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Work to Rule

by ctu communications  |  March 20, 2017

Even as 27,000 CTU members discuss and debate the strategy of a May 1st strike or alternative mobilization, members throughout the district have already begun to step up and take action for our school clerks and against the understaffing and meaningless mandates that emanate from CPS and its network offices.

The CTU House of Delegates voted to take up Work to Rule in response to the district’s “pilot” (slated to roll out to more than 100 schools this week) that piles clerks’ payroll work in KRONOS onto already overworked teachers. This stepped up member activity at schools is key to building the power to resist Rahm, Rauner, Trump and Claypool. The Work to Rule tactic is a way to ask parents to push the bad guys, Claypool, Rahm and Rauner to do the right thing on our revenue demands and eliminate the plans to cancel class in June. 

ILLUSTRATION: Lindblom(Teachers and staff at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, the first school to take work-to-rule action this year)

At schools across the city, teachers and other school staff are clocking in and working at the exact time prescribed by the contract and are refusing to stay past clockout time for any unpaid work. So far, the union counts more than ninety schools actively pursuing this Work to Rule strategy and more are joining each day.

The CTU staff are working to help spread this action and give support to schools that want to join. We have compiled some materials developed by rank-and-file members who organized in their own schools. Please take advantage of the resources below to educate parents about the current situation, to build support among staff and community, and to send a message to Rahm, his handpicked Board of Education and CEO Claypool.

Click here for more resources! 

ILLUSTRATION: Keep calm and work to rule

Lindblom teachers are taking action

by lindblom math and science academy  |  March 17, 2017

ILLUSTRATION: Lindblom

Click here to download the flyer

IFT: State Board should have listened to educators

by dan montgomery - illinois federation of teachers  |  March 15, 2017

SPRINGFIELD—In response to the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) unveiling of its plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at today’s meeting, IFT President Dan Montgomery, a veteran high school English teacher, issued the following statement:

“The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has great potential to improve equity, support, and resources in our public schools. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) had the opportunity to include in its ESSA plan suggestions from the very people who work with students every day and understand their unique needs. However, the final draft of the ISBE ESSA plan unfortunately ignores the critical input that teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel provided through numerous venues for public comment, including the Illinois Balanced Accountability Measure Committee (IBAM).

We urge ISBE to consider the ideas it has received over the past year and implement a plan that prioritizes teaching over testing, provides students access to social and academic supports and services, and ensures schools will not be penalized for a lack of resources available to them. Unless we make these critical reforms, we are looking at the failure that was No Child Left Behind all over again.” 

The IFT and others will be providing full testimony at today’s meeting, which will be held at the Illinois State Board of Education (100 N. First St., Springfield) at 9:30 AM.  This meeting will be audio cast at www.isbe.net.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees. 

Deal reached for Aspira teachers, averting strike at privately run charter network

by juan perez jr. - chicago tribune  |  March 10, 2017

Teachers at the city's Aspira network of charter schools reached a tentative labor contract agreement with school managers late Thursday evening, averting what union leaders had billed as the nation's first strike at a privately run charter network.

“Aspira just finally agreed to our terms,” charter teacher Marines Martinez said Thursday. “It’s just a tentative agreement, but we did note that Aspira is finally listening to us."

A two-year agreement includes annual raises of 3.25 percent and 3 percent, a union attorney said. The charter network would also continue to pay the bulk of teachers' pension contributions.

The charter network's school year would be reduced by four days, and the network's school day would also be trimmed by half an hour -- though the union said there would be no impact to classroom instruction time.

Please click here to continue reading at chicagotribune.com

Rally to support ASPIRA teachers

by ctu communications  |  March 09, 2017

Rally to Support ASPIRA Teachers
Thursday, March 9 at 4:15 PM
ASPIRA Business and Finance H.S.
2989 N. Milwaukee

ILLUSTRATION: ASPIRA photo

ASPIRA puts far less money into the classroom than the majority of Chicago schools.  This includes paying our teachers far less than their counterparts in the Chicago Public School system.  This is true despite the fact that ASPIRA receives the same amount of money per student from the Chicago Board of Education.  We support our teachers.  We want the ASPIRA board to pay a fair salary in order to retain our wonderful teachers.

