by ctu communications | February 23, 2018
After months of failed promises from CPS, including in strategic bargaining, the CTU has filed a fast-tracked grievance charging CPS network chiefs with directly violating our contract by attempting to force a massive amount of excessive paperwork and grading requirements on teachers. CPS has until the end of this month to respond, so look for an email with updates in the near future.
This problem plagues teachers across CPS, and our grievance is written to provide relief for ALL of our members. Our grievance charges CPS and network chiefs with:
- Requiring schools to use pacing guides;
- Implementing grading mandates that violate the CTU/CPS guidelines;
- Insisting on rigid grouping and instructional techniques;
- Demanding five week assessments that correspond to vendor provided templates;
- Strong-arming teachers to place redundant and absurd common core state standards language into their gradebook assignments.
- In Networks 3 and 9, using gradebook monitoring tools that require at least three standards-based grades per week, even though CPS' head of labor relations assured us that the network had no frequency mandate.
We’re demanding that all networks end these violations of our contract, under the terms of the following contract articles:
- 3.8: including 3.8.1, targeting provisions for grievances not under the jurisdiction of a principle or administrator – this allows us to fast-track the grievance.
- 44-21: contract-mandated limitations on paperwork.
- 44-30: lesson planning, which says teachers do not have to file separate unit and lesson plans, gives teachers wide discretion in crafting lesson plans – and mandates that teachers get adequate time to submit lesson plans or supplements.
- 44-32: required assessments, which requires CPS to clearly stipulate and publish by June 30 a schedule of mandated assessments for REACH, state or federal laws and regulations, and programs like IB that require a test for student credit or program accreditation.
- 44-33: grading practices, which mandates that teachers ‘shall exercise their independent professional judgment in developing their grading practices’ – a requirement that CPS is flagrantly violating.
- We're also demanding that all network chiefs end their use of monitoring tools that require three grades per week, work within the contract-mandated limitations on their authority – and cease and desist from continuing to insist on grading quotas, scripted curriculum, pacing guides, periodic network assessments, format and style of lesson planning, and any additional paperwork mandates.
Our contract is only as strong as the demand that it be enforced, so we extend our gratitude to every member who’s reported excessive paperwork issues and provided the evidence we need to fast-track this grievance. You can read the full grievance at this link. For more information, contact your field rep (look them up here: www.ctunet.com/reps) or contact the CTU Grievance Department at Grievance@ctulocal1.com.
by jesse sharkey - ctu vice president | February 22, 2018
Trump's proposal to arm teachers with guns is appalling. We should instead arm teachers and students with trauma support, wrap-around services and well-resourced classrooms for youth already struggling with the dire consequences of gun violence and economic hardship.
Since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre, more than 200 school communities have been traumatized by gun violence, most recently in Parkland, Florida. President Donald Trump has proposed addressing this wave of tragedy by arming teachers. We could not more strongly disagree, unless President Trump intends to arm teachers and students with social workers, school counselors, trauma services, wrap-around supports and adequately funded classrooms. He should also arm Chicago’s public school teachers and students with school libraries with librarians, robust athletic programs, enrichment programs in art, music and culture—all of the components of a full and rich educational experience that are currently denied to the bulk of our students.
Putting a gun in a teacher’s hand will neither address nor ameliorate gun violence. Many of our schools are already militarized with metal detectors and armed guards, including off-duty Chicago police officers, empowered to arrest students on the spot. Yet the daily lives of our students, teachers and support staff are routinely punctured by the sounds of sirens and gunshots. As teachers, we contend almost daily with the devastating news that another student or relative has been cut down by gun violence. In a five-month span last year, seven Henderson Elementary School students were shot or wounded by gun violence. And Henderson’s experience is not unique. In 2012, 29 current or recent Harper High School students were shot. Eight died. Today, Harper is slated for closure, after more than $7 million—74 percent—in cuts since that bloody year. That kind of disinvestment, like Trump’s proposal to ask the teachers of 7-year-olds to pack pistols, moves us in the wrong direction.
