CTU support for Fair Tax part of broad effort to bring equitable funding, policies to public education sphere as pandemic rages locally—and Mayor’s hand-picked board of ed refuses to follow binding arbitration decision on remote working during COVID spike.

  • 10:00 a.m. Wed., Oct. 14: Press conference (socially distanced), 331 E. 91st St., Chicago. Reporters can also register remotely: email communications@ctulocal1.org.

CHICAGO—With just weeks before election day, teachers unions are pushing for real equity in public education across the nation. Electorally, public education equity in Illinois is directly linked to two critical campaigns: passage of the Fair Tax initiative, which will provide billions of dollars for critical public services by forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes; and the defeat of the Trump/Pence ticket nationally.

AFT President Randi Weingarten is traveling across the nation to stand with AFT locals fighting for equity this election season, as CTU rank and file members and retirees step up the effort to turn out support for the Fair Tax amendment.

Weingarten will join CTU officers, rank and file members and elected officials at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at 331 E. 91st St. on Chicago’s South Side to stand with CTU retirees in their push for a Fair Tax and an end to the disastrous Trump regime. Weingarten will join CTU retirees, elected officials, rank and file CTU members and officers in planting Biden/Harris and Fair Tax lawn signs in the neighborhood.

CTU officers will also field questions on CPS’ refusal to identify schools where COVID outbreaks are currently occurring, even as schools remain staffed by skeleton crews, and on CPS’ refusal to follow a binding arbitration decision that allows school clerks and other staff to work remotely to protect their health and that of their communities. CPS forced school clerks and other workers back into buildings beginning on August 26, even as a growing number of schools are reporting COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, an arbitrator rejected that CPS policy, saying workers should be allowed to work remotely. CPS rejected those findings, even though the arbitrator’s ruling is binding and final.

The Fair Tax will end the state’s regressive income tax structure, which currently forces essential workers and working class families to pay the same tax rates as millionaires and billionaires. The Fair Tax would instead cut taxes or hold the line on tax increases for 97% of Illinois residents, at the same time that finally taxing the rich at fair rates would pump billions of dollars in revenue into state coffers for vital needs like public education, public health and other critical public services.

Wednesday’s event is a major stop on the AFT’s get-out-the-vote bus tour, encompassing 16 different states and over 30 socially distanced events between now and Election Day. The AFT, which counts 1.7 million members nationally, is campaigning for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to secure resources for public education and save the nation from multiple crises caused and exacerbated by failed president Donald Trump.

The AFT’s 2020 get-out-the-vote efforts include peer-to-peer texting, phone banking and the popular AFT Votes app. The union has committed to over 100,000 member engagements between now and Election Day.

Reporters attending remotely can register for the press conference by emailing communications@ctulocal1.org.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.