CHICAGO (CBS) — We got a look inside the agreement between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union that will send kids back to the classroom on Wednesday – and it is not the deal for which many teachers were hoping.
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, pone reason why is that there is no immediate switch to remote learning district-wide – which is what teachers were in favor of a week ago when the whole standoff started.READ MORE: Bucktown Woman Shaken After Being Carjacked During Saturday Morning Spree, And She's Not The First Victim In Her Family
Teachers returned to Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday. Students will return Wednesday morning – all while rank-and-file teachers cast their votes on the proposal over the next 24 hours or so.
The safety proposal that CTU members will now accept or reject amounts to six pages. The union’s House of Delegates gave it the green light – along with agreeing to return to classrooms after voting only to work remotely last week due to the COVID-19 surge.
That vote triggered a lockout by CPS – keeping more than 300,000 students out of school for five days.
“It’s not an agreement that has everything. It’s not a perfect agreement,” Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said Monday night. “But it’s something that we can hold our heads up about – partly because it was so difficult to get.”READ MORE: At Least One Person Injured In Zion Snowmobile Accident
Things the union did get reinstated include metrics outlining when individual schools can switch to remote-only learning. One is if 30 percent or more of a school’s teachers are absent for two consecutive days due to the virus, while another is if more than 40 percent of a school’s students have been instructed to isolate or quarantine.
“I’m really pleased with the end of the work stoppage – in particular a lot of the commitment and work of the teams to come together,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
Since the teachers’ vote to go remote, both Arwady and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have insisted schools are safe despite the COVID spike. In the proposal, the district also promises to provide KN95 masks to all students and staff, and lets schools decide if they want to reinstate a student health screener.
But the rank-and-file – 25,000 teachers – may have the final say.
“Certainly, my hope is that the rank-and-file teachers who will be voting – we’re told sometime later this week – will ratify the agreement,” Mayor Lightfoot said Monday night.
A union spokesperson expects voting by teachers will end around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, with results coming a short time later. If the teachers vote to reject the proposal, Kozlov is told it is possible that union delegates could decide whether to have teachers go remote-only again.MORE NEWS: Mars Wrigley Says It Will Move Most Operations Out Of Its Plant On Chicago's West Side Over Next 2 Years
Kozlov reached out to the district to see if any of the missed days will be made up. There was no answer as of late Tuesday.