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In contract negotiations, Urban Prep is doing its best to circumvent union wages and union rights, but member solidarity is moving the boss. After a unanimous strike authorization vote last week, management quadrupled its offer at the table and added bargaining dates. Unfortunately, the boss’s original offer was ridiculously low. Urban Prep still refuses important improvements.

After the pure outrage of our members, ASPIRA notified CTU that they would retract all but two of the non-renewal notices for all provisional employees. ASPIRA apparently spent zero time on managerial duties while preparing for reopening. Key to this victory was CTU’s insistence that a contract requirement for notification by June 1 be enforced — a provision that wasn’t on ASPIRA’s radar.

Epic Academy terminated four of the most active union members in the middle of the ratification of their first CTU contract. Teachers, students, parents and community members have rallied to support the Epic 4. The union is currently preparing for a strike to support our terminated member leaders, which include all African American teachers on the CTU negotiating committee.

Youth Connection Leadership Academy (YCLA) has reversed its decision to close the school. The charter had used the excuse of a cancelled lease to justify a move that would further restrict the opportunities for Chicago’s most vulnerable students. Pressure on the landlord led to the reversal.

A loophole in state law allowed Chicago School of the Arts (ChiArts) and other contract schools to evade contributing to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Three years ago when ChiArts teachers joined CTU they brought this problem to our attention and we started organizing. The Illinois General assembly just approved a bill to close the loophole. We look forward to the governor signing it into law.