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Chicago Teachers’ Union Votes to Strike, Cancels In-Person Classes

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Chicago students will not be able to go to school beginning Wednesday, after its Teachers’ Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to strike against in-person learning. Of the 22,000 members, 73 percent vot4ed in favor to take a “remote work action” until the Omicron spike dwindles.

The powerful Union was no match for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who begged the teachers to delay the vote, and instead, come to the “bargaining table.” Lightfoot wanted the city to be able to present its “updated plan” for safely returning to schools.

“We should not allow the CTU to shut down an entire school system, and for what? We don’t know how long the CTU will stretch its work stoppage” said Lightfoot. The Union denied her request outright.

CTU demands returning to work with the Covid-19 Omicron variant is irresponsible and puts students and teachers at risk. Lightfoot, however, said if teachers walk out on Wednesday, it will constitute an “illegal” collective action. She threatened those who do so will but put on no-pay status.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez backed up Lightfoot saying it would cause classes to be canceled altogether because the district does not have the authority to go remote. Only the state’s governor has that authority.

On Monday, Lightfoot said in a statement “What we have learned from this pandemic is that schools are the safest place for students to be: we have spent over a $100 million to put mitigations in place, most CPS staff members are vaccinated, and we generally see little transmission in school settings.”

“Keeping kids safely in school where they can learn and thrive is what we should all be focused on” the Mayor added. Martinez sent an email to the community Sunday in which he wrote he stands “firmly behind the decision to protect our student’s physical and mental health and promote their academic progress by keeping CPS schools safely open for in-person learning.”

“The amount of noise that is out there right now, the amount of misinformation, we have so many people that are afraid, from parents to my staff, because of the misinformation and I again, I continue to plead, let’s listen to our medical professionals,” added Martinez.

National Review reports “Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady reiterated that the virus poses minimal risk to children and therefore a reversion to school closure is unreasonable, especially given that the district plans to expand its testing regime.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dagney Taggert

    January 5, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    On STRIKE?! GOOD!
    NO WORK- NO PAY

  2. Robert Grossman

    January 5, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    End the gravy train. Teachers go on strike so none of this strike time should count toward pensions. No work, no pay!

  3. Sad4theUS

    January 5, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    They can go ahead and go on strike but withhold their pay for all the time they’re out and refuse to teach! They’ll change their minds real quick, no letting them go on vacations and do whatever they want and continue to get paid… no work, no pay, and that’s how it should be!

  4. Juan

    January 5, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    They should be fired. but of course they won’t. Look for more backfire due to democrat policies. Lightfoot coddled the union, as has biden and the rest of the democratic supported unions and now its payback time. in the meantime kids suffer.

  5. Juan

    January 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I guess my comment on firing these teachers hit a nerve with google. my message is “awaiting moderation” mmmm Reagan did it wth the air controllers but there is no willpower today

  6. Keith Allen Breedlove

    January 5, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    Mayor Lightweight ought to emulate Pres. Reagan with the air traffic controllers and fire all the ones who do not show up to teach on Monday.

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COVID-19

Freedom in the UK: Johnson ends ‘all Covid measures’ including mask wearing

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The United Kingdom is enjoying a huge announcement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “the end of all Covid measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant – compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates – from next week” reports The Guardian.

For those with coronavirus, the legal requirement for them to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24. Johnson also announced an immediate end for students to wear masks at secondary schools.

“From tomorrow we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas,” Johnson told the Commons.

“In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”

The Prime Minister said Covid data was “showing that time and again this government got the toughest decisions right” and that plan B rules that were put in place in December could all be lifted from next Thursday, the day after a pre-existing review point.

The Guardian notes Britain had expected Johnson would soon be ending work-from-home guidance and the mandate to show a certificate proving vaccination or proof of a recent negative Covid test. However, the immediate lifting of mandatory mask rules will “come as a surprise to some.”

Johnson is receiving some push back from some teaching and health unions. The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said ministers would “regret sending the wrong signal to the public for political expediency”.

Joint general secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted said, “While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down, it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.”

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