Dear all:

Last week at the House of Delegates meeting, I told folks that Mayor Lightfoot had reached out. Today, we met. It was our first face to face meeting. My takeaways: It seems the mayor is willing to talk about issues—but it is unclear if she is willing to listen to the needs of classroom educators and the families of our students. She added that she doesn’t “bend to pressure”—and has yet to commit to being accountable for the commitments that she made as a candidate.

I offered that the members of the CTU have a mission: the schools Chicago students deserve. Currently, nine out of ten schools that serve majority Black students do not have librarians. Right now at Ashe Elementary, there are 38 kindergarteners in a classroom. If we are to move beyond speeches and press releases, the mayor must commit to transforming Chicago’s public schools—by putting in writing the path to create the equity she promised our students and their families.

Today, our rank and file bargaining team met with the mayor’s negotiating team to discuss CPS proposals for teacher prep time, student assessments and teacher evaluation. We were disappointed by what we heard. Their proposals roll back rights we already have and increase principal power.

Please click on the picture at right to watch the video from our rank and file bargaining team members detailing today’s negotiating session.

We’re scheduled to bargain at least twice again this week. Keep building power and solidarity in your schools, talk to your students’ families about what we’re fighting for, and participate in actions that help people understand the opportunity we have to truly transform our schools.

In solidarity,

Jesse Sharkey
President, Chicago Teachers Union