CTU members have voted to act for safety by all working remotely rather than complying with CPS orders for K-8 educators to work in unsafe buildings. We will also all respond to CTU retaliation (if there is any) with a strike. Many members still have questions. The answers below are meant to address concerns and confusion members have raised with us, so far.
CTU teachers and support staff, like students and parents, want return to in-person school, but only when reopening can be done with safety, equity and trust in CPS policies and practices. CPS’ current reopening plan fails every single one of those minimum standards. And it’s on us to force the mayor and CPS to do better.
As CPS continues its push to force members back into unsafe buildings in January, the successful rebellion at Latino Youth offers an important lesson: solidarity is power.
Chicago’s Grassroots Education Movement alliance and CTU are mounting a campaign to pass HB 2267 — for an elected, representative school board — when lawmakers return to the Capitol after for a “lame duck” session, the closing days of the current general assembly before new legislators are seated. But the success of that campaign will depend on members contacting their state senators and insisting the bill get consideration first thing in the new year.
CTU members must all sign onto this letter demanding safety. Whether you are threatened with unsafe in-person work January 4 or not, standing together is one important step in winning our right to a safe workplace. Sign right away and share ctulocal1.org/safety with colleagues to have them sign.
The Illinois Educational Labor Relation Board (IELRB) issued a preliminary ruling not to impose an injunction, yet, against CPS’s plan to force Pre-K and Special Education cluster students and educators on Thursday, December 17. This development requires a new call to action. While there will still be an IELRB hearing on the full case, we must urge elected officials to raise their voices for the safety of our school communities.
Chicago is an outlier in Illinois as a major district whose school board is not directly elected by the people whose welfare it is meant to serve. HB 2267, which has passed the House and currently awaits recognition and vote in the Senate, would fix that situation and finally bring an important measure of democracy to Chicago Public Schools.
Let Illinois Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala know that you want her to advocate for a full ESSA assessment waiver.
CPS is planning to give the SAT and PSAT exams in person this fall, starting with the September 23 administration. Once again they have missed the mark. Our predominantly Black and Latinx students and their families are facing many economic, social, health, and emotional challenges in this moment. Yet, CPS is still requiring Seniors to take the SAT before they graduate.