Why can CTU get away with telling members not to report to classrooms?

While the mayor and union are bargaining, this job action recalls earlier classroom walkouts by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Illinois is one of 13 states that allows public employees to strike. 

No neighboring state allows it, but CTU President Jesse Sharkey says classrooms are not safe now, and teachers won't work in them.

"It's not for Sharkey to determine it's safe or not safe. It's for the doctors to determine that," said labor lawyer Burt Odelson.

Those officials approve keeping classrooms open. 

But the union says families should be forced back into the miseries of remote learning until there's an agreement on regular COVID-19 testing and other demands.  


Why can the union get away with telling its members not to report to their classrooms? 

Illinois has the country's most favorable laws for public employee unions. 

CTU also wields a multi-million political warchest, and often commands a large majority of lawmakers in the state capitol – recently winning a series of new bargaining powers from the general assembly that Gov. Pritzker signed into law.