Are begging or empty threats enough to get Chicago teachers to return to school?

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, right, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a Jan. 26 press conference that failed to get the schools re-opened.(Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, right, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a Jan. 26 press conference that failed to get the schools re-opened.(Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

We shall see. In the meantime, the Chicago Teachers Union continues abusing children

Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a sometimes emotional press conference Thursday morning said the ball is in the court of the Chicago Teachers Union if an agreement is to be reached got re-open the city’s schools.

I think the ball is in her court.

The mayor said the Chicago Public School negotiators and herself waited around for hours Wednesday night waiting for its latest demands for opening the school. That’s the normal sequence: management makes an offer, union responds.

Not so in this case. The CTU, when it does come to the negotiating table, “keeps pushing the goal posts back,” the mayor said, including demands that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic or safety. Even so far as to demand, she said, “defunding the police.”

Lightfoot left unsaid what action would be taken if the union doesn’t return to the table by tonight’s deadline or if they do and their demands remain unacceptable.

Not being a lawyer, I can’t name all the avenues open to the city to force the teachers back. Today’s press conference seemed like a final attempt to rally public opinion to pressure the CTU to compromise and return.

Failing that, can CPS sue the union for violating its contract? How can individual teachers who refuse to return can be punished?

The Cicero school district sued its union to re-open its schools, but a Cook County judge, in one of the more startling decisions, ignored the science and turned aside the district’s request for an injunction.

Lightfoot and the public schools have the moral if not the legal high ground. My own guess is that appealing to the union leadership’s good conscience and whatever devotion they have to the children’s welfare will not be enough.

Comments

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  • Your opening sentence may be libelous. Dennis, are you prepared to defend it in a court of law?

  • "Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a sometimes emotional press conference Thursday morning said the ball is in the court of the Chicago Teachers Union if an agreement is to be reached got re-open the city's schools."

    How is this libelous? Whom did I libel?

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