Chicago Public Schools students will have the option of whether to wear masks, starting next week.
The district’s mandate was originally maintained under a contract agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union — despite Illinois dropping masks for schools statewide last week.
But yesterday, the district announced it’s dropping that mandate.
In response, the Chicago Teachers Union has filed an unfair labor practice charge.
Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said what she hopes comes out of the charge is to have school officials “sit at a table with [CTU] and figure it out.”
“The duty to negotiate is not just a labor right—it is a health and safety right that all the humans need in this city,” Davis Gates said.
She pointed to the fact that as of yesterday, less than half of students are fully vaccinated. And for students under 5, the vaccine isn’t available yet.
“It is a fact that we have immunocompromised students and workers who are going to need more than just a ‘good luck’ from our mayor,” she said.