The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates has voted to send a proposal on resuming in-person learning at Chicago Public Schools to its rank-and-file membership for a vote, taking another step toward breaking a negotiating impasse that has gone on for several weeks.
The vote comes after CPS officials said that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement on a return to in-person learning over the weekend.
The CTU, who has said that there is no “tentative agreement” with CPS since membership has yet to vote on the issue, emphasized that again Monday evening, confirming that the House of Delegates had indeed voted to send the measure to rank-and-file members, but not that the HOD had “tentatively accepted” the proposal.
The union also announced the results of a "no-confidence" vote in the leadership of Lightfoot and CPS, with 90% of delegates voicing their opposition to the mayor's leadership:
The deal, if approved by the more than 25,000 members of the CTU, would have kids in pre-K and cluster learning classes back in classrooms by Thursday. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade would return March 1, while children in sixth through eighth grade would return on March 8 as part of a staggered return schedule.
Teachers and staff would be eligible to receive additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine earmarked for the union through the new proposal. New procedures for shutting down classrooms, or even the entire CPS, to in-person learning are also part of the proposal, along with enhanced contact tracing and other safety measures.
“I feel like we’re getting to the light at the end of the tunnel,” Tiffany Norwood, an HOD member and a pre-K teacher, says. “I feel like now we’re getting over the hump.”
Norwood has three kids in CPS schools, and has naturally followed the negotiations with great interest.
“I feel like with this new plan, points we were trying to discuss from the beginning are being more easily identified now,” she said.
Approximately 20% of students in Chicago Public Schools opted into a return to classrooms, according to officials.