The Chicago Teachers Union could vote as early as this week to go on its second strike in as many school years as thousands of teachers and staff continue to protest orders to return to schools they don’t believe are safe in a pandemic, sources told our Nader Issa.
The union is expected to convene its 700-member House of Delegates tomorrow to discuss a work stoppage or other collective action, potentially sending a vote to the 25,000 rank-and-file members of the CTU as soon as the next day, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak about the union’s plans.
If three-quarters of CTU members vote in favor of a work stoppage, a strike could start next Monday, sources said, when Chicago Public Schools officials are expecting thousands of kindergarten through eighth grade teachers and staff to report to work ahead of a Feb. 1 reopening for elementary and middle schools.
Schools chief Janice Jackson said at a morning appearance at Belmont-Cragin Elementary that CPS is “incredibly interested” in reaching a speedy agreement with the CTU over a safe reopening.
“We are not against the union,” Jackson said. “Our teachers are the bedrock of our schools. We cannot do the work that we need to do without the instructors. But at this juncture, we have to come together and not debate whether or not we have in-person schooling, but debate how to do it safely.
“I have every reason to believe we’ll be ready for Feb. 1 provided everything falls into place with our teachers.”