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Chicago Teachers Union approves COVID-19 safety agreement

a CTU sign seen in the window of a car
Teachers and members of the CTU assemble a car caravan near Union Park in the West Loop of Chicago on January 5, 2022. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union narrowly approved the COVID-19 safety agreement reached this week with the school district, bringing to a formal end the standoff between the union and the school district and the mayor that closed schools for five days.

Nearly 56% of 18,600 CTU members who voted said yes to the agreement, the CTU announced Wednesday evening. The slim margin reflects a strong sentiment by school staff that the deal did not include enough protections to make a difference for student and staff safety.

Teachers and parents also continue to worry about staff shortages, and that was borne out Wednesday as some schools struggled to staff their classrooms and offer instruction. The school district said nearly 89% of teachers reported to work overall.

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