Chicago, IL

After Tuesday night's remote vote, Chicago teachers were locked out of online classrooms Wednesday morning

Jennifer Geer

(CHICAGO) Tuesday night, Chicago teachers voted to go remote. The next morning they couldn't log into their classrooms

On Wednesday morning, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) tweeted its teachers had found themselves unable to log into their virtual classrooms. This was after the Tuesday night vote where CTU members chose to work remotely until either January 18 or Chicago's positivity rate came down to below 10%.

According to a tweet from the CTU, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of remote work, "The results of tonight's citywide electronic ballot are in. Starting tomorrow, all CTU members at CPS schools should be working remotely. The result of tonight's vote was 73 percent in favor of the remote-work-only job action."

Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have made it clear they want children to be in school in person. According to a tweet from Lightfoot, "Our charge right now is to do what we’ve always done—follow the guidance of medical experts at the @ChiPublicHealth, the @CDCgov and others, to keep schools open in-person with a robust set of mitigation tactics in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

At a news conference this morning, CTU President Jesse Sharkey said, "We want to teach. We are prepared to do that remotely starting today.”

However, classes were canceled for Wednesday. There is neither in-person learning nor online.

Teachers locked out of online classrooms

Further, on Wednesday morning, the CTU reported via Twitter that many teachers were unable to log into their virtual classrooms, "We are being inundated with calls and emails this morning from educators who attempted to log into their platforms to connect with their students and teach remotely, and safely, but are being locked out by Mayor Lightfoot."

What are the union's demands?

According to the Chicago Tribune, CTU would like the district to teach remotely for two weeks while further Covid mitigations are put in place. The union had also asked for the following:

  • students and staff to have a negative test before returning to the building
  • guidelines for when a school or the district would switch to remote learning
  • KF94, KN95, or N95 masks to be provided to all staff and students

Chicago schools had planned for students and staff to take Covid tests before coming back from the holidays. However, there were problems with the tests as thousands came back as "invalid."

Parents don't know what to expect for the rest of the week

Chicago school buildings remain open Wednesday for meals and vaccination clinics. Parents have been told they will receive more information about the rest of the week by Wednesday night.

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