News and Notes

CTU members came to the table ready to bargain and transform Chicago schools

Photo of CTU’s big bargaining team before a bargaining session CTU headquarters.
The more than 60 rank-and-file members who participated in our Tuesday bargaining session with CPS, the largest bargaining team in CTU history.

As the Sun-Times reported, this week’s CTU, CPS negotiations opened with optimism. With 60 plus members from across the city, CTU brought the largest bargaining team in our union’s history to present our ambitious proposals. Our bargaining team is ready to deliver on our central demands that make Chicago Public Schools a Sustainable Community School district:

  • A librarian in every school.
  • Robust arts education and sports programs.
  • Healthy green schools.
  • A better school day for elementary and middle school students.
  • Investments in early childhood education.

These proposals are only possible once we come together to push CPS and lawmakers in Springfield to fully fund Chicago schools.

Photo of the CTU bargaining team at CPS on the first day of bargaining.
Our Team CTU at CPS Central Office on the first day of bargaining: Financial Secretary Maria Moreno, Vice President Jackson Potter, Counsel Thaddeus Goodchild, Rank-and-File Teacher Faith Mitchell, President Stacy Davis Gates, Counsel Latoyia Kimbrough, Rank-and-File Teacher Nina Hike, Counsel Robert Bloch, Grievance Department Director Zeidre Foster, Recording Secretary Christel Williams.

MUST WATCH: Here’s what President Stacy Davis Gates said when asked about how to fund a transformational school district. Watch the video.


TAKE ACTION: Step up to transform our schools

Photo of CTU delegates holding signs that say "All In."
CTU delegates from Keller Regional Gifted Center, Nettelhorst Elementary, Cooper Dual Language Academy, and Leland Elementary pose with signs boasting their colleagues are “All In” on our contract campaign.

In this moment, we must lead with our solidarity and unity to secure the transformation our schools need. We have several ways for you to learn more and get involved:

  • Sign our petition to key stakeholders asking them to join us in securing the funding to transform our schools.
  • Activate your Contract Action Team. Reach out to organizing@ctulocal1.org if you need help.
  • We’re holding five regional meetings this month to discuss the contract campaign. Come get your questions answered and share the issues most important to you for our next contract.
  • May 9: Contract campaign webinar for school speech pathologists. Register in advance.
  • May 14: Contract campaign webinar for school psychologists. Register in advance.
  • May 15: Get on the bus for our next lobby day to push for more funding for our schools. Sign up here.

Lobby Day: CTU members advocate in Springfield for the schools Chicago children deserve

CTU member and Cook County Commissioner Tara Stamps poses with members on the steps of the capitol before heading inside to speak with lawmakers.
CTU member and Cook County Commissioner Tara Stamps poses with members on the steps of the capitol before heading inside to speak with lawmakers.

Yesterday, 33 of our We Care members visited the state capitol to talk to lawmakers about the pressing needs in our schools. They shared their personal stories of budget cut impacts and the importance of PSRPs, who are the backbone and front lines of defense in our schools and classrooms. Bottom line message: we need more funding to provide the schools Chicago children deserve. Thanks to all the members who took a personal day off to join us and advocate for our schools in the state capitol.

Our next lobby day is May 15. Sign up here to get on the bus and help us secure more funding for our schools. We need you to win!


CTU, CPS celebrate new, renewing NBCTs

We were so proud to host the award ceremony for this year’s cohort of new and renewing National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT). NBCTs have achieved the highest certification possible within our profession. The celebration honored 119 CPS educators who have earned (45) or renewed (73) their credential in the past year. Joining us for the celebration were officials from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, CPS, and Mayor Brandon Johnson. Music was provided by Tilden High School’s latest sensation, No Requests. Read reflections on the NBCT journey by some of our distinguished members.


