Chicago teachers to vote on walkout over reopening dispute

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates on Wednesday approved a resolution that would have its members stay out of the classroom until it reaches an agreement on health and safety protocols with the school district.

The resolution now goes to the union’s 25,000 members for a vote. If a majority approve the resolution by Saturday, teachers would stay at home Monday. However, they could continue to teach their students remotely.

The district’s reopening plan requires elementary school teachers to report to their classrooms Monday for the first time since March, in preparation for the return of 70,000 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

In a statement late Wednesday, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Emily Bolton said a decision by teachers to stay at home would mean “stripping tens of thousands of students of the opportunity for safe, in-person learning.”

The teachers union collective bargaining agreement, signed after a 2019 strike, prevents the union from striking during the term of the contract and the district from locking out its workers.

About 3,800 teachers and staff were expected back to schools earlier this month ahead of the return of preschoolers and students in special education programs this week. Three-quarters have shown up to their schools. CPS hasn’t said how many students showed up.