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State teachers’ unions warn of safety strikes

The union presidents said if a return-to-learning plan is not safe, they will act.
Teachers' unions
Teachers' unions(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 2:39 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin and Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery released a joint statement on Wednesday.

The two said they are working to ensure that any district providing in-person instruction in Illinois is prepared and able to abide by the safety measures outlined by the state, the federal government and medical professionals.

“If those measures are not met, we will do everything we can to protect our students and those who care for them – teachers and professors, bus drivers, classroom aides, secretaries, building janitors and everyone in between. No avenue or action is off the table – the courts, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board - nothing, including health and safety strikes. The entire weight of the IEA and the IFT will be used in whatever way is necessary to protect the students and the staff who educate them,” according to the joint statement.

The union presidents then said if a return-to-learning plan is not safe, they will act.

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. Unions were founded on workplace safety. The COVID-19 pandemic brings us back to our roots. This is the power of belonging to a union – to be able to collectively stand to protect those who need it – employees, students and their families. We especially need to protect those students who live in communities where health care is lacking, non-existent or unaffordable. We are in this together and we are in this to keep everyone healthy, safe and learning,” according to the joint statement.

You can read the entirety of the joint statement here.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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