  • Teachers demand that ASPIRA disclose its finances to our union and to the public.
  • ASPIRA Business and Finance looks great but doesn't have the resources to conduct science experiments.
  • Not enough English Language Learner support in the schools.
  • Not enough Special Needs support in the classroom.
  • Highly paid administrators come and go.   (Carlos Claudio left, so who is negotiating with the union?)

ASPIRA Teachers are fighting for a Fair contract.

ILLUSTRATION: ChiACTS logo 

Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff Local 4343
A Council of Educators 

Manifestación para apoyar a los maestros de ASPIRA 
Jueves, 9 de Marzo a las 4:15 pm
ASPIRA Business and Finance H.S.
2989 N. Milwaukee

ILLUSTRATION: ASPIRA photo

ASPIRA pone mucho menos dinero en el las aulas, que la mayoría de las escuelas de Chicago. Esto incluye pagándole a nuestros maestros menos que sus compañeros en el Sistema de Escuelas Públicas de Chicago. Esto es cierto a pesar de que ASPIRA recibe la misma cantidad de dinero por estudiante de parte del Consejo de Educación de Chicago. Nosotros apoyamos a nuestros maestros. Queremos que la junta directiva de ASPIRA le pague un salario justo para retener a nuestros excelente maestros.

*Los maestros exigen que ASPIRA revele sus finanzas a nuestro sindicato y al público.

*La Escuela Superior de ASPIRA Negocios y Finanzas se ve muy bien, pero no tiene los recursos para realizar experimentos científicos.

*No hay suficiente apoyo para los estudiantes de Inglés y Lenguage en las escuelas.

*No hay suficiente apoyo para los estudiantes con necesidades especiales en las aulas.

*Los administradores que reciben buenas compensaciones, van y vienen. (Carlos Claudio se fue, así que ¿quién van negociar con el sindicato?)

Los maestros de ASPIRA quieren un contrato justo!

ILLUSTRATION: ChiACTS logo  

Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff Local 4343
A Council of Educators

Resolutions passed at March 8, 2017, House of Delegates meeting

by ctu communications  |  March 09, 2017

CTU Resolution to Campaign to Save Our Clerks

RESOLVED, that The Chicago Teachers Union embark on a campaign to Save Our Clerks through a variety of activities including circulating a petition to stop the Kronos pilot program; and be it further

RESOLVED to celebrate Friday, March 17 as “Clerk Appreciation Day” and implement a social media campaign to send photographs and testimonials to CEO Forrest Claypool and Board of Education President Frank Clark; and be it also

RESOLVED to inform parents and Local School Council members of the threat to our clerks, and encourage LSC’s to urge CPS to drop the KRONOS Self-Service Pilot; and attend the Wednesday, March 22 Board of Education meeting to protest this threat to our clerks; and be it finally

RESOLVED to commit to a special action during the week of March 20-24, 2017, the day on which CPS plans to implement the Kronos Pilot program in 117 schools. On this day, our members will swipe in at their contractual start time and swipe out at their contractual end time, and will do so for the entire week.

Resolution of Solidarity with Teachers and Staff at Noble Schools, ASPIRA Schools and the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, Local 4343

RESOLVED, that the Chicago Teachers Union will actively support the teachers and staff at Noble charters schools, and anywhere else, who seek to organize unions at their schools and who want a voice to advocate for their schools and the families they serve; and be it also

RESOLVED, that we will actively support our sisters and brothers at ASPIRA in their contract campaign, including sharing resources and promoting solidarity, especially in the preparation and execution of a strike; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that, we will explore possibilities for closer collaboration with teachers and staff at charter schools who are members of a union or are seeking to organize a union, in order to promote and empower member-driven, progressive unionism and defend public education against privatization.

BE IT RESOLVED, that at the CTU schools that receive students pushed out or forced out of Noble “campuses” be documented by our members at the “receiving” schools and exposed to the public by the CTU.

CTU Executive Board May 1 Resolution

RESOLVED, that the CTU delegates will conduct discussions and hold meetings in their workplaces about May 1st strike and/or other actions, for revenue and in solidarity with labor and immigrants, with the aim of taking a vote in the regular April 5th House of Delegates meeting on whether or not to recommend a strike to the CTU membership.

Commentary: Invest in Chicago's schools, teachers to reduce violence

by karen lewis - president, chicago teachers union  |  March 07, 2017

With every Chicago shooting, we get an earful from a politician.

Loudest and most disingenuous is billionaire President Donald Trump, now concern-trolling us with tweets and comments that he will "send in the Feds" and do so much for "our inner cities."

