Chicago Parents Sue Teachers Union Over Refusal To Teach In-Person


A group of Chicago parents this week sued the city’s teachers union over its refusal to teach classes in person.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted on Tuesday night to only teach classes remotely, arguing the rise in COVID-19 cases and an alleged lack of protective measures made it too dangerous to instruct students inside classrooms.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) deemed the action an illegal work stoppage and canceled classes for three consecutive days as officials negotiated with union leaders. CTU and city officials also filed competing labor complaints.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County circuit court, offers a similar view of the union’s refusal.

The union “never sent a notice of intent to strike to CPS, the regional superintendent, or the Educational Labor Relations Board,” the suit states. “And less than 24 hours elapsed from the time CTU members voted on its measure to authorize a strike on January 4, 2022, and when they did not show up for work in-person the next day, in contrast to the requirement under Illinois law that 10 days elapse from the vote to authorize a strike to the time a strike begins.”

The law in question, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, outlines requirements for when teachers go on strike.

The union, which did not immediately return an inquiry, has said the attempt to shift to remote learning is not a strike. Tennille Evans, a teacher and union organizer, told reporters in a briefing that it’s “a work action, not a strike,” but the parents say that no part of state law, no contract, and no local ordinance authorizes the union to decide to teach virtually without approval from the Chicago Board of Education.

The … (Read more)

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