CHICAGO, March 23, 2021—CTU President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement in response to a City of Chicago report that 6,000 vaccines meant for Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff were reallocated away from the district:
“After listening to the mayor and CPS leadership tell us that vaccinating teachers prior to returning to in-person instruction was impossible, then about how ‘robust’ their plan was, we now find out that 6,000 doses of the vaccine have been taken and given to others instead of educators and CPS workers — many of whom are some of the most medically vulnerable people working in our schools. A number of teachers and staff have had appointments scheduled for less than 24 hours from now cancelled. It’s a failure, on multiple levels, from the people who run our school district.
“CPS and the mayor have been cancelling leaves because they believed vaccinations were offered to our members, and launched a smear campaign accusing them of non-compliance in receiving and reporting doses. But this, plus Loretto Hospital, makes two scandals in a matter of days. Before CPS cancels anyone’s leave, it may want to run an audit on who is doing what with vaccine doses meant for the workers in our schools. And the Chicago City Council should be calling for hearings into how the city is partnering with organizations to administer this potentially life-saving medication.”