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After three years of contract negotiations, Urban Prep Academy is offering teachers a measly 1 percent pay raise and the worst health insurance plan for union teachers in Chicago. This, along with other dodgy financial actions, have put the schools and its students at risk. Teachers are not taking it and discussing potential job actions before the end of the year. Stay tuned.

Members at Epic Academy have negotiated their first tentative agreement, which gives the school’s educators wages at the top of the charter industry, equal to those at CICS Civitas. The union also preserved an 8 percent pension pick up for certified teachers, sanctuary school language, improved benefits and, maybe most importantly, rights on the job. CTU also negotiated the security specialists into the contract along with social workers, paraprofessionals and teachers. The ratification vote for the tentative agreement is ongoing.

Youth Connections Charter School (YCCS) announced plans to close its Youth Connection Leadership Academy (YCLA) campus. This adds to YCCS’s shameful track record of providing even fewer services to Chicago’s most at risk students. CTU members are looking at their options.

CTU-ACTS will launch a charter school division-wide contract campaign on June 11, after school. We’re kicking off the campaign with a rally at Christopher House, 5235 W. Belden, to demand that private charter school employers put the public money they receive into the classrooms, instead of their boardrooms.

Look for big news in the coming weeks from Association House, Christopher House and Intrinsic Schools. The National Labor Relations Board is sending out ballots for CTU representation at the schools. Organizers are feeling good about the votes.