Trump’s proposal will only intensify rather than de-escalate gun violence, just as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school closures will not solve—and may instead exacerbate—gun violence in Englewood and in our city. In urban cities like Chicago, where income inequality is growing, we need to end the economic violence that drives street violence. Unfortunately, we lack the leadership at the local, state and national level to take proven steps to unpack the root causes of violence, ease the trauma of survivors, and reduce the likelihood of further tragedies.
Trump’s appalling "proposal" demonstrates that he is not only out of touch, but that he—like so many corporate politicians—cares more about protecting the interests of his donors than our children.
We understand the anguish of Parkland’s students, and we support our students’ right to make common cause with the Stoneman Douglas High School community, and every community marred by violence. Our youth intimately grasp the gravity of the danger they face, and they deserve the right to take a public stand to demand safety, security and support.
by Marisa Novara, Beatriz Ponce de Leon and David Stovall | February 20, 2018
When Chicago Public Schools announced plans last June to close the South Loop's National Teachers Academy and create a high school in its place, a group of concerned community residents, non-profit leaders, academics and students welcomed an opportunity to complete a Racial Equity Impact Assessment of the proposal.
Here's what we learned, and why we believe NTA should stay open.
At the invitation of the group Chicago United for Equity, our committee of 12 started by examining the potential impact of the proposal and how the district planned to minimize negative consequences. We heard community testimony, reviewed relevant data and ultimately determined the racial equity impact using an assessment tool from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.
And while there are some supporters of the plan to close the elementary school in order to open a high school, the community outcry against the closing of NTA has been constant and undeniable. We've witnessed similar resistance, too, regarding the closing of all four neighborhood high schools in Englewood in order to replace them with a single Englewoood High School.
Just this week, Chicago Public Schools CEO, Janice Jackson, announced that the plan to open a new Englewood High School will go forward, but the district will keep three of the existing schools open until current students graduate, stating that she heard the community perspective and was responding to their concerns. The decision to close NTA however, has not been finalized.
Here's what we think CPS should consider.
Please click here to continue reading at www.chicagobusiness.com.
by Pavlyn Jankov | February 13, 2018
Amazon “fulfillment centers” are bleak compared to the biodomes that adorn their Seattle office.
The frenzied bidding for the Amazon headquarters has made a spectacle of economic winners and losers among America’s cities. Led by Rahm and Rauner, Chicago’s business and political establishment are eager to fork over billions in tax credits and other subsidies for the promise of jobs. Amazon’s warehouse and logistics footprint keeps expanding across the exurbs of cities, with the help of billions in tax dollars. Yet, scholars find their promise of job growth empty.
Though Amazon’s game pits city against city, recent research shows that inequality has risen more within metropolitan areas than between regions. Much of the increasing inequality is linked to the shift towards tech and the knowledge economy. This trend is already well established in Chicago, where the benefits of high-paying jobs are distributed inequitably, reinforcing the cycle of segregation.
The ample resources at downtown’s selective-enrollment Jones College Prep contrast with under-resourced neighborhood school Crispus Attucks (later closed).
Amazon and tech industry inequity
Signs of these inequities are present all throughout the tech economy. The lack of diversity in tech has drawn scrutiny from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ever-increasing rents have brought gentrification and displacement throughout the Bay Area – threatening social mobility there.
Within Amazon inequity thrives. Jobs at their warehouses, or “fulfillment centers,” are non-union, dangerous, low-paying, and require rapid, high-stress work. Innovations by Amazon will allow them to push the pace even further by tracking and surveilling their warehouse workers. Meanwhile, Amazon seeks to ensure downtown amenities and a public transit network for its headquarter workers and managers. For these better-paid employees, Amazon presumably wants access to affordable, safe, middle and upper-class suburbs along with “good” schools.
Read more at A Just Chicago.
by Maria Moreno, Financial Secretary | February 08, 2018
There are two (2) vacancies on the CTU Executive Board:
- Two (2) Elementary School Teacher Functional Vice President
All voting members of the functional group of the House of Delegates may vote for one (1) candidate for each vacancy, no matter how many are nominated.
