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One consequence of Mayor Lightfoot’s four-day lockout is that today’s paycheck is not a full one, due to the fight for safety in our schools during a lethal surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.

But we continue to push Chicago Public Schools to reinstate those four days of work and wages, just as we continue to meet with CPS daily and hammer out enforcement issues in the new district Safety Agreement. I also urged the Board of Ed this week to reverse the mayor’s punitive action and do what’s right — restore the wages we’ve been denied, which is a responsible course that the Agreement allows.

It has always taken a job action to move Mayor Lightfoot and her team at CPS to at least make an effort to deliver on safety and equity. I know that doesn’t make your sacrifice any less frustrating or easier to bear, especially as uncertainty caused by the pandemic continues to impact the finances of so many. So remember, you have the opportunity to help cushion any blow from the lockout with an interest-free loan. The United Credit Union is accepting applications through next Friday, Feb. 4. You can find complete details, including information on how to apply, on the CTU website.

Your advocacy is making a profound difference in individual school communities, and even Board of Ed President Miguel del Valle publicly proclaimed the importance of honoring our agreement. But as you know, nothing with CPS comes easy. So as we move forward, we must move forward together, in solidarity, and continue to move the needle toward safety for everyone in our school communities.