News and Notes


Nov. 28: Giving Tuesday to raise funds for our students enduring housing insecurity

For Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, the Student Special Assistance Fund (SSAF) is raising money to meet a 50 percent increase in the need for emergency aid for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) experiencing housing insecurity. We’re hoping to provide students with eyeglasses, hearing aids, and winter jackets via Operation Warm. Help us reach our 10K goal! Read more and donate today.


Thanksgiving graphic showing photos of various pumpkins and gourds with the words: Happy Thanksgiving from the officers and staff of the CTU.

Thanksgiving message: Thank you for all you do

As we head out for the holiday break, read our Thanksgiving message from CTU leadership. Read our message.


Photo of CTU President Stacy Davis Gates leading a panel at the CTU’s 2023 School Leader and Delegates conference.

Contract campaign launch: turning power into progress

On Saturday, some 200 rank-and-file members kicked off our contract campaign during our day-long School Leaders conference. Above, CTU President Davis Gates convened a panel of rank-and-file leaders for a serious and varied discussion about the ongoing challenges we face and what a transformative contract campaign will look like in today’s new political landscape.


Features

Adriana Cervantes strives to help members help themselves

Photo of CTU Field Rep Adriana Cervantes

For field rep Adriana Cervantes, there is no typical work day — and that’s exactly how she likes it. “Every day is different. It’s what I love about my job,” she says. The lifelong Chicagoan didn’t start out wanting to be a teacher or a union activist. Her first career was as an auto mechanic but, when she went back to school, she fell in love with history and decided to use her degree to teach. Read more about Adriana.


CTU members #SkipSkyline to #TeachTruth – and students responded

Photo of of Haines Elementary teacher Jeannine Woods holidng a sign that reads: “Teach truth, not Skyline.”

On Nov. 15, CTU members across the district demonstrated to CPS our ingenuity, wherewithal, and need to teach outside the confines of the Skyline curriculum with teacher-created content instead. On that day, educators taught indigenous history, elevated homelessness awareness month, and engaged newcomer students. Read more.


Notices

Notice of delegate nominations

On Dec. 4, a meeting for delegate nominations will be held for all Citywide Teacher, Clinician, and PSRP functional groups for the 2024-2026 delegate term, in accordance with the election procedures for that term. The meeting will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the CTU Center, 1901 West Carroll Ave. in Room 125. Read more.


Instituto educators, families demand fair contract that supports student needs

Video still of people at a rally outside of Institutio del Progreso Latino charter schools.

CTU educators, students and community members are fighting for the schools our children deserve at Instituto Health Science Career Academy. After more than a year of stalling at the bargaining table, Instituto management refuses to bargain on educators’ needs and is pushing for anti-union concessions instead. We held a rally at Instituto last week. Read more and watch video of the action..


Dec. 8 deadline: Check your sports stipend information!

Coaches, Athletic Directors and Sports Liaisons will split up millions of dollars in contractual stipends. Make sure you get your share! The final amount of each member’s stipend will be determined when we validate the list of coaches from last school year. So, go to ctulocal1.org/sports to make sure all your coaching, AD and liaison work is credited in our list. The deadline is Dec. 8 to let us know if we are missing your work, so check your listing now!


Sports and Extracurricular committee needs you

The Sports and Extracurricular Committee is specifically recruiting high school and elementary school extracurricular sponsors and drivers ed teachers to join the committee. We need them to help suggest and review contract proposals, including proposals for increases to stipends. Particular areas of extracurricular activities we wish to target are debate, Model UN, drama, scholastic bowl, Academic Decathlon, math league, speech, poms, student counsel, chess, spelling bee, and science fair. The next committee meeting is Nov. 27. Reach out to Kevin Hough for more info.


Contract Survey

The Union wants your input as we kick off our contract for next fall’s new agreement. Go to ctulocal1.org/survey to complete our Contract Survey and make sure your priorities are represented.


Understanding the migrant crisis: three part sanctuary series

The second meeting of the three-part Sanctuary Series will be Nov.  30, with the program “Sanctuary for Whom? Protecting Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+ students and their families.” Get more information about the series at bit.ly/sanctuaryseries2023 and get more resources at ctulocal1.org/sanctuary.


Graphic announcing that CTU offices are closed Wednesday through Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Nov. 29: National Board Certification Information session

Recruitment is underway for the 2024-2026 Nurturing Teacher Leadership National Board Certification cohort. CTUF will host a virtual information meeting on Nov. 29, 5 to 8:30 p.m. There is now an annual state stipend for NBCTs who remain in hard-to-staff schools for at least two years (in addition to our CPS annual, pensionable stipend, opportunity to move to Lane 5 on the Salary Scale, optional master’s degree, and paid leadership opportunities.) For more information, contact LynnCherkasky-Davis@ctuf.org or register for the NTL information session here.


Save the date: Dec. 5 healthcare webinar

Questions about your healthcare benefits? Need help navigating the different plans? Plan to attend our healthcare webinar on Dec. 5, at 4:30 p.m., to get those questions answered. Register for the webinar today.


Resources to help you support and meet the needs of newcomers to our city and CPS

We know CTU members have been on the frontlines supporting our new neighbors being shipped here by right wing zealots. But you can’t do it alone — more is needed. We’ve assembled a page of resources to help you support your new students and their families. Visit CTUlocal1.org/sanctuary for more information and resources.

Scholarship opportunity for special education students

The Illinois Federation of Teachers, our state federation, provides a number of scholarship opportunities, including the Carl J. Megel Special Education Scholarship. Application deadline is March 31, 2024. Details and application forms are availabe from the IFT’s scholarships page.


Members Corner

In memoriam

We have posted the names of CTU members we lost this summer and fall. Our hearts and thoughts are with their families and friends. Read the listings.


Celebrate your siblings

Do you know a CTU member who’s achieved a special milestone or accomplishment that you want to acknowledge? Have they made something cool you want to share with the union? Send your blurb (1 to 4 sentences) to communications@ctulocal1.org for consideration in an upcoming Members Corner.


Events


In the News

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Exploring the World
Examining Bias

National Board Certification

For more CTU news and updates, please visit our website at www.ctulocal1.org, and follow us on Facebook (including our members only Facebook group), Instagram and Twitter.