A ‘Safety Strike’

After four and a half months working at a distance, pupil services personnel in the schools of the city of Chicago returned to school on Monday. Just days later, the workers' union representing thousands of employees of the CCC held a press conference. The working conditions are unsafe, they said, and if the administration does not allow support staff to return to work remotely, the union will go on "strike security."

"We are here today to urge the City administration of schools to return to full service distance students for the fall semester, as has been done since March," said Tony Johnston, president the normal schools of Cook County, which represents about 2,000 employees of the faculty, staff and security in the CCC Union.

More than 400 consultants, IT staff, testing center employees and members of the child care center staff have been working on campus this month. According to the CCC, pupil services personnel will be on campus during the "peak period inscription" between August 3 and 20. Earlier this week, employees of the CCC were notified that a member of staff security at the Olive-Harvey College had tested positive for COVID- 19.

in a statement, the CCC has reiterated its commitment to health and safety, but no deployment of new security procedures referred.

"ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and support our students to achieve their academic goals are our top priorities," the statement said. "We recognize that while some of our students can take advantage of remote services, some students with little or no college experience or technology previously served better in person."

COVID-19 counts cases show a trend to the rise in Cook County, Illinois., Where all schools in the CCC seven are. The average number of new cases each day in Cook County is around 600. On Thursday, Illinois reported about 2,000 new cases.

"Since March, when the CCC closed due to COVID-19, there has been no vaccine, no cure, no treatment available to COVID, why is CCC running to take students and staff back to school? " Lucia Mascorro, an academic advisor at the College Malcolm X, said during the press conference.

The stakes are high for students and staff who are at high risk of potential complications COVID-19.

Russha Harris, an administrative assistant University Olive-Harvey, is a survivor of breast cancer and has congestive heart failure after chemotherapy.

"for maintenance come last and only empty the trash was really discouraging. Without doorknob he dried; not cleaned or disinfected counter or sprayed "Harris said. "I can not run the risk of getting the disease, because if I get sick, I do not think I'll do it. I just want to feel safe at work. I love my job, I love what I do. "

Adriana Alvarez, office assistant in Olive-Harvey, said he noticed many cases of unsafe behavior.

"On my return, I realized that my immediate area had not been cleaned or disinfected. He had not yet received a mask. I entered public areas where employees or staff were not wearing their masks, "Alvarez said. "There is so much one can do with social distancing. Once you take your mask off, it is in the air. Our ventilation is not the best; garbage is not being collected -. in the bathrooms of the water current is yellow out "

In a recent survey member, three-quarters of the members of the union, said he did not trust the city schools to keep safe, and only 5 percent they said they felt safe in returning to college campuses. Johnston said that 85 percent of members said they would be willing to participate in a "safety stop" to ensure safe working conditions, beginning on August 24, the first day of school. Johnston said the faculty also expressed the willingness to strike with his colleagues if necessary.

The union is considering a vote of confidence in the current administration CCC.

The notes of the CCC that its reopening plan has been reviewed by the Department of Public Health in Chicago, and plans follow the rules and recommendations of the Departments of Public Health, the Council of Higher Education Illinois Illinois and Chicago, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The union contract contains a provision not to strike, and a strike would be illegal under the Industrial Relations Act of Work Education Illinois, the CCC said when asked about the possible strike. Johnston said that even with the provision, was unprecedented to attack. The last union went on strike in 2004.

"This strike is based on our safety and health. Pretty simple, "Johnston said. "We have had the support and backing of our largest affiliates - the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers both have endorsed or supported any local or advice decide to strike on the basis of security. While a strike itself would be illegal, if our members decide it is necessary, we will. "

It is believed that the CCC has not been negotiating in good faith with respect to plans reopening, and who they have been few opportunities for employees to provide information on the plans.

"is one thing not to negotiate in good faith on the negotiations of the contract, but this is not our livelihood, these are our lives," Johnston said. "And so this is a crucial issue that deserves your attention, and still have not seen that attention."

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