CHICAGO — As Chicago Public Schools continues to debate reopening the Chicago Teachers Union says CPS is not prepared with new COVID-19 cases reported in two schools.
The CTU said they’ve received more than 100 complaints from members about safety conditions during the pandemic.
The union also said today five staff members from Canty Elementary are in quarantine after they say workers here tested positive for COVID-19.
Chicago Public Schools remain in remote learning but the CTU said CPS workers such as school clerks still report to work every day.
“Which are mandating that all clerks report into these buildings, this is unsafe, this is unhealthy, we should not be in those school buildings until they are safe, until all clerks have proper PPE,” Sabrina Woods, CPS school clerk, said.
CTU members handed out PPE and other supplies to employees who work in CPS buildings because they say they’re not being provided.
“We received over 100 complaints from our members from the lack of PPE, how CPS failed to enforce social distancing, the poor ventilation in the school buildings, this is unacceptable,” Tenille Evans, with the CTU Teachers Union, said.
The union said workers at two elementary schools, Mt. Greenwood on the South Side and Canty on the city’s Northwest side, have tested positive for COVID-19. The CTU said that’s a sign that the district is not ready to reopen.
“That is a bad sign, that is a sign that you are not prepared. If you’re not prepared for our clerks to go in, how would you be prepared for our 100,000 students or our teachers, to enter into the building?” Evans said.
CPS did respond with a statement saying the following:
“Safety is the district’s highest priority, and the district has gone above what is required to create the safest possible work environments for the few school-based employees who are physically reporting to work. The district is undertaking a comprehensive assessment of every ventilation system in every school building prior to a possible scenario in which students would return.”
CPS has not determined when in-person learning will resume.
They say no proposals to require all staff to come back to schools has been suggested.