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Chicago students headed back to class after city reaches deal with teachers union

Classes have been canceled for four days after the union voted for remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and omicron variant.
Image: Chicago Public Schools cancels classes due to union vote
Darwin Elementary in Chicago, on Jan. 5, 2022.Jim Vondruska / Reuters
/ Source: NBC News

Chicago public school students are set to return to class Wednesday after the city and the teachers union reached an agreement with the district over COVID-19 issues, officials announced Monday night.

Classes in the nation’s third-largest public school district have been canceled since last week in the disagreement.

Monday, the fourth day of canceled classes, the Chicago Teachers Union said there was a vote to suspend the “remote work action,” and Chicago Public Schools said there was an agreement.

Staff will report Tuesday, and in-person classes will resume Wednesday, the school district said.

The union’s action, approved by 73% of members, called for remote instruction until “cases substantially subside” or union leaders approve an agreement for safety protocols with the district.

The district, which has rejected districtwide remote learning, responded by locking teachers out of remote teaching systems and docked pay. Classes were canceled, which left parents trying to make arrangements during the shutdown.

The teachers union’s House of Delegates on Monday voted to suspend the remote work action.

The union’s rank-and-file membership must still vote on the proposed agreement, the CTU said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday night that in-person learning “is far superior” to the remote classes, and the city has argued that on campus is the safest place for students to be.

“No parent should be forced to make the choice between earning an income to take care of their family, or being home to monitor their kids on remote learning,” she said. “That is a choice we should never force parents into, absent an emergency that did not manifest itself this time.”

The teachers union has said the city had not done enough to ensure that students and teachers can return safely.

This story first appeared on