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.”

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“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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