CTU blasts Lightfoot, claims she's refused help from the state to provide COVID tests and other resources

After another day of unsuccessful negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union, CPS officials remain hopeful that classes will be back in session on Monday, Jan. 10; however, some parents said they’ve already received emails from their principals notifying them that classes are canceled.

As of Friday evening, no district-wide announcement had been made regarding the status of school on Monday.

While the tug of war between CPS and the CTU drags on, many families will spend their weekend unsure when their children can return to school.

"We just want to be safe," said Dawn Kelly, CPS special education teacher. "When are we going to get the things we need to do that?"

"What we’re asking is not too much, all we are saying is we would like our students to test negative before entering into the building," said Briana Hambright-Hall, CPS teacher.

The CTU, on Friday blasted Mayor Lori Lightfoot, claiming she’s refused offers from the state to provide COVID tests and other resources for the district.

"Riddle me this, Madame mayor. If the state is giving you, or offering you, or asking you if you need support, why are you not responding?" said Hambright-Hall.

When asked about those claims, the Office of Mayor Lightfoot directed FOX32 Chicago to CPS.

CPS and the Office of Governor J.B. Pritzker did not immediately return our requests for comment on Friday.

"It’s not CTU’s job to unilaterally decide the safety and well-being of schools," said Jeffrey Schwab, senior attorney, Liberty Justice Center.

Meantime, a group of parents is suing the union. Their attorneys have filed a motion for an emergency injunction to get teachers back into the classroom.


"Under Illinois law, if CTU wants to hold a strike, there’s several conditions that have to be met before they can go on strike. One of the conditions is clearly not met here and that is the collective bargaining agreement has to be terminated or expired. That’s clearly not the case," said Schwab.

Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Pedro Martinez released the following statement Friday evening: 

"Bargaining sessions continued today and went into the evening. The sessions remain productive but must be concluded this weekend."

Families can expect additional communication from the district over the weekend.

A spokesman with CPS shared this statement: 

"CPS is committed to working toward an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union throughout the weekend, and we are dedicated to working day and night so we can get our students back to school next week, hopefully on Monday. We know families need to plan ahead and we will be sending additional communication over the weekend with a status update regarding classes on Monday."