President Stacy Davis Gates being interviewed by reporter and camera operator in front of CPS headquarters in thumbnail still from a brief YouTube video.
Watch/Share CTU’s action video of the trolley tour.

From our CTU President

This year’s CTU contract negotiations will be different than any other.

For over 10 years, the Chicago Teachers Union has organized educators, parents, and community partners toward creating the schools Chicago students deserve while fighting off budget cuts, privatization, and corporate “education reform.” Now we have the opportunity and responsibility to truly move our schools on a path forward.

As part of this transformation, CTU has compiled our movement’s most ambitious package of contract proposals yet. These 700+ contract proposals, rooted in our values and the pursuit of justice and equity, come from our rank-and-file members, schools, and communities. Together, they illustrate a new vision for the future of our schools and our city, ranging from affordable housing to dual language studies to full special education services and jobs designed to keep families out of poverty.

Last week, CTU publicly unveiled our contract priorities and invited stakeholders to join us in open bargaining with Chicago Public Schools.

Dozens of CTU members, elected officials, community groups, and faith leaders participated in a trolley tour across the city to invite powerful civic actors to join us into transforming Chicago schools including Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (a billionaire currently requesting massive public subsidies to build a new stadium), the Building Owner and Managers Association (who led the charge in bankrolling a campaign to block funds for affordable housing), Civic Committee’s Kids First, Gov. Pritzker, and the Illinois State Board of Education to join us in transforming Chicago schools.

Allies joined us: Pastor Walter Turner from New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and City Council members Alderman William Hall, Alderman Ronnie Mosley, and Alderwoman Angela Clay.

Photo on a trolley described in caption.

CTU Operations Director Romel Ferguson, Pastor Walter Turner from New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church, and CTU President David Gates on the trolley Tuesday.

Christel Williams stands in front of an array of media microphones as CTU members, including President Stacy Davis Gates look on.

CTU Recording Secretary Christel Williams-Hayes explained the significant roles paraprofessionals play in students’ lives, as union members called for more special education investments, dual language studies for both English- and non-English speakers, and to bring sports, music, and the arts to build a better school day.

A member in a red sweatshirt approaches officials in suits inside the lobby of CPS headquarters.

More than a dozen CTU members, including Lisa Catledge, an Instructor Assistant at Nicholson Elementary and Javier Payano, a music teacher at Lane College Prep, shared their classroom experiences with CPS officials at Tuesday’s final stop.

Here are some of the media pieces about this tour:

CTU Members Head to Springfield

On Wednesday, 40 CTU members met with state legislators in the Latino Caucus calling on them to fully fund Chicago Public Schools — which the state has failed to do.

A few dozen people in red CTU shirts and yellow Chicago Coalition for the Homeless shirts pose outside the Illinois state house.

CTU members ready to lobby their elected officials to join us in demanding federal funds for Black and Brown students.

CTU members lobbied their elected officials to join us in demanding federal funds for Black and Brown students. Our top priorities are to fully fund Chicago Public Schools, invest more in bilingual support, fully fund the student-based formula, and fix Tier 2 pensions.

We know this year’s contract negotiations have to go beyond just City Hall. We need the state to fund CPS as we negotiate for the schools our students deserve.

Mark your calendars: upcoming Lobby Days are Thursday May 2nd and Tuesday May 7th. Contact your organizer to learn more and sign up.

Ask Me About My Contract

CTU members across the city are wearing “Ask Me About My Contract,” to engage with parents about contract negotiations.

Five educators stand together holding up stickers that say Ask me about my contract.

Members from Englewood STEM wearing their stickers.

Want stickers for you and your co-workers? Reach out to the organizer for your school!

Have a picture of yourself wearing a sticker? Post it on social media and tag @ctulocal1.

Keep an eye out for more information coming to your buildings as we build this campaign from the ground up. We need you to move our contract campaign forward!