As Black and Latinx communities continue to lag in vaccinations and core equity needs, CPS continues to reject sensible safety proposals in bargaining.

  • Friday, Feb. 5, 7 a.m.: “What does equity look like in a pandemic for Black educators and Black Chicago?” press conference with CTU officers and rank-and-file, streamed live to CTU Facebook page. Reporters, please register for Zoom press conference at link in your email.
  • Friday, Feb. 5, 10 a.m: Press conference with state elected officials, livestreamed to CTU Facebook page. Reporters, please register for Zoom press conference at link in your email.

CHICAGO, Feb. 4, 2021—As the Chicago Teachers Union continues to attempt to bargain an agreement that allows for a safe, equitable path to reopening school buildings, rank-and-file Black educators are challenging Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools leadership to address stark challenges in Black and Latinx public school communities across the city.

Addressing the question, “What does equity look like in a pandemic for Black educators and Black Chicago?”, VP Stacy Davis Gates and Recording Secretary Christel Williams Hayes join CPS teachers and PSRPs to discuss how our current crisis has exposed decades of failure from city and district leadership in relation to health, jobs, poverty and safety, and how the Black educators’ fight for a safe return to schools is bigger than just COVID. Friday, Feb. 5, at 7 a.m. via Zoom.  

At 10:00 a.m., Illinois state representatives and state senators will hold a press conference via Zoom to press for a swift signature from Governor JB Pritzker on HB2275, which would repeal Section 4.5 of the state’s education code. For 25 years, Section 4.5 has singled out only union employees in CPS schools from bargaining issues like class size or staffing without permission from management.

Restoring labor rights will help move negotiations and help land an agreement that provides school communities the safety and equity guarantees they need.

Bargaining continued Thursday between the Union and CPS leadership, which continues to reject using CDC health metrics, refuses to allow educators with medically vulnerable household members to continue to teach remotely — as two-thirds of families have chosen — and refuses to make improvements in remote learning, despite months of pleas from parents, students and educators.

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.