CHICAGO — Two of the largest unions in Chicago Public Schools are demanding more safety measures to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19.
Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 members held a press conference Thursday at Barton Elementary School in the Auburn Greshem neighborhood.
A press release from the two unions promised to “step up resistance” if more safety procedures weren’t put into place.
“Look it means we need to stay safe. Stay with me don’t go to strike yet, because I know that’s the word we come. Stay here with me for a minute. Why am I begging for safety?,” said CTU VP Stacy Davis Gates.
For weeks, the CTU has said CPS wasn’t ready for students to come back to school, but teachers still were in class for the first day on Monday.
The union has brought up several, what they call, “dangerous” safety issues when it comes to CPS’ mitigation plan for COVID-19.
CPS has spend millions of dollars upgrading schools in preparation for this school year. As expected however, Covid cases are popping up all over the district.
So far, this first week of school reported 28 adult cases and 11 student cases, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Thirty-eight schools have reported at least one positive case as of Wednesday. More than 100 are quarantining due to close contact.
The union sent a photo of a crowded hallway at a CPS high school. More photos have been popping up on social media as well. They say mitigation protocols are not being done district-wide.
They want testing to be mandatory for the 100,000 or so CPS student that aren’t eligible for the vaccine, not to mention air conditioning at schools.
CTU will continue bargaining with CPS Thursday. SEIU will go back to the table Friday.