News and Notes

Enjoy your summer… and Stay Ready!

Photo of members on the steps of the Illinois capitol with the caption Let’s continue to work together to give Chicago students the schools they deserve.

The school year may be ending, but we know, as bargaining continues, we need to mobilize our full 30,000-member strength to make sure CPS accepts our transformative contract proposals. We’re going to “Stay ready, so we don’t have to get ready!”

Last week during bargaining, our clinicians presented their demands for the staffing and services necessary to fully support students. This includes manageable workloads, materials and training that reflect our students’ needs, and improved equity in services and resources for every school. Read more in our contract update.


Take action to transform our schools

Our contract campaign presents a historic opportunity to transfrom our schools. But we must keep up pressure on CPS, our state reps and senators and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. We have several ways for you to learn more and get involved:


Members speak: What my school needs

Rank-and-file members have been weighing in on the urgent needs for their schools. Hear what they told lawmakers last month when more than 200 members joined our Springfield lobby day:

  • Mary Urban, a North Grand High School teacher, shares how proposed CPS budget cuts will impact her school. Watch Mary’s video.
  • CTU Member Federico Luque Macías shares how English Language Learners at Lincoln Park High School are being impacted by inadequate funding. Watch Federico’s video.

Saturday, June 8: 46th Annual Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade

Red, white and blue flyer advertising the 46h Annual Puerto Rican Peoples Day parade.

Chicago Teachers Union is Boricua and proud! Join teachers, PSRPs, clinicians and parents of all backgrounds who stand together for our schools. RSVP for the parade.


CTU member Marisa Mathews wins Illinois School Counselor of the Year Award

CTU member Marisa Mathews of Prescott Elementary School has won the Illinois School Counselor Association annual School Counselor of the Year Award. Including this year’s recipient, a CTU member school counselor has won this statewide award in seven of the last eight years. Ms. Mathews received the honor earlier today at an awards celebration at Prescott Elementary School. Congratulations Marisa!


CTU Scholarship and Fine Arts Celebration a testament to our students’ diverse talents

The Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation hosted an inspiring Scholarship and Fine Arts Celebration last night, a testament to the diverse talents of students from various schools across the city. This event celebrated academic excellence and highlighted the vibrant arts community within Chicago Public Schools. The room was filled with students, parents, and educators, all united in their appreciation of the diverse talents on display. Read about scholarship winners and the event.


June 14: Guest teacher luncheon

Logo for CTU guest teacherGuest teachers are invited to celebrate with their colleagues and discuss the many issues that impact these important school workers on a daily basis. Join us at CTU, Fri., June 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch will be served. RSVP today.


Protect retirement security of all Illinois educators

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) threaten the Social Security benefits of millions of retired teachers and public employees, including many in Illinois and Chicago. Together, these two provisions unfairly penalize retirees in states across the country and in Puerto Rico who have spent careers in public service but also have paid into Social Security. On Fri., June 7, the U.S. Senate is holding a hearing on the impacts of these provisions. The AFT is asking members to submit comments supporting the Social Security Fairness Act of 2023. Send your comments in a single-spaced Microsoft Word document to: StatementsForTheRecord@Finance.Senate.Gov.


Wishing a happy and powerful Pride Month to our LGBTQIA+ educators and students

Multi-colored graphic celebrating 2024 Pride month.

Support in celebrating the life of our union brother Przemysław Kania

Photo of CTU member Przemysław Kania.

Przemysław Kania, our union brother, died in a car accident on Sunday afternoon. Kania worked at Michele Clark High School, Kennedy High School, and most recently at Peace and Education Alternative High School. Our thoughts go out to his family and all the members of his school communities. A GoFundMe has been established to help his mother, also a CPS teacher, cover the unexpected funeral costs.


Notices

June 12: 2024 Retirement Luncheon White Party

Flyer advertising the 2024 CTU retiree luncheon.

Join us as we celebrate our retiring members’ years of service and commitment to our students. Come early to enjoy the social hour at noon before a delicious 1 p.m. lunch. Members who are retiring this year attend for free, guests pay $45. White attire is encouraged. Learn more and purchase tickets.


West Side Juneteenth Parade

Tenth annual Chicago Juneteenth Parade, Saturday, June 15, 2024, 11a.m. from Madison and Sacramento to Madison and Central Park

CTU member Adrienne Hawkins-Turner helped to found this parade, currently in its tenth year. She would love to see CTU members in red enjoying the parade! The parade kicks off at 11am at Madison & Sacramento and marches west to Central Park. If you’re coming to the parade, let us know!


Fighting antisemitism

Safety through solidarity: A radical guide to fighting antisemitism conversation at 7pm on June 26 at Women and Children First bookstore, 5233 North Clark Street, Chicago. Sponsored by In These Times, Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago, If Not Now Chicago and the CTU.

Join In These Times magazine, Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago, If Not Now Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Union for a conversation about antisemitism and movement building with Shane Burley and Ben Lorber, authors of Safety Through Solidarity: a radical guide to fighting antisemitism. Get more information here.


June 27: Early childhood contract webinar

Join us to learn how our contract demands will support early childhood educators and their students and how you can help us secure a new contract that transforms our schools. Join us on Zoom, Wed., June 27 at 6:30 p.m. Register for the webinar.


Delegates Not Present at the May 29, 2024 House meeting

As directed by the CTU Constitution, we publish the list of delegates who did not sign in at the most recent House of Delegates meeting.


Members corner

Member Glenda Smith shared this remembrance of her mother, a retired CTU member, who passed away last week.

My mom, Mary E. Armstrong, worked at D. S. Wentworth prior to 1980 when she began working at Reinberg Elementary school until her retirement. She began in the public schools as a teacher assistant until she received her bachelor’s in education. She was part of the federal mandate for CPS to integrate the schools by placing African American teachers on the north side and placing white teachers on the south side. She was a CTU member during the period of our late President Jackie Vaughn.

Editor’s note: thanks to Glenda for sharing. As a Black educator, her mother helped make CTU a union that acknowledged Black voice and agency. Thank you Glenda for ensuring that we lift up the contributions of Black educators.


Devin Evans from Butler College Prep wants to congratulate Mrs. Greene

Mrs. Greene: Your presence will be missed as you head into retirement. Thank you for being my work mom, encourager, and friend. My experience at Kenwood would not be the same without your love and support. The Kenwood family will miss you but you deserve your rest! Thank you, Mrs. Greene!


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.


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