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American Federation of Teachers leader Randi Weingarten said Tuesday that Chicago educators are battling both the coronavirus pandemic and "fear" as an impasse continues over resuming in-person learning in America's third-largest city.
"We're fighting a pandemic and now we're fighting fear," Weingarten told "The Faulkner Focus."
"And what we're trying to do as a union is get the safety measures in place, I'm on the phone constantly with Chicago, in trying to actually have that kind of plan so that we can address both the pandemic and the fear."
Weingarten briefed Biden White House officials last week on the standoff betweeen Chicago public officials and the Chicago Teachers Union, an affiliate of Weingarten's AFT.
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly voted over the weekend to refuse a district order to return for in-person instruction on Monday.
The city said it viewed the move as a de facto strike.
Biden sided with the union on Monday, saying that teachers want to work as long as it's in a safe environment.
BIDEN DECLINES TO TELL CHICAGO TEACHERS REFUSING TO TEACH IN-PERSON TO GO BACK TO WORK"We should make school classrooms safe and secure for the students, for the teachers and for the help that is in those schools maintaining those facilities," said Biden, who has vowed to reopen most schools within his first 100 days.
The district has pushed back the expected return date for their staff to Wednesday as negotiations continue.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPLas Vegas schools are pushing to reopen following a spree of student suicides, which has raised concerns about the negative effects of remote learning on mental health.
Weingarten said the union was continuing to negotiate every hour to try to secure the vaccine and testing protocols they believed necessary for safe reopening.
Fox News' Greg Norman contributed to this report.
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