THE PROCEDURE IS AS FOLLOWS:
- Nominations for vacancies shall be advertised on the CTU website and via email preceding the nomination meeting, in the Chicago Union Teacher and in the meeting notice bulletin for the month of the election.
- Only those members of the House of Delegates, who represent the functional group to be voted on, may nominate, second the nomination and vote. Only persons in the functional group may be nominated. Associate delegates may vote.
- Nominations will be taken from the floor and seconded from the floor at the April House of Delegates meeting.
- Voting shall take place at the May House of Delegates meeting following the nomination meeting.
- Prior to the House of Delegates meeting where voting will take place, all eligible candidate names will be posted by functional group on the CTU website, listed in alphabetical order by last name.
- Pre-printed ballots will be provided by the Rules-Elections Committee. To prioritize the order, the Rules-Elections Committee will put names in a hat and list them in order of selection. Elected members of the Executive Board may vote within their functional group. Non-voting members of Executive Board may not vote, unless they are a delegate.
- At the meeting where the voting is to take place, each nominee shall have the opportunity to speak for one minute in the order in which they appear on the ballot, if they so desire.
- Delegates will be called to the voting area to pick up the ballots, have their badges checked and sign the voters’ signature list.
- Voters will place cast ballots in boxes at the designated locations.
- When voting is complete, Rules-Elections Committee members will count the ballots.
- Up to two representatives per candidate may be present during the counting. The candidate may be one of the representatives.
- The President will announce the results by the end of the meeting.
- Whichever candidate receives 50 percent plus 1 will be automatically seated as functional vice president. In the case that a candidate does not receive a majority (50 percent plus 1) of the votes cast, there will be a runoff for the position at the next House meeting. Candidates in the runoff election will be those who received the greatest number of votes. The number of candidates in the runoff election will be equal to twice the number of remaining vacancies for the position. Runoff ballots will list candidates in order of the number of votes received and beginning with the highest number of votes. For example, if one (1) elementary school Functional Vice President vacancy remains after the initial election, the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes (excluding the candidate who received 50% + 1 of the vote) will participate in the runoff. In the case of a runoff, each remaining nominee will be given one minute to speak in the order in which they appear on the ballot, at the meeting where the runoff voting is taking place.
- Rules-Elections committee requests that the voting take place as early in the meeting as possible.
by valerie strauss - washington post | February 06, 2018
On Oct. 28, 2015, the D.C. public school district put out a statement lauding itself, with this headline: "DC Public Schools Continues Momentum as the Fastest Improving Urban School District in the Country."
For years, that has been the national narrative about the long-troubled school district in the nation's capital: After decades of low performance and stagnation, the system was moving forward with a "reform" program that was a model for the nation. The triumphant story included rising standardized test scores and "miracle" schools that saw graduation rates jump over the moon in practically no time at all. Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama's education secretary for seven years, called it "a pretty remarkable story" in 2013.
That tale is looking a lot less remarkable in the wake of revelations that educators and administrators, feeling pressure from their bosses to boost graduation rates and student performance, allowed many students who did not have the requisite qualifications to graduate.
A city study – undertaken after press reports revealed the scandal – found that more than 900 of 2,758 students who graduated from a D.C. public school last year either failed to attend enough classes or improperly took makeup classes. At one campus, Anacostia High in Southeast Washington, nearly 70 percent of the 106 graduates received 2017 diplomas despite violating some aspect of city graduation policy.
It was a shock for many people in the District, including, apparently, Antwan Wilson, the chancellor who has been running the district for about a year and said he didn't know anything about the practices that sparked the scandal.
But the truly shocking thing about D.C.'s exploding schools scandal? That it isn't shocking at all. It isn't, at least, to anybody paying attention to the last decade of school "reform," which has attempted to run America's public education system as a business. It's a model that advocates say is the only way to improve public education but that critics say is unworkable and even immoral when it comes to children and a valued civic institution.
by Maria Moreno, Financial Secretary | February 05, 2018
Congratulations Citywide/PSRP/Clinician Delegates
Paper nominations were mailed to citywide members on November 13, 2017 and were due December 4, 2017. The CTU received nominations in 7 city-wide categories and 0 nominations in 10 city-wide categories. In the categories that received nominations the number of nominees was either equal to or less than the number of positions available. As a result, the current nominees will be seated at the February, 7 2018 House of Delegates meeting. Procedures for filling remaining citywide vacancies can be found at the end of the list of citywide categories.
