CHICAGO (WLS) — In an update Thursday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union still have not reached a deal, despite progress being made throughout the week.
Lightfoot reiterated what steps the city has taken in an effort to ensure safety and said the CTU created chaos, and the ball is in their court.
WATCH: Mayor Lightfoot discusses CPS, CTU negotiations Thursday morning
“Schools are safe,” Lightfoot said. “My patience is up.”
Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson said in a joint statement Thursday: “As of 12:30 PM, we have yet to receive anything back from CTU leadership since yesterday.”
In an open letter sent Thursday morning, the CTU said, “We cannot return to in-person instruction until we have made more progress with the district on CDC-based health metrics, allowing educators with medically vulnerable family members to continue to teach remotely, and addressing real equity needs for the vast majority of our students – particularly Black and Latinx students who continue to learn remotely.”
Lightfoot said negotiations took a “series of steps backward” Wednesday after taking several steps forward on issues like testing and teacher vaccinations.
She said the city “waited for hours” for a proposal on other issues from the CTU that never came and that she won’t wait patiently, “not anymore.”
Lightfoot said the city’s positivity rate is down; children need to be back in school, and parents need to have that option. The mayor and the city health commissioner said, with safety mitigations in place, school can be conducted safely.
Some CPS parents Thursday morning expressed distrust with the district at a CTU news conference regarding safely returning in-person.
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“I don’t think CPS has been fully transparent on how their reopening plan is working out; they constantly changed it before,” CPS parent Dulce Jimenez said.
Lightfoot said she expects teachers to be back in school as soon as possible, but she did not give a date.
Friday is a day off for students, so the earliest they could be back is Monday.
Both sides appeared closer to an agreement early Thursday as thousands of CPS students once again studied remotely while the negotiations continue.
In a document obtained by ABC 7 from sources close to the bargaining table, it appeared CPS and the CTU reached a tentative deal on testing and were close to an agreement on vaccines.
The district agreed to vaccinate 1,500 CTU members a week. But the CTU is asking that number increase as more vaccine becomes available.
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The two sides have not reached an agreement on health metrics that would trigger closing classroom and accommodations for those who care for people with underlying health conditions.
CPS and the CTU are both still hoping to avert a strike.
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Source by abc7chicago.com