News and Notes

Photo: Chicago Tribune

The next phase of our transformative contract campaign begins this week

On Wednesday, our House of Delegates will deliberate and vote on final contract proposals that will be presented in our contract negotiations with Chicago Public Schools. These proposals are the product of more than four months of creation, debate and review by more than 500 rank-and-file members and our citywide PPC.

Yesterday, CTU President Stacy Davis Gates set the tone for our transformative contract in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. She outlined the embattled history that brought us to this pivotal moment and invited city leaders to join us in moving from “no” to “how might we transform Chicago’s Public Schools?” This, along with our HoD meeting tonight, will launch this next phase of our work.

In her speech, President Davis Gates explained that the students, families and educators of Chicago are in desperate need of a transformation of their public schools. It is time for us to look beyond what our schools have always been and project what they can and should be: neighborhood-centered educational communities with well-resourced classrooms, well-supported educators and wraparound services to meet the social and emotional needs for all our students.

“We are going to join the transformation that the city is undergoing in this moment and say that we’re not going to fight for the school Chicago students deserve anymore, we’re going to give it to them,“ she said. “We leverage our collective bargaining agreement for the common good, a library and a librarian for every school, green facilities for our children, housing for the 20,000 homeless CPS students.”

This is the vision that has guided our contract proposals and the 500 rank-and-file members who helped craft them from day one. Watch video of Stacy’s speech and read coverage of of in the Chicago Tribune and WBEZ.

Learn about the contract campaign and get involved

Activate your Contract Action Team (CAT)

Did you recently get your CAT together? Do you want to test to make sure it’s ready and working? Activate them to get other members to flyer parents before and after school about the Bring Chicago Home ballot initiative. Encourage your CAT members to join our March 12 training, by registering at ctulocal1.org/cat. Choose a date before March 15, time and location for members to gather and pass out flyers to parents. Sign up here to let us know when you’ll be heading out and download our flyer.

Graphic presenting CTU calendar for the week.


Members organize at weekend training

Three CTU members posing together.More than 100 members came out for our second Delegate and School Leaders Training on Saturday. In the morning plenary, CTU Financial Secretary Maria Moreno remembered President Emerita Karen Lewis and said she hoped our 2024 contract would bring back the joy of teaching and learning. Recording Secretary Christel Williams urged school leaders to organize everywhere — in their school buildings, houses of worship and neighborhoods. Afternoon workshops focused on issues ranging from bilingual education and special education, safety and restorative justice, REACH and teacher retention, to green schools and housing.


CTU members holding signs at a campaign event for Cook County Commissioner Tara Stamps.

This is what our power looks like — time to Bring Chicago Home

CTU members holding signs at a campaign event for CTU Organizer Graciela Guzman.What a powerful weekend we had, with volunteers out across the city talking to our neighbors about voting YES on Ballot Measure #1, the Bring Chicago Home ordinance. We’re also pounding the pavement for our CTU-endorsed candidates across the city, county and state. We need you to join us! Sign up to help pass Bring Chicago Home and elect two of our own, Graciela Guzman and Cook County Commissioner Tara Stamps.


Early voting begins this week

Early voting is now open in all 50 wards. The Bring Chicago Home measure is still on the ballot, despite the real estate industry’s legal maneuvers, and we need to get out and VOTE YES. Read the BCH statement on the recent court ruling then sign up to help Bring Chicago Home this weekend. And you can do double duty, canvass or phone bank for BCH and also support our education champions Tara Stamps and Graciela Guzman.


President Davis Gates honored at Women in Power luncheon

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch honored CTU President Stacy Davis Gates along with other powerful women leaders last week. Other honorees included Congresswoman Delia Ramirez, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Assistant House Majority Leader Camille Lilly, and Triveni Institute Founder and Director Jordan Parker. Congratulations to our president.



Photo of Waters Elementary School Delegate and CTU Executive Board Membe Karen Soto.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re lifting up women CTU members who are making a difference in our schools and our union. This week, meet Waters School Delegate and Executive Board Member Karen Soto.  

Karen Soto is always standing up for what our schools need

When thinking about her union, Karen Soto likes to reflect on a quote from CTU President Emerita Karen Lewis, who often said, “the only way people will walk all over you is if you lay down and let them.” As a CTU delegate and executive board member, Soto is determined that CTU never lay down. “We’re always gonna stand up and do what’s right for our students and our school communities,” she said. Read more about Karen.


Cook County Board honors life of Chris Geovanis

Led by Commissioner Tara Stamps, the Cook County Board passed a heartfelt resolution honoring the life of our dear friend and colleague Chris Geovanis, who passed away last month. Chris served as CTU communications director for seven years and was a lifelong and passionate advocate for social justice. She is sorely missed by our union and all those who knew and loved her. Read the resolution.


Save the date: Apply for the Summer Organizing Institute by April 1

It’s that time of the year! We’ll be taking applications for our 2024 Summer Organizing Institute, in its 14th year. As an intern with us this summer, you’ll take a leading role in our fight for member rights and educational justice! To apply by April 1, email April Robinson-Baker at organizing@ctulocal1.org.


Administrative transfer window opens March 24

Teachers may transfer schools without the consent of their current principal providing that the Talent Office receives the administrative transfer request signed by the receiving principal between 75 and 30 calendar days before the end of the second semester. This spring, the dates are March 24 to May 8. The actual move to your new school will take place in August on the first day teachers return. Get important details here.


Call to Action

Red and yellow flyer advertising a fundraiser for Cook County Commissioner Tara Stamps.

Let’s do this!

We’re in the final stretch of the primary campaign and we need you to help send CTU Organizer Graciela Guzman to the Illinois Senate, return Commissioner Tara Stamps to the Cook County Board, and pass Bring Chicago Home. Sign up to help today.


Notices

March 20: NBCT Information Session

Recruitment is underway for the 2024–2026 Nurturing Teacher Leadership National Board Certification cohort. CTUF will host a virtual information meeting on Wed., March 20, 5 to 8:30 p.m. There is now an $8,000 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.


People riding on the new flyover ride with smiles on their faces.

Free tickets for educators at latest Navy Pier experience

Be our guest at Navy Pier’s newest must-see attraction! Flyover is coming to Chicago with a brand new experience that will showcase our city like never before. Reserve your complimentary tickets today for this 30-minute journey. Reservations required – RSVP Here


Collaboration Corner

We know schools work best when administration and staff collaborate to meet the needs of students. But we know that doesn’t always happen. Does your principal demonstrate collaboration and good instructional leadership on important issues? Send your stories to communications@ctulocal.org.


Members Corner

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 (one to four sentences) to communications@ctulocal1.org for consideration in an upcoming Members Corner.


Events

 


In the News

 

CTUF Quest Center

Building a Restorative Classroom
The Art of Questioning and Discussion

Understanding the Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards
Games and Learning

National Board Certification