UPDATE 1-Chicago teachers union agrees to tentative deal on COVID-19 safety to reopen schools, mayor says
Updates with comment from Lightfoot, union
By Brendan O'Brien
CHICAGO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Sunday that Chicago schools and its teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a COVID-19 safety plan, a major milestone that will put an end to a bitter labor dispute and avert a possible work stoppage.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third-largest school district in the United States, and the Chicago Teachers Union, which represents 28,000 educators, have been locked in talks for months over a gradual reopening of schools, with teachers demanding stronger safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus in classrooms.
"I am tremendously pleased to announce that at long last CPS has finally reached a tentative agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union," Lightfoot said during a news conference.
The Chicago Teachers Union said members have yet to approve the tentative deal.
"The mayor and her team made an offer to our members late last night, which merits further review," the union said in a Tweet before Lightfoot's announcement. "We will continue with our democratic process of rank-and-file review throughout the day before any agreement is reached."
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Lisa Shumaker)
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