Chicago Teachers Union believes it, not the district, sets school policy, votes to only perform remote learning

Apparently the Chicago Teacher’s Union feels that it calls the shots on whether school in Chicago will be in class, or remote learning. Apparently they voted on their own to shut down in class learning until they deem it okay to return to school.

The vote was approved by 73% of the union’s members, calling for no in-class learning until “cases substantially subside” or union leaders approve an agreement for safety protocols with the district. The Chicago school district is the nation’s third-largest. Students in the district had returned to classes after a two-week winter break.

Chicago teachers union votes to return to remote learning due to coronavirus surge

This is a walkout. Time to suspend the pay and benefits of any teacher who fails to report, bring in substitutes and recruit now employees and not allow any remote learning, with teacher pay.

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#1 There are about 21,000 teachers in Chicago, no way are they going to be able to fill the classrooms with substitutes and recruit new teachers in any type of effective time frame. Working in HR for a school system if they have 10% available as subs, that is high ball’n the figure. And no way can hire 21,000 teachers at the drop of a hat. We start recruiting in February/March hiring for the next school year in August.

#2 I do agree there should be action taken.

  • End remote access to learning systems, except where specifically authorized due to medical exemption or SPED IEP,
  • Require in person leaning as the norm,
  • Disapprove any vacation day requests,
  • Paid sick days will only be approved with medical documentation,
  • Failure to report to work means suspended pay for that day. You can’t suspend “benefits” such as medical insurance, because the premiums have are already paid in advance of the working month.



I do believe the correct answer is to turn off the pay. Possibly a suspension of school with the understanding that the class days will be tacked on to the end of the year. If they won’t report to work, no pay, and no back pay for the period they don’t work. Let them go 4 weeks without a paycheck and have to work 4 weeks in the summer to make up the time they took from the students. But I would also begin recruiting new teachers immediately.

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I just love the incomplete information about surging COVID-19 cases. These individuals tested positive, um, OK…

Are they recovering at home? Hospital? Dead?

Most in my circle of acquaintance, vaxxed or no, have recovered and returned to work. I agree with Mayor Lightfoot that teachers walking out should not be paid.

IMO a society that throws away lives and opportunities of its young to prioritize the “safety” of adults is headed for disaster. Here’s more:

how dare labour vote on what they view is proper working conditions.
labour dispute are not uncommon or evil.

Strikers don’t get paid to strike. And no unemployment for intentional work stoppages. Turn off their pay.

the union pays strikers, its part of the reason they collect dues.
I have no issue with the government stopping issuing paychecks its part of the deal.

You know: I’d be less likely to suspect your sincerity if I weren’t sure that your position would be different if the teachers were walking out over mandatory vaxxing and masking.


That would again be a strike and they would forfeit any pay.

Exactly. This isn’t even them actually taking a principled position. They want to dictate operational policy and still get paid.

This is a lame deflection, since omicron blows right through masks and vaccination status. And we already know firsthand the damage distance learning does to children. These teachers are all supposed to be vaccinated. Which means they are supposed to be generally facing the threat of a mild cold for a 4-6 day period, then recovery, if infected. And every study says schools are not locations of major spread because children are less susceptible, even to omicron.

Quick question.

We all understand how infectious Omicron is.

What happens when the majority of teachers are sick with it at the same time?

Total reported US infections for the entire time period of the virus, across all strains is just under 60 million out of 330 million plus. And the overwhelming majority of these infections to date are not from omicron. So the very premise of your question is false. At no time have we seen anything like even 5% of any population ill at the same time, let alone 100%. And the recovery time for omicron is much shorter. And these teachers are not going to be isolating from all human contact at home. Their potential to be exposed is the same as everyone else in their location. Try asking a question based in reality.

It’s not a deflection, it’s a flat out statement. I believe that you are posting in bad faith

I never said 100% infection.

But what we do know is that Omicron is highly infectious. A lot of people are getting it.

What happens to schools when there aren’t enough people who aren’t infected to run the places?

Labor lawyer here, with plenty of experience with OSHA and the NLRB.

Actually, it’s not a “strike.” The OSH Act specifically states that a refusal to work because of a belief that the workplace is hazardous is not a strike.

For a fuller explanation, see Workers' Right to Refuse Dangerous Work | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Now, it may well be that the four conditions are not met, but the SD would be taking a big risk by treating these teachers as engaging in an unlawful strike, terminating or imposing lesser discipline. I suspect that OSHA (the Agency) would uphold the teachers’ position on this. There might also be consequences under State labor law if Illinois law has cognate provision as the NLRA for concerted protected activity and as an unfair labor practice.

Long story short, I think the Union may hold a winning hand here.

The statement of an irrelevant personal opinion is still just a lame deflection.

The union may well try this argument, but to claim an ongoing threat of illness, so great as to rise to the level of too dangerous to work, would surely be open to challenge. And those claiming such a great belief of risk from an illness among the national population would surely need to show the same concern in their other daily activities.

But I’m sure the legal profession will profit either way.

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Um…there’s a substitute shortage right now.

Where you think they are going to find substitutes if 21k teachers don’t show up?