DT – (Teacher Citywide, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Social Worker) – 23 Vacancies total, 11 filled, 12 remain open
- Therese M. Boyle
- Jereece M. Brown-Sutton
- Sharon Gunn
- Jared P. Hennen
- Emily M. Penn
- Judith B. Schechtman
- Bessie Tsitsopoulos
- Jacquelyn L. Tuite
- Benita A. Whitfield
- Brad A. Wildi
- Daniel J. Zoller
TA – (School Assistant I & II, School Assistant Bilingual Spanish I & II, School Assistant Bilingual I & II, Teacher Assistant Montessori Program I & II, Educational Sign Language Interpreter I & II, School Social Service Assistant and Instructor Assistant I & II) – 31 Vacancies total, 15 filled, 16 remain open
- Lisa A. Catledge
- Sherri L. Dabney-Parker
- Charman Dortch
- Kimberly Henry
- Gloria A. Higgins
- Delphine Hill
- Catherine Y. Johnson
- Kelsey Kirkpatrick
- Georgia M. Maberry
- Marilyn Piggee
- Reyne M. Powers
- Julieta Riesco
- Cynthia Y. Smith
- Sharon D. Stamps
- Lashawn A. Wallace
SC – (School Clerk Assistant, School Clerk I, Interpreter Clerk, Special Education Support Clerk, School Clerk I-Bilingual Spanish) – 21 Vacancies total, 10 filled, 11 remain open
- Rosa B. Ayala
- Barbara J. Davis
- Tonya P. Doss
- Denise M. Fells
- Arttice S. Gaither
- Carmen Monarrez
- Lucille Thompson
- LaNedra J. Vaughn
- Bessie Watts
- Sabrina A. Woods
TT – (Certified Substitute Teacher, Day-to-Day Substitute Teacher, Cadre) – 9 Vacancies total, 2 filled, 7 remain open
- William E. Christensen
- Jeff M. Schecter
VH – (Audio Visual Technician, Audiometric & Vision Screening Technician) – 1 Vacancy total, 1 filled, 0 remain open
- Patricia L. Blanchard
ST - Speech Language Pathologist – 8 Vacancies total, 3 filled, 5 remain open
- Laurie B. Drucker
- Beth A. Eysenbach
- Paul J. Gruodis
PN - Hospital Licensed Practical Nurse – 2 Vacancies total, 2 filled, 0 remain open
- Ida M. Hathaway
- Bonnie R. Johnson
TN - School Nurse - 3 Vacancies total, 0 filled, 3 remain open
CT - Computer Technician - 4 Vacancies total, 0 filled, 4 remain open
SS - Student Special Needs Program Assistant - 1 Vacancy total, 0 filled, 1 remains open
AD – (Parent Advocate, Parent Advocate Bilingual) - 1 Vacancy total, 0 filled, 1 remains open
GC - Guidance Counselor Assistant - 3 Vacancies total, 0 filled, 3 remain open
CR - School Community Representative - 2 Vacancies total, 0 filled, 2 remain open
HN - Health Service Nurse - 1 Vacancy total, 0 filled, 1 remains open
YI - Youth Intervention Specialist - 1 Vacancy total, 0 filled, 1 remains open
LA – Library Assistant – 1 Vacancy total, 0 filled, 1 remains open
Procedures for Filling Citywide Vacancies
A member who wishes to fill such a vacancy must be in good standing and be a member of the functional group they wish to represent.
A member who wishes to fill such a vacancy shall submit a letter of support signed by at least ten (10) CTU members in their functional group.
A member who wishes to fill such a vacancy shall participate in the activities of the union such as delegate trainings, regional meetings, and other CTU events.
