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Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Gas leaks from old boilers

  • Dust – especially from asbestos ceiling tiles and lead paint in windows –not swept or mopped up

  • Food left rotting in garbage cans over the weekend and rodents and bugs crawling all over buildings

  • Children’s bathrooms are beyond deplorable

The health and safety of students and staff are compromised in three significant ways:

  1. Crumbling buildings

  2. Toxic buildings

  3. Filthy buildings

We have contract provisions that allow us to fight against these dangerous conditions, but members need to document and collect information.

Article 14 of the CTU contract, “Safe and Healthy Work Environments,” stipulates that all school staff shall work in safe and healthful conditions (14-1) and that any situation that is likely to cause harm will be assessed with an on-site inspection within three days (14-2). Article 44, “General Provisions,” stipulates that teachers should not have to clean their own classrooms (44-3), that bathrooms need to be clean (44-5) and that every area in the school building will be cleaned each day (44-5).


  1. Document everything! We have schools that are using a google spreadsheet or this document to track cleanliness problems. Please take lots of photos and email them to the CTU.

  2. Raise this issue at your monthly PPC meetings

  3. Call your field representative to file a grievance

  4. Talk to the LSC and to parents and encourage them to speak out

  5. Involve your local politicians

  6. Organize a group from your school to testify at the monthly board meetings

  7. Request a meeting with one of the board members:

  8. Become deeply informed:

    • If any of these tests, assessments or inspections are outdated, fight to get updates!

Chicago Teachers Union