Chicago Teachers Say Some Progress Made on In-Person Return

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Some progress was made Saturday in talks between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools, but the sides remain apart over other issues ahead of a scheduled return to in-person teaching on Monday.

“We still do not have agreements on the most critical issues on the table,” the union said in a update on its website.

Those include the public health metrics that would guide the safe reopening of schools, and providing educators the opportunity to be vaccinated before they’re required to resume in-person work, according to the union. The union is also asking that teachers with high-risk medical conditions be given telework accommodations.

“We are encouraged by the progress that we have made. There is still significant work that needs to be done on the remaining several open issues,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS chief executive officer Janice Jackson said in a statement. “We must make additional, meaningful progress today and tomorrow as time is running out.”

On Friday Lightfoot said no deal had been reached with the teachers. The mayor wants in-person instruction to resume for preschool, special needs and kindergarten through eighth grade in the third-largest U.S. school district, which serves some 341,000 students. A teachers’ strike is possible if the sides don’t reach a deal.

Tentative agreements were reached Saturday in four areas, the teacher’s union said: health and safety protocols; ventilation; contact tracing; and safety committees.

Read more: Chicago Students Wanting to Return to In-Person School Drops

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