The vote by rank-and-file members for the proposed framework for returning to in-person classes was certified just before 12:30 a.m. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the proposal passed with 68% of the vote. The paper said 5,000 members did not vote, which indicates simmering tensions within the union.
Jesse Sharkey, the president of the union, issued a statement that read, “This plan is not what any of us deserve. Not us. Not our students. Not their families. The fact that CPS could not delay reopening a few short weeks to ramp up vaccinations and preparations in schools is a disgrace.”
Some students could return to classrooms as soon as Thursday, with the reopening of school phased-in by grade.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has been criticized by the union, touted a preliminary agreement with the teachers union over COVID-19 safety protocols on Sunday, when she told parents that they could expect to send their children back to classes this week.
“These past 11 months have been a whirlwind for our entire city, pushing us to limits countless times. We’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost loved ones… We have all been on a nonstop emotional rollercoaster that we have individually and collectively tried to navigate,” she said.
Fox News’ Greg Norman, Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this report