And like his hollow budget address, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to deploy state troopers to "contain" Chicago violence doesn't come across as a way to solve the problem, but to score political points against his wine buddy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Meanwhile, Chicago mourns the loss to gun violence of three children: Takiya Holmes, Kanari Gentry-Bowers and toddler Lavontay White Jr. Having dedicated my life to helping young people realize their fullest potential, my heart aches for their families.

Please click here to continue reading at chicagotribune.com

Illinois needs a People’s Agenda, Not Another 'Bad Bargain'

by Grassroots Collaborative  |  March 03, 2017

The Chicago Teachers Union opposes the Senate’s Bad Bargain AKA “Grand Bargain.” The package of legislation is predicated on the passage of all bills in the package, and our opposition to the following bills necessitates our opposition to the entire deal. We believe that the Grand Bargain is a negotiation to make the Turnaround Agenda a bit better. The Senate Democrats have messaged that they need to get something done and in this case it is undoing workers’ rights and giving every school district in Illinois the very worst parts of the 1995 Amendatory Act. Senate President Cullerton contends that the “Grand Bargain” was sabotaged by the governor. He failed to point to the unbelievable amount of pushback from our members. Our members traveled to Springfield to tell their senators that the Grand Bargain is a bad deal, makin district visits and logging nearly 3,000 calls to their senators in one day!
 
The Senate Democratic Caucus is missing an opportunity.
 
We contend that we need an Agenda that reflects the needs of working families throughout the state. We have offered, in coalition, with our allies a counter to the Grand Bargain—A Peoples Agenda.
 
The people of Illinois do not need watered down worker protections, unfair minimum wages, and retirement security deals struck between corporate lobbyists and political power brokers in back rooms. We need a full about-face from the policy of disinvestment. We need a People's Agenda.
 
Some in the political establishment are working to negotiate and compromise with these destructive policies, but our communities reject false "rock and a hard place" choices and select a new path entirely.
 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who takes mentorship from Rauner — has advised that political leadership take a chill pill while communities in his city and throughout the state deal with the threats of deportations, collapsing social services and public education infrastructures.
 
Illinois needs investments in our people, measures to keep our communities safe, and new revenue so that we can rebuild our state. We cannot solve our problems with cuts - working and middle class families have already been cut to the bone. In order to reverse growing poverty in Illinois, fight back against racism, and support women and children in Illinois, we need a bold agenda that puts the people of Illinois at the center.
 
The People’s Agenda Legislative Platform includes legislation that is being championed by members of several coalitions, including: Grassroots Collaborative, Black Roots Alliance, Fair Economy Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Tuition Free Illinois and other civic and labor organizations.

Staff At Chicago's Noble Schools May Become Nation's Largest Charter Union

by sarah karp - wbez  |  March 03, 2017

Staff at the Noble Network of Charter Schools -- Chicago’s largest and most prominent public charter network -- is expected to announce Friday morning that they are in the process of organizing a union.

If successful, the 800 Noble teachers and staff would be the biggest charter union in the nation.

Noble Street has 17 high schools around the city that serve more than 12,000 students.

The schools are supported by prominent Chicagoans, including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and current Chicago Board of Education Chairman Frank Clark.

ILLUSTRATION: Noble

Please click here to continue reading at www.wbez.org

Retiree Functional V.P. Election Results

by Maria T. Moreno, CTU Financial Secretary  |  February 28, 2017

The Rules-Election Committee counted all ballots received at the Chicago Teachers Union for the Office of Retiree Functional Vice President on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The candidates listed below received the following vote totals.

CandidateVotesPercentage
Gerald Adler 38 2.67%
Barbara J. Baker 70 4.91%
Lance Cohn 10 0.70%
Verdell M. Henderson 6 0.42%
Queen E. Jackson 30 2.11%
Patricia Knazze 511 35.86%
John D. McShane 7 0.49%
Monroe Morgan 9 0.63%
Lou N. Pyster 202 14.18%
Mary Sharon Reilly 542 38.04%
TOTAL 1425 100%

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Note: The Rules & Election Committee determined that there would be a runoff if no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. Therefore, a runoff will be conducted between the candidates Patricia Knazze and Mary Sharon Reilly. Chicago Teachers Union Retired Group members will receive materials via mail to cast their vote. Ballots must reach the Union office no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

Chicago Teachers Union