Recap of Today’s Member Activities
Picket Lines Strong
Thank you for staying strong and visible in your community. Being on strike isn’t easy. Winning takes sacrifice. Yours is appreciated – and it’s working! We’re finally back to real momentum again at the bargaining table – and it’s your tireless presence on the picket lines and in the streets that has gotten negotiating back on track after the mayor put the brick on negotiations two days ago.
We’ve heard positive feedback from many schools who went out with flyers to canvass their neighborhoods. Members reported feeling buoyed by the conversations they had with parents and with members of the public. Even where members encountered concern, hearing from individuals who care for children has helped to sway community members about the justice of our fight. Mostly, though, we heard incredible support for our cause. If you haven’t done a community canvass, yet, get flyers from the CTU Center early or download and copy them at www.ctulocal1.org/parent-flyer.
Civil Disobedience Training
More than 500 members came to the CTU Center for aabout how to use tactics from the civil rights movement in our fight for education justice. As we continue on the picket lines, we’re also working to step up our approach to land a contract. When we fight, we win — and civil disobedience has been a proven tactic for us for the last decade.
Passages Charter Strike
Tonight, the organization that runs striking Passages Charter School, Asian Human Services, planned to hold a gala benefit party — with none of those funds going to educators and students. Management suspended bargaining today in preparation for the party. The issues at Passages match the issues raised in our district bargaining and in the contracts settled at all the other charter schools earlier this year: sanctuary schools, English Learner supports and class size. Craig Maki, AHS CEO makes $250,000 per year for managing one school—virtually the same salary that Janice Jackson makes. Passages teachers were also pressed to buy tickets to the gala (with a magnanimous $20 off the $175 ticket price). Turning insult into opportunity, teachers and supporters went to the gala venue to hold AHS accountable to donors. So, AHS canceled their gala and instead asked to schedule bargaining asap. ?♀️
After pickets this morning, hundreds of special education teachers gathered at Malcolm X College, where negotiations are happening, to talk about special education provisions in our contract. Afterwards, these educators held a press conference to try and educate the public about the outrageous workloads that CPS special education teachers shoulder. They also explained why our contract needs enforceable language to support special education, so their students get the attention they need.
The CTU Bargaining Team, including Special Education teachers and paraprofessionals, continued to discuss special education, class size and other critical issues with the CPS bargaining team all day. At the end of the day, both parties described it as “a good day” of discussions. Many topics were passed back and forth across the table, including some of the stickiest. Bargaining will continue Friday.
At some point on Friday, we will post a document to the Member Portal that gives more details about the state of bargaining. We’ll get this up as soon as possible and notify members by email when it’s available. In addition, we’ll hold a telephone town hall at 7:00pm (see below) to take questions and provide information on the state of our strike and of bargaining.
We just want to remind people that, despite being on strike, Friday is still a payday. You will receive 100% of your normal pay for this period because this check covers salary for your hours worked from September 29 through October 12. You will have a short check on November 8. That check will only have 30% of your normal gross pay because we will have only worked three days in the ten day pay period (including the paid holiday on Monday, Oct. 14).
6:30am School/CPS Pickets
Friday morning schools should come together and stick together. All over the city, members are loving the creativity on the line. Keep uploading photos and video to our shared Google Photos folder at www.ctulocal1.org/pics.
2:00pm Buckingham Fountain
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.
7:00pm Telephone Town Hall
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.
10:00am Family Fun at Union Park
Labor and Community Solidarity Rally
Union Park (Washington & Ashland)
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!