Contents (answers below)
- Are any loans available to help with the hardship of unpaid days due to the strike
- What are my options for managing my federal student loan debt while we are on strike?
- Will we receive retroactive pay when the new contract goes into effect?
- Do we have a contract in effect now?
Are any loans available to help with the hardship of unpaid days due to the strike?
CTU has worked with our national union, the American Federation of Teachers, and with the United Credit Union to make modest strike loans available. All striking CTU members are eligible and the AFT will reimburse members for interest charged on these loans. If you think you might want to take advantage of this program, additional information is available here on our Strike FAQ page.
United Credit Union is accepting applications from CTU members now and the application forms are available from their website or in-person at any UCU location. The first date that funds can be received is November 8, the date of our first partial paycheck. CTU has provided a guide to help with some of the form questions. The deadline to apply for the loans is November 22, 2019.
What are my options for managing my federal student loan debt while we are on strike?
Can I get relief on my federal student loan payments while we are on strike?
We don’t want your student loan bills to add to your stress while you are on strike. If you have federal student loans, there is a vital lifeline for workers that could help you manage your student debt while on strike: income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. Income-driven repayment plans are available in some form to all federal student loan borrowers and may drop your monthly student debt bill immediately – and continue to do so after a strike is won.
What are income-driven repayment plans?
Income-driven repayment plans are repayment plans that base your monthly payment on your adjusted gross income and family size rather than how much you owe. Your payments through these plans can be as low as $0 a month, particularly when your income has gone down, or when you reasonably believe that it will go down, because you are on strike or for any other reason. These plans are free to enroll in.
How do income-driven repayment plans compare to other options like deferment or forbearance?
Income-driven repayment plans are usually better for most borrowers than programs like deferment or forbearance – which can leave you with a lot more debt and should typically be avoided if possible.
With income-driven repayment plans if you’re unemployed or between jobs, you’ll be asked to pay as little as $0 a month in any income-driven repayment plan, and that will keep you current on your loans and moving toward eventual loan discharge.
Will we receive retroactive pay when the new contract goes into effect?
As soon as a tentative agreement is ratified, that new contract will be retroactive to July 1, 2019. The 3 percent raise negotiated for this year will be calculated back to July 1, 2019, and CPS will issue a check to every CTU member in the amount of any pay that would have accrued to them between July 1, 2019 and the date on which paychecks are first adjusted. As with everything CPS, both paycheck adjustment and issuance of retro pay may take some time (and possibly some errors) before everyone gets what they are entitled to. It should, however, be simpler than in 2012 when CPS did not grant steps and lanes at the start of the school year because their bargaining position was to eliminate these.
Do we have a contract in effect now?
Yes. Until a new agreement has been signed and ratified by the membership, we are subject to the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement — the Blue Book. Once a tentative agreement is ratified, that agreement immediately goes into effect, retroactive to July 1, 2019. If an administrator tries to tell you “there is no contract” because the book isn’t printed, they are misrepresenting the situation and they should know it. Demand enforcement of your contract. Combine the TA text found on MemberLink and the Blue Book contract text to determine your rights—don’t wait for the final typesetting and binding in order to stand up for your rights.
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