Understanding the new CPS budget

Are you and your colleagues confused by the new CPS budget formula? For years, we’ve been calling for the end of student-based budgeting but, from what we’ve seen so far, the new formula also has some problems. From the start, CTU called for an end to SBB as part of our work to end the racial disparities harming Chicago’s student body. However, as CPS leadership rolled out school-level budgets to principals in April, it became clear that the centrally-funded “foundational positions” included in the new formula severely under-valued the importance of teacher assistants and other PSRPs. Additionally, schools were not “held harmless” from cuts during this major transition in budgeting systems. If you missed last week’s budget webinar, you can watch the recording of it and check out the slides we used during the presentation.


Remember our history this International Workers Day


Scholarships available for STLS students

Each June, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless awards renewable college scholarships to graduating high school seniors who succeeded in school while experiencing homelessness. Students from Chicago and suburban schools are eligible to apply as well as CCH youth leaders and former youth clients. Learn more and share with your students. Applications due May 10.


Solidarity: #CTULovesManhattan District 114 educators

Drawings of multi-colored hearts that read "Open Hearts, Open Minds."

We are stepping up to show support for our union siblings in Manhattan School District 114 (near Joliet), which has censored an 18-year veteran educator for including images like the one above on her bulletin board. Show your support for Manhattan educators and the inclusive environment they strive to create for their students. Post “Solidarity Hearts” in your classroom and share photos on your social media with the hashtag #CTULovesManhattan. Download the hearts here.


Schedule and flex votes

Your school’s schedule and flex votes must be completed by May 10. Schools will be voting on their daily schedule, flex days, the 15-minute morning prep for elementary schools and, at some schools, the start and end time. Questions? We have one more drop-in on May 7, at CTU, from 4 to 5 p.m.


You may be owed back pay if you left CPS and later returned

If you worked in CPS then left for another district before returning to CPS, you may not have received the step credit for your work in other districts that you deserve. Our union is pursuing a class action grievance to benefit members who didn’t get their due step increase upon returning to CPS. This may be worth thousands of dollars to members who qualify! Learn more and complete the survey.


United Credit Union CTU branch closing June 28

United Credit Union is closing its branch located in CTU headquarters as of June 28. But, members can use two alternative Chicago Patrolmen’s FCU branches located at 1407 W. Washington Blvd. or 5310 N. Harlem Ave.


May 9: Housing Committee Movie Screening: Shame of Chicago

This four-part series shows how housing policy in Chicago has had a lasting effect on the racial divide and wealth gap. The final episode documents a group of residents who fought back against racist housing policy. Join the CTU Housing Committee on Thursday, May 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. to view the episode and have a discussion on its implications for our housing fight today. Learn more and sign up.


Notices


May 9: Educating for democracy in a contentious election year

Join the DePaul College of Education for its spring forum, being held virtually on May 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Learn more and register today.




May 6: Deadline to get your child a scholarship

If you have a child who will be graduating from high school this year, NOW is the time for them to apply for a CTU Scholarship. Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to students to help defray the cost of post-secondary education in college or vocational programs. Learn more and have your student apply by May 6.


Administrative transfer window open until May 8

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 transfer window is open until May 8. The actual move to your new school will take place in August on the first day teachers return. Get important details here.


May 21: 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 Tues., May 21, 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.


May 17: May Day Fun Day for Retirees

Graphic inviting CTU retirees to a May Day Fun Day event.

Retirees are invited to join us Fri., May 17, from noon to 4 p.m. at CTU headquarters to socialize with CTU officers, meet fellow retirees, play games, dance and have fun. Sign up at ctulocal1.org/retireesocial.


Calling 6 – 12 grade social studies teachers: UIC research project needs your help

Researchers at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) at the University of Illinois Chicago are inviting educators to participate in a new research project they are leading, Teaching about Race and Racial History: The View from Chicago Educators, funded by the Spencer Foundation. Contact ChicagoTeacherStudy@gmail.com to learn more and apply for the study.


Members corner

Celebrate your sibilings

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

Google Slides 101
Learning to Spin

Teach Asian American History
Go Guardian

National Board Certification Recruitment Meeting

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