The member shall submit a description of their past union activity, including participation in events and CTU activities and any/all positions they have held in the Chicago Teachers Union.
Please mail nominations to the attention of Norma E. Albor, Assistant to the Financial Secretary as follows:
Norma E. Albor
Chicago Teachers Union
1901 West Carroll Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612-2401
Retiree Delegate Election Results
Due to a clerical error 33 retiree delegate positions were reported for this current delegate election cycle. However, based on the total number of retiree members there are only 29 retiree delegate positions. On January 9, 2018 the Rules & Election Committee voted to seat the top 29 vote-getters. For the candidates who received vote totals in the 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd places, Rules & Election voted to seat those candidates as delegates in the order of their vote totals should positions become open during the course of the term.
|Mary Sharon Reilly||961||Winner|
|Patricia A. Knazze||909||Winner|
|Howard L. Heath||800||Winner|
|John W. Lewis||798||Winner|
|Beatrice S. Lumpkin||778||Winner|
|George E. Milkowski||778||Winner|
|Patricia A. Jones||774||Winner|
|Deborah A. Pope||771||Winner|
|James W. Stewart||769||Winner|
|Theresa D. Daniels||762||Winner|
|Margo T. Murray||750||Winner|
|Mary I. Edmonds||743||Winner|
|Patricia A. Boughton||715||Winner|
|Helen M. Ramirez-Odell||707||Winner|
|Lawrence E. Milkowski||690||Winner|
|Cecelia D. Scott||674||Winner|
|Jamilah M. Ali||661||Winner|
|Claire E. Falk||660||Winner|
|Stephen D. Livingston||659||Winner|
|Jean R. Schwab||643||Winner|
|Cathaline Gray Carter||610||Winner|
|Wiliam R. Lamme||608|
|Glory A. Margotte||597|
|George N. Schmidt||533|
|Maria J. Rodriguez||526|
|Louis N. Pyster||507|
|Rose Mary Finnegan||502|
|Robert F. Bures||472|
|Barbara J. Baker||434|
|Queen E. Jackson||406|
|Sarah E. Loftus||400|
|Susan E. Hickey||374|
|Ava C. Harston||363|
|Jerald A. Siegel||362|
|Carmen V. Collazo-Robinson||267|
|Christine C. Etapa||259|
by robert bruno - University of illinois at chicago School of Labor and Employment Relations | February 02, 2018
The labor movement is bracing for a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that not only threatens to erode the ability of unions to protect workers against abusive employer practices, but also perpetuates the rhetoric that individuals “are forced” to join a union.
Under Illinois law, public sector unions owe a duty of fair representation to members of a bargaining unit where the union has been elected by the workers to represent them. Workers in this situation are entitled to union representation regardless of whether they are actually members of the union.
However, the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act also provides that unions and governmental employers can, and often do, negotiate a “union security clause” that authorizes non-union members to pay agency fees for “wages, hours and other conditions of employment.” As a consequence, members of a bargaining unit do not have to join the union that represents them for purposes of collective bargaining, but they do have to pay for that representation.
by ctu grievance department | February 01, 2018
Arbitration is the final step in our contract that can be used to resolve a grievance or dispute, and defined as the private, judicial determination of a dispute by an independent third party. When the Board of Ed moves to dismiss a tenured teacher for cause, the teacher is entitled to a hearing before an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) hearing officer. There are several recent arbitration and ISBE cases of interest.
- An arbitrator has rejected paying religious holiday pay for PSRPs, but members were handed a powerful victory in a similar case related to clinicians and counselors. In the PSRP case, the arbitrator said that since the language in Board Rules concerning paid religious holidays specifically mentioned teachers, and since there wasn’t a history of PSRPs receiving religious holiday pay when Good Friday was a working day (due to Good Friday always falling over Spring Break in the years immediately prior to 2015), PSRPs are not entitled to take the day as a paid holiday—though they could use a PB day or take a zero day for it. We attempted to argue discrimination, but the arbitrator held that different job categories receiving different benefits does not constitute “discrimination.” Good Friday falls over Spring Break this year, but the issue of religious holiday pay for PSRPs going forward is one we’ll address in our next contract, which we’ll begin bargaining over this summer, so stay tuned.
