- 4:00 p.m. TODAY, Tues, Sept. 25: Press conference
CTU HQ, 1901 W. Carroll Ave., Chicago
CTU will provide update on bargaining, as third top Dem presidential candidate declares solidarity with educators in battle for better learning conditions for students.
CHICAGO—CTU members are voting for a second day to authorize a strike, and for a second day clergy with ARISE will be observing the vote count. ARISE ministers will join CTU members to discuss the status of that vote at 4:00 p.m. TODAY, Wednesday, September 25 at CTU headquarters, 1901 W. Carroll Ave.
The CTU will also provide an update on this week’s bargaining. The nation’s top three Democratic Party presidential candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden, have pledged support for the CTU’s battle for the schools Chicago students deserve. On Tuesday, Senator Sanders joined rank and file members from the CTU and SEIU Local 73, who have already authorized a CPS strike, at a packed rally to support union demands for fair contracts that improve working and learning conditions in CPS school communities.
Rank and file CTU members are demanding that the mayor put her promises for equity and educational justice in writing—in an enforceable contract, the only mechanism educators have to hold the 5th Floor and CPS accountable for their promises.
CTU contract proposals include:
- A higher wage floor for school clerks, teaching assistants and other paraprofessionals—two-thirds of whom earn wages so low their children qualify for free and reduced school lunches under federal poverty guidelines;
- Contract language to lower class sizes, even as some kindergarten classes in CPS are topping 40 students per class;
- A commitment in writing to align staffing levels for school nurses, social workers and other critical frontline staff to the caseload ratios recommended by national professional organizations;
- Critical protections for special education students and English language learners;
- A greater investment of CPS resources—which have grown by more than a billion dollars a year—into classroom needs and student supports.
The mayor’s bargaining team, which is led by the same attorney, Jim Franczek, who led negotiations for former mayors Rahm Emanuel and Richard M. Daley, has yet to agree to the union’s contract proposals. If 75% of CTU members vote to strike this week, the union could set a strike date as early as October 7.