Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago Teachers Union at Odds Over Plan to Reopen Schools

The mayor previously said she hopes schools will be back in session by the fall - even if changes are necessary

chicago public schools

An adamant Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated Monday that the city isn't reopening the collective bargaining agreement it forged last fall with the Chicago Teacher's Union amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While the mayor says the Chicago Public Schools and CTU remain in communication regarding discussions to reopen schools, the union asserts that's not the case.

Union representatives claimed the school system has tried to force school clerks back into school buildings without guaranteeing access to personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer or clean facilities.

"The mayor is, in fact, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to be even less transparent than her predecessor," according to a post on CTU Local 1's website.

In October, a strike by the CTU resulted in canceled classes for at least 11 days before an agreement was reached with the city.

On Monday afternoon, Lightfoot stated that there will be "plenty of time for discussion," but that the city will continue to be guided by public health when deciding on a timeline for reopening schools.

Lightfoot said last week that she hopes city schools will be back in session in the fall — even if changes are necessary. When asked about alternative options like staggered schedules for students, the mayor said discussions were underway.

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