- We won a powerful victory for clinicians and counselors on the PB issue—one that produced thousands of dollars in back pay for members—so many thanks to all of the members who testified in this case. The CTU filed a grievance in 2015 on behalf of clinicians and counselors who utilized the provision for religious holidays but who were never provided with substitutes. It’s been a long haul in this battle, but CPS has finally settled the case for more than $50,000. More than 200 clinicians and counselors just received pensionable checks as part of the settlement. In addition, CPS has agreed that it will not deduct substitute pay for clinicians when there are no substitutes provided. Members (below) came into CTU headquarters this week to pick up their checks and celebrate, along with the attorney on the case, Josiah Groff, and field representatives Joey McDermott and John Kugler.
- We also recently won an important grievance related to REACH ratings, where CPS has been responding to many grievances by dismissing the procedural violations they raise as “de minimis”—too minor to warrant granting the grievance and overturning the rating. We strongly disagreed, arguing that if our contract requires it, the Board must do it, pointing to the word “should” in our contract as a mandate. The arbitrator in this case agreed that where the principal gives the teacher hard copies of evaluation feedback but fails to enter information into RLS, this indeed violated our contract and warranted overturning the teacher’s rating.
The result? A veteran tenured teacher who was laid off out of seniority for an unsatisfactory rating was returned to work with full back pay and benefits! This case should also help us with future REACH grievances where procedural violations hurt our members’ ratings.
- As you may be aware, CPS has increased its scrutiny and enforcement of possible sick day abuse, and has been performing numerous audits of our members. We recently received two ISBE dismissal decisions on alleged sick day abuse; one positive and one negative.
ISBE ruled against a tenured teacher who did not request Union representation during the CPS investigation that led to her dismissal charges, and did not use available CTU legal assistance for her ISBE case, to which she was entitled. She instead chose to retain private counsel. The Board accused her of using sick days for a series of religious holidays over a period of many years. The ISBE hearing officer found that the evidence supported the Board’s allegations that she had engaged in fraud. She has been terminated and is currently appealing through the courts.
ISBE ruled in favor of a tenured teacher who was arrested on serious charges but never convicted, and whose wife put in for his absence on AESOP for a day while he was in jail. He used PB days for subsequent court matters, and was not convicted of the charges that led to the arrest. The CTU represented the member in the ISBE hearing, where we argued—and the hearing officer agreed—that the teacher had worked for more than 20 years with no prior disciplinary record, there was insufficient evidence that the teacher’s conduct with respect to the sick day constituted an intentional misrepresentation and the evidence did not support the Board’s claims that the allegations that led to the teacher’s arrest were conduct unbecoming a CPS employee. The upshot? Our member has successfully retained his position.
In another CTU win, Washington, Juarez and Lincoln Park counselors received payouts totaling more than $200,000 after teaching classes for credit, setting a precedent that counselors would only be required to do counseling work.
Our Grievance Department, field representatives, organizers and legal and support staff are here to help delegates and members challenge contract violations through school PPCs, the grievance process and our organizing strategies. Talk to your field rep to learn more about how to use our contract and our union’s resources to protect your rights, your classroom conditions and your school community.
by ASIAHA BUTLER - Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) President | February 01, 2018
Five years ago, I wrote a post on the online community board, Everyblock, titled, “No schools will be left in Englewood by 2017!”
In it, I pointed out the grim statistics about our neighborhood schools: Many were on probation, didn’t have adequate resources, and were plagued by the racial inequity, segregation, and systemic issues that are considered the norm for Chicago. I felt that the community needed to get involved and find ways to invest in schools to provide our children with the best educational experiences possible.
Now, fast forward to today. Chicago Public Schools is hosting community meetings about a new state-of-the-art, $75 million high school to be built in Englewood. This is a victory, right?
Not at all—because this school is being built at the cost of closing the four current high schools in Englewood.
To add insult to injury, CPS is using a strategic plan that I helped author to justify its decision.