News and Notes

Thank you for all you do for our students, our schools and our city

Red and black graphic with photos celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day.

As educators, we receive well-deserved appreciation from parents, community members, administrators and colleagues during Teacher Appreciation Week. Educators should be appreciated every single day, so we especially want to emphasize our appreciation for all you do for our schools and our city.

Thank you for the work you put in day after day for our students, for the way you reach out to parents and community members in service to our schools, and for the effort you put into showing solidarity with fellow CTU members — even after long days in classrooms.

As educators we are united to win and enforce the transformative contracts that we and our students in district-run and charter schools deserve. Genuine appreciation from CPS will require vast improvements to our working conditions, and we are in contract bargaining right now, negotiating for those changes. Read our full Teacher Appreciation Day message.


TAKE ACTION: Step up to transform our schools

Collage of CTU member photos holding signs that read "ALL In."

Last week, our big bargaining team presented CPS with our proposals for a library and librarian in every school, robust arts education, green schools, a better school day for elementary and middle school students, and investment in early childhood education. Rank-and-file members shared their lived experiences, the kind that can only come from educators in the classroom and in our schools.

We are just getting started, and it is clear that we need to keep building momentum, pushing CPS and the state legislature to fund the schools our children deserve. Read our latest bargaining update and then make a plan to step up and help us secure the transformation our schools need. We have several ways for you to learn more and get involved:

  • Have you signed our petition to key stakeholders asking them to join us in securing the funding to transform our schools. Sign and share the petition today!
  • 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 13: Contract campaign webinar for PSRPs 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.

May 15 lobby day: Get on the bus to secure funding 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 posed with members on the steps of the capitol last week before heading inside to speak with lawmakers.

 

CPS has rolled out insufficient school budgets that include cuts to schools and staff across the city. CTU members have been consistently clear that CPS is more than $1 billion underfunded and needs additional resources from the state. We have been making that case to Illinois lawmakers but, now, we need your help. Join us May 15 for a lobby day to secure more funding for our schools. CTU members may be eligible for a release day to attend this important effort to advocate for our schools and our students. Can we count on you to help us secure the investments we need to create the schools we deserve?

Count Me In for Lobby Day


National Nurses Week: Thank you for keeping our students safe and healthy

Photo of CTU members during a rally holding banner that says, “A nurse in every school, every day.”

Happy National Nurses Week. Thank you to our dedicated CTU school nurses for keeping our students safe. Our students deserve a nurse in every school, every day — NOW!


SEIU Local 73 wins new contract

After nearly one year of bargaining, on May Day, CPS school support staff, represented by SEIU Local 73, reached a tentative agreement that the union says “meets the needs of workers and communities alike.” Congratulations to our union siblings on their historic achievement. Read more from Local 73.


President Davis Gates speaks at parent mentor conference

Photo of CTU President Stacy Davis Gates speaking at the parent mentor conference.

CTU President Stacy Davis Gates spoke at last week’s annual Parent Mentors Convention. If you are lucky enough to have parent mentors working in your school, you know the valuable resources they provide for our students and school communities. We’re proud to be allies of this amazing program.


Whether performing or teaching, Mike Gallagher looks to translate life’s lessons for his students

Photo of Mike Gallagher, Currie High School music teacher.

Music is in Curie High School teacher and Grammy nominee Mike Gallagher’s blood. His father played drums and sang in a number of bands so there was always music in the house. Gallagher began his own music lessons at age five, then began giving music lessons to friends in high school, setting him on his path to become a life-long “teacher of music.” Read more about Mike.


May 16: Labor Film Series — Teachers and the Student Debt Trap

“Freedom Dreams: Black Women and the Student Debt Crisis” profiles Black women and activists who are struggling under the weight of tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. Q&A following the film will feature CTU member Nina Hike. At CTU, May 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP 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.


TESOL info sessions

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) virtual information sessions for CPS bilingual and or ESL endorsement. Wednesday, May 22, 4 to 4:45 PM and Thursday, May 23 from 4 to 4:45 PM. Co-sponsored by CTU Foundation Quest Center and Northeastern Illinois University. Call 773-442-5870 for more information.


Notices

Delegates not present at the May 1 House of Delegates


IRRPP Summer Education Education Workshop Series

UIC’s Insitute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) invites K-12 educators to an in-person, four-day workshop on advancing racial justice in education. Registration is now open for the June 10 to 13 series. Learn more and apply today.


Solidarity: #CTULovesManhattan District 114 educators

Photo of a bulletin board with hearts on it.

Let’s keep showing our support for our union siblings in Manhattan School District 114 (near Joliet). The district censored an 18-year veteran educator for including images like the one above on her bulletin board. Post “Solidarity Hearts” in your classroom and share photos on your social media with the hashtag #CTULovesManhattan. Download the hearts here.


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.


Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre Commemoriation, Saturday, May 18, 1:00 p.m., 11731 South Avenue O. Sponsored by SOAR with keynote speaker Fred Redmond, National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer with UAW Local 551’s Chris Peña. Free admission.


May 21: Final NBCT Information Session

Recruitment is underway for the 2024-2026 Nurturing Teacher Leadership National Board Certification cohort. CTUF will host its final 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.


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.


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

Celebrating Sadlowski Elementary’s cluster program staff

Jennifer Runge, bilingual case manager at Sadlowski Elementary School, sent this note commending her colleagues in the cluster program:

The cluster program at Sadlowski Elementary has worked tirelessly to provide students with the skills needed to create and operate a student-led business, the Saber Cafe. The joy and learning that has been sown in the lives of our students and the community are a testament to what can be done with strength, love, dedication, and collaboration. Kudos to: Amanda Sparano, Rheanna Johnson, Shannon Coleman, Lauren Podsiadlik, Maricarmen Gonzalez, Trinidad Padilla, Alia Mariella, Monica Ortiz, Mary Botero, Melissa Tomaka, Luke Boyd-Small, Sandra Seitz, Colleen Nelligan and all our SEIU SECAs.

Do you want to give a shout out to one of your colleagues? Send your blurb (one to four sentences) to communications@ctulocal1.org for consideration in an upcoming Members Corner.


Events

 


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