The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today following a ruling from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board that denies a request for injunctive relief against Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s CPS leadership team for removing the mask mandate without bargaining with the Union.
By way of a 3-2 vote this morning, Wednesday, March 16, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board — chaired by former Chicago Public Schools lawyer Lara Shayne — denied a request for a preliminary injunction concerning Mayor Lightfoot’s unfair labor practice in disregarding January’s COVID-19 Related Safety Protocols Memorandum of Agreement and unilaterally implementing a mask-optional policy in Chicago Public Schools without bargaining with the Union. The case now moves to trial before an administrative law judge, along with seven other COVID-related unfair labor practice charges pending against CPS.
The Chicago Teachers Union will continue to stand up for maximum safety in Chicago’s public schools and communities. Despite disregard for the collective bargaining process from Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools, our rank-and-file members remain committed to serving students and families safely, and fighting for essential pandemic safety mitigations around vaccinations, contact tracing and COVID-19 testing.