Mayor Lightfoot has turned the question of our children’s safety into a grudge match with the Chicago Teachers Union. Her hand-picked school board and appointed CEO rely on mayoral favor for their positions. As the independently elected representatives from all 50 wards, alderpersons must step in. Our school communities are counting on you to stand with us for school safety and serve as a check on this reckless mayor’s power.
Led by CTU members and supported by our national union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the CTU Teacher Leader Policy Fellowship provides members an opportunity to expand advocacy and leadership skills, meet with researchers and decision-makers in Chicago and Illinois, and support the vital work of the CTU. Applications are due September 17, 2021.
Sign the petition! Sports are essential for mental and physical growth, and with the influx of funding into our district, the athletic programs in our schools cannot look like they did pre-COVID. We are emerging from a pandemic and children will have to continue adjusting to a “new” normal. CPS and the mayor should be giving our students more, not less.
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.