CHICAGO (CBS) —  On Tuesday morning, the Chicago Teachers Union got together virtually to talk about the Chicago Public Schools’ decision to dock pay if teachers who are required to return to in-person classes don’t show up.

A North Side elementary school teacher said a staff member tested positive for COVID, after setting up her classroom last week. On Monday, CPS said 145 employees were AWOL, absent without leave.

That’s out of 3,800 who were scheduled to show up. On Tuesday morning, one teacher said CPS is ignoring the health risks created by such a large school district with so many people.

“I think it’s very irresponsible to compare what other school districts are doing and how successfully they’re doing it, when we being such a large school district with so many different types and sizes of schools, are rushing and not properly prepared,” said CPS teacher Diana Muhammad.

Only preschoolers and special education students started back on Monday.

Students in kindergarten through eight-grade go back into class February 1.

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