Stay ready. That’s the theme for our union as summer approaches. The school year may be ending, but we know as bargaining continues we need to mobilize our full 30,000-member strength to make sure CPS accepts our transformative contract proposals. We’re going to stay ready, so we don’t have to get ready!

This Week: Clinicians Tell CPS Our Students Need More

In bargaining this week, clinician members Mary Difino MSW, Joanne Gutierrez OTRL, Marit McCausland PT, DPT, Beth Eysenbach MHS, CCC-SLP, Rhonda Stone Ed. S, and Dennis Kosuth RN, MSN, PEL presented to Chicago Public Schools. As experts in Speech and Language, Nursing, Social Work, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, they described the challenges they face every day in serving students.

“CPS must attract and retain clinicians by providing us with the conditions and resources to support students with the highest quality of services,” Mary Difino said during bargaining.

Many schools lack equipment, resources, and office space for everything from testing to general office supplies, keeping students from getting the support they need. Our clinicians showed CPS different pieces of equipment they use in their work with students that haven’t been updated since the 1980s. They shared stories of having to test students in school closets or bathrooms because of the lack of structured support, and the impacts of inadequate funding for services their students need.

Our schools need clinicians who have the resources they need to support students. This means:

  • Manageable workloads,
  • Materials and training that reflect our students’ needs,
  • Improved equity in services and resources for every school,

Public Bargaining on Healthy, Safe, Green Schools

CPS has agreed to hold a public bargaining session on our Healthy, Safe, Green Schools proposals before June 14.   We are still waiting on CPS to agree to a location that is accessible to school communities most impacted by environmental hazards and that reflects the current state of the majority of our CPS buildings. Did you know that the average age of a CPS building is 84 years old? Stay tuned and stay ready: we’ll share the date, time and location for this historic, first-ever public bargaining session as soon as we have it. This will be an important opportunity for us as educators to join with parents, students and community to shed light on the needs of our school communities for healthy, safe and green schools.

Summer Bargaining

Bargaining will continue throughout the summer: as Chicago educators, we care deeply about our students and the future of our Chicago Public School system. This year, we are approaching the expiration of the CPS contract and the first ever school board election. Our participation will be integral to winning a transformational contract and electing the future leaders of the district. This is our greatest chance to put our school district on the path of transformation.

Tell Springfield to Fully Fund Our Schools

This year’s state budget does not adequately fund Illinois’s schools: it provides only the legally required minimum amount for the state’s school funding formula. CPS is underfunded by more than $1.1 billion under the state’s own formula. The state’s own Evidence-Based Funding Formula calls for every school across Illinois to be adequately funded by 2027.

Take Action: Tell Illinois Lawmakers to Fully Fund Our Schools

We know the hundreds of CTU members in red left a lasting impression on lawmakers, calling on them to honor the Governor and General Assembly’s commitment to fully funding CPS and schools across Illinois. We will continue our advocacy for greater investment in all Illinois schools, and for the fully funded schools Chicago deserves.

Tell Lawmakers: Illinois must fully fund every school district by 2027.

State lawmakers have an obligation to ensure our students have what they need, and we will continue to demand they fulfill their promise to Illinois schools.

Bringing the power of our union to bargaining and to Springfield is how we transform Chicago Public Schools for our students.

Remember: stay ready!