Here we are again. With the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire, Covid-19 cases around the country have shattered previous highs. The federal government has essentially given up on trying to fight the virus, and a familiar ghoulish chorus of media pundits and wealthy business executives are berating working people to suck it up and put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of the economy. What’s worse, workers who are standing up for themselves are being viciously vilified and scapegoated for the systemic failures that have put us in this mess.
Perhaps no group is facing more backlash right now than educators. Earlier this week, nearly three quarters of the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted to return to virtual work until a deal to implement necessary safety measures is reached with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), or until the city’s positivity rate falls below 10 percent. In response, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the CPS administration have locked educators out of their virtual classrooms, replaying their actions from last year when Covid-19 cases were surging and teachers were locked out of their employee accounts and had their pay docked if they refused to return from teaching remotely. In this urgent, unscheduled mini-cast, we talk about the lockout with Ana, a CPS teacher and CTU member, and Quetzalli Castro, a CPS teacher and a delegate and organizer within the CTU.
Additional links/info below…
- Chicago Teachers Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- Petition: “We need safe working and learning conditions in CPS!”
- CTU informational posters: “Our Students, Parents & Communities Deserve Safety”
- Working People, “Mini-cast: #SafeReturnOrNoReturn (w/ Paula Ladin & Mariana Ruiz)”
- Quinn Meyer, Block Club Chicago, “Chicago Teachers Say They Want To Return To Classrooms, But They Need Better COVID-19 Safety Measures”
- Monica Eng, Axios Chicago, “Chicago Public Schools Cancel Thursday Classes”
Permanent links below…
- Working People Patreon page
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
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Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InTheseTimes.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.