Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed former President Donald Trump for the impasse between her office and the Chicago Teachers Union as the city tries to get students back to the classroom.
“This is a very difficult situation, and we’re in it, still, because of the incompetence of the previous administration. So, I think it’s important for both sides to come to the table in good faith, recognize that we’re both trying to work through a very challenging situation, but we must get a deal done,” Lightfoot said during a Tuesday CNN appearance.
The comments came just one day after Lightfoot told MSNBC that the situation in Chicago was “uniquely local” when asked if she would be seeking help from the Biden administration in the push to return students to the classroom.
“We are talking to the Biden administration but, you know this, these issues are a uniquely local issue. And we are very, very close, and we can get there if the union takes some steps in our direction. Come back to us and respond to the plans that we put on the table,” she said Monday.
Lightfoot and the Chicago Teachers Union have been locked in a battle over the terms for returning to the classroom in recent weeks, with the mayor pushing for about 60,000 students between kindergarten and eighth grade to return to in-person instruction.
But the teachers union has resisted calls to return to the classroom, citing concerns over concerns over their health and issues with vaccine distribution.
“These are really difficult times in a pandemic, exacerbated by the incompetence of the previous administration that didn’t leave us with enough vaccine to really quickly get to the entire population in our city that needs it. But we’re going to keep working hard recognizing the concern that, really, all of our residents have regarding COVID-19,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot signaled some optimism that the city and the union could come to an agreement after the two sides took a “cooling-off period.”
“We are making some progress, and I thought it was in the interest of all that we announce a cooling-off period, meaning the negotiations would continue, intensely, but we would not take any disciplinary action against teachers who were refusing to report to their classrooms,” the mayor said.
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames Trump for impasse between city and teachers union