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CTU Successfully Settles Grievance on Behalf of Teachers Forced to Work Longer Day

by ctu communications  |  04/23/2013

ILLUSTRATION: Deneen teamCTU officers Kristine Mayle (far left), Michael Brunson (fourth from left)
and staffers Karl Hubert (center, back)
and Jose Jimenez (far right)
join teachers victorious in Deneen grievance settlement.

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) last week received notice that its attorneys, delegates and representatives successfully settled a grievance with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for the Chicago Board of Education’s violations of various provisions of the CPS/CTU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CTU filed the grievance in May 2011 alleging that the Board violated the CBA by scheduling teachers at the Deneen School of Excellence to work an additional 15 minutes during the 2010-2011 school year without an Appendix C waiver.

The Board agreed to pay 25 former and current Deneen teachers for 100 percent of the extra time worked. On Monday, April 8, 2013, CTU attorneys received the full payment of $54,481.90 for the grievance. Settlement checks are being issued this week.

“The unifying and standing together is what really stood out,” said teacher Erma Voss, “and that’s what I’m really proud of.” 

“They all stood tall, never fainted, and eventually their good fight for justice paid off,” said CTU Safety and Security Coordinator Karl Hubert.

Deneen teachers had a waiver vote on June 6, 2011, that rejected a school day of 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the 2011-12 school year—electing to keep their closed campus with an 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. school day. The Deneen principal, however, mandated the change with the support of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, and without a proper and legal waiver vote pursuant to the CBA.

As a result of this inappropriate action on the part of the administration at Deneen—an AUSL school—the teachers requested that the CTU file a grievance on their behalf.

The grievance was denied at the school-based level by the Deneen principal, and then denied again at the CPS Office of Labor Relations, despite the presentation of 10 exhibits establishing a prima facie case on behalf of the teachers. One exhibit was a spreadsheet diligently and zealously prepared by the Deneen teachers, coupled with evidence that no Appendix C waiver vote existed to support the school administration’s arbitrary decision to have its way and deprive the teachers of 15 minutes of their day without appropriate and equitable compensation.

“For me, it’s really kind of amazing to see the patience and endurance that this group has gone through because it has been a long process, there have been a lot of ups and downs, feeling like it’s close to getting settled, and then it’s not, and then it’s going to happen, and then we’re not sure yet,” said Hannah Nolan-Spohn, the Deneen delegate throughout the grievance process. “I appreciate that everybody’s kind of stuck together and had the faith that eventually this was going to get resolved.”

“It was about the respect,” Nolan-Spohn said, “and that’s something that’s worth fighting for.”

Chicago Teachers Union