The mayor’s team continues to drag its feet on critical components of the layered mitigation strategies we need to keep our members, students and school communities safe and, at this point, we are looking at returning to school buildings without a full safety agreement.
The Delta surge has raised concerns from the district about attendance this fall, so it’s crucial that CPS begin bargaining in earnest over our proposals, and become partners in landing a safety agreement before the start of classes on August 30.
CPS proposes to offer testing to all adult teachers and staff but not to all students. Limited student testing would be triggered by the citywide transmission rate and, except for sports, only offered to unvaccinated students.
CPS is still attempting to roll back many of the health and safety protocols agreed to in the winter and spring, including six feet of social distancing where possible and metrics for school-wide and/or classroom shutdown or pause.
With the mayor and CPS imposing in-person instruction on all students beginning Aug. 30, the safety protocols we agreed to in the winter and spring must remain in place.
Educators, students and families want to feel confident about heading back to schools, so the sooner we have clear, actionable plans for increased staffing, vaccinations and safety measures, the better for all of us.
We have been clear about what our members, our students and their families need to return to school and, more broadly, to begin the long road to recover from the pandemic.
The CTU proposal for the fall would set a baseline of 80 percent vaccination rates for eligible students and school communities, strengthen ventilation requirements, connect members in need of accommodations with CPS “Virtual Academy” positions and invest in school community needs.
This evening, the House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to end our remote-only work action, approve the tentative framework that our rank-and-file HS steering committee unanimously approved last night, and conduct an all-member vote on this TA as soon as is practical.