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Eleven members at ASPIRA Business and Finance High School (ABF) will receive compensation for class size violations totaling $61,000 thanks to a settlement of two outstanding grievances defending important class size limits won in our 2018 contract.

The ASPIRA/CTU contract caps class sizes at 30 students per class and 150 for a teacher’s roster. Class size violations are supposed to trigger a $5 per day per student stipend, but ASPIRA argued the provision applied only to student attendance and refused to compensate members.

ASPIRA also argued that absent students generated no additional work for teachers, a ridiculous statement that flies in the face of contract language the charter agreed to. Fortunately, CTU member Katie Schmidt took — and retained — detailed notes at the bargaining table that backed up the Union’s interpretation of the language and helped land the settlement.

The settlement also covers a second grievance filed on behalf of five members at ASPIRA Early College High School, who also had classes that topped 30 students. But those members had some smaller classes, too, so their rosters did not exceed the 150-student limit. They were not due extra compensation but the settlement affirms that the charter must strive to limit class sizes to 30 and will re-level classes as possible.

Class sizes have been exploding throughout CPS — in both charter and district-run schools — and CTU has made class size limits a key demand in negotiations. The victory in this grievance will send a message of the union’s commitment to reasonable class sizes for all students and teachers. Thanks to the rank and file members and our legal team who worked so hard to secure this settlement.