Chicago Teachers Refused To Return To In-Person Teaching. Chicago Now Says They Will Not Be Paid.

Emily Zanotti:

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union refused to return to classrooms Monday, even though Chicago Public Schools officially reopened to some in-classroom learning. Now, the city says teachers who called in sick without an excuse will be considered “absent without leave” for each day they refuse to turn up and may not be paid for their time.

CTU has resisted a return to classrooms nearly since in-person learning was suspended back in March of 2020, at the start of the nationwide coronavirus pandemic. As Chicago officials neared a decision on returning to in-classroom learning, at least part-time, and for a select number of students — preschool-aged students and students who require one-on-one instruction, including “severe” special needs students — CTU even went so far as to suggest forcing teachers back into classrooms was “racist” and sexist.”

Late last week, CTU issued a new series of demands, telling Chicago Public Schools that “no teacher should be required to teach in person until all school employees have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, or until the city’s positivity rate falls to 3 percent and its rate of new cases falls below 400 per day,” according to The New York Times, and informed CPS that teachers would not show up to work on Monday if their demands were not met.