The Chicago Teachers Union instructed its members not to reveal if they have been vaccinated amid an ongoing battle over school reopenings, according to Tuesday reports.
The Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union have been clashing over resumption of in-person classes in the city’s public schools for over two months. The school district opened its doors in March for schoolkids from kindergarten through eighth grade, Fox News reported. The Chicago union first voted to defy the reopening order, demanding teachers’ vaccination. (RELATED: Chicago Teachers Union Votes To Defy School Reopening Plans, Demands Vaccinations Before Returning To Classrooms)
A few weeks later, the union agreed to a reopening plan proposed by the Chicago Public Schools. Now, however, the union appears to have discouraged its members from sharing vaccination status with the local public school system — this despite the public schools’ attempts to make vaccination easier for teachers and staff by tracking vaccinations, according to CBS Chicago. The union members reportedly received an email recommending the teachers “wait to respond to the vaccination survey.”
“I don’t have a problem with people answering this kind of survey… I do have a problem with [the public schools] not bargaining it with us,” union president Jesse Sharkey told CBS Chicago, commenting on the letter.
The Chicago school system vaccination page shows a total of 16,500 staff and teachers have been offered or scheduled appointments, but only over 4,200 employees reported receiving the vaccine, according to the report.
Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously accused the teachers union of putting politics before kids.
“When you have unions that have other aspirations beyond being a union, and maybe being something akin to a political party, then there’s always going to be conflict,” she said.