Mayor Lightfoot’s new Board of Education has a lot of injustice to undo. From closures, staffing cuts and health care price gouging to overtesting and massive paperwork overload, CPS educators are fighting attack after attack. Join us at the next meeting of the mayor’s newly hand-picked board of education. Let them know our schools have real needs that must be addressed, remind them that the new mayor ran on an equity education platform that aligns with our needs and demands – and tell them that we need a fair contract now.
TONIGHT, 6pm: Passages charter protest!
Striking CTU members at Passages Charter School, in Edgewater, will be picketing starting at 5 pm tonight outside a fundraising gala at 825 W. Erie for Asian Human Services (AHS), the company that operates Passages.
Passages teachers joined their brothers and sisters already on strike at CPS when they walked out on Tuesday, October 22, after contract talks with AHS broke down.
AHS canceled today’s bargaining session, the same day as their gala fundraiser, and yet they say none of the money raised will actually be used for the school.
The issues faced by the 40 unionized teachers at Passages are similar to those faced by striking CPS teachers. They are calling for staffing to provide wraparound services to their students, who are mostly immigrants and English-language learners. Teachers at Passages earn 30 percent less in compensation than CPS teachers while working a longer day, leading to a high rate of teacher turnover.
Craig Maki, the CEO of AHS, makes $250,000 a year to manage one school, while CPS CEO Janice Jackson makes roughly the same to manage more than 500 schools. Passages Charter School accounts for almost half of the total AHS budget.
It’s unconscionable that Maki and his friends are having a gala event while teachers and students wait for them to resume bargaining.
It’s outrageous that Passages pays a fat salary to CEO Maki and substandard wages to its teachers.
AHS claims they haven’t got the funds to meet student needs, even though AHS gets the same funding as every other charter and district school that has agreed to meet the same contract demands with the CTU since 2017.
To add insult to injury, AHS asked teachers to purchase tickets to the fundraiser gala at a cost of $155, a “generous” $20 discount off the regular ticket price of $175.
In just three days on strike, Passages teachers have already enjoyed many expressions of solidarity, including visits to their picket line from a bus full of unionized flight attendants, picketers at nearby CPS schools, and CTU President Jesse Sharkey.
Email Chris Baehrend for more information.
It’s important that we end this week on a high note. So, SEIU 73 and CTU are coming together to create a Sea of Red and Purple that will recreate and even surpass one of the high points of our 2012 strike.
In 2012, our march to Buckingham Fountain gave an amazing aerial view to workers downtown of just how many educators and supporters are affected by this strike. We’re recreating that experience and know that this massive gathering will have a tremendous impact again. Try to get downtown early, so you can make it to the fountain (Columbus Dr. and Congress Pkwy) by 2:00pm. Of course, we recommend public transportation.
In order to provide more information about the status of our strike and negotiations, we will hold a telephone town hall at 7:00 p.m. Members with up-to-date phone numbers in our database will receive a call around 7:00. Just answer your phone to participate.
As a celebration, a show of solidarity and a general pick-me-up from the exhilarating and exhausting work of bargaining and striking, the Chicago Federation of Labor has co-sponsored with CTU and SEIU 73 a rally and day of fun at Union Park. This will be a family-friendly event for CTU, SEIU, Chicago labor and all of Chicago!
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, founder of the Moral Mondays movement, President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival will bring the voice of his civil rights activism to the cause of striking educators with the Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International Union Local 73.
As a leader of interfaith prayer and activism, Bishop Barber has brought together some of the most important movements for justice in the 21st century. Historian and professor Timothy Tyson named Barber, “the most important progressive political leader in [North Carolina] in generations,” saying that he “built a statewide interracial fusion political coalition that has not been seriously attempted since 1900.”
Reverend Barber has observed, “When you deal with race from systemic perspectives and examine disparities, you can show how policies that disparately hurt black people end up hurting us all.” His work has sought to unite people of all backgrounds to fight systemic injustice and raise a moral mirror to our society.
New Mt Pilgrim MB Church, led by Pastor Marshall Elijah Hatch in its current home since 1993, has served Chicago’s west side since 1957. While preserving the intricate architecture of their church’s previous incarnation as a Catholic cathedral, the congregation has installed some of the most important Black church art of this century, including the Maafa Remembrance Window, the North Star Window and the Sankofa Window.
Join Bishop Barber and Pastor Hatch, as well as AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson, CTU President Jesse Sharkey, SEIU President Dian Palmer, and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, as we bring inspiration and perspective to the struggle unfolding today in the strike over the future of Chicago’s public schools.
See Rev. Barber’s address at the CTU’s 2015 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Clergy Breakfast.
A meeting for non-union and union charter educators to reflect on current issues with their administrations’ reopening plans and define ideal remote learning conditions for the fall + what action we have to take to win
- Chicago charter students and staff will not be the canaries in the coal mine
- Join us for a virtual town hall to discuss charter school reopening plans and how we as educators can fight back to win safe learning conditions for ALL Chicago students.
- In addition to multiple teachers from different grade levels and content areas (including sped teachers), speakers will also include two students, a parent, and non-teaching staff.
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
CTU members in the charter division have coordinated our contracts in the charter division in order to maximize our collective power to win rights, funding, and power for our members, our students and our communities.
As we move towards opening bargaining with our employers, your voice is critical to ensure that our process is transparent, member-led, and effective.
CAT teams in your building will be doing one-on-one interviews with each of our members for each of us to be able to contribute genuine feedback.
Sign up below.