contribute to this escalation in our safety campaign. In preparation for Tuesday’s meeting, we are asking every rank-and-file CTU member to complete a safety survey by Dec. 27, so we know what the greatest needs are in every school and to get a sense of possible actions members are willing to take.