Elected officials, grassroots neighborhood groups to join teachers, school clerks, clinicians, parents, students in struggle to reopen safely — and improve remote learning as pandemic surges.

  • 11:00 a.m. Car Caravan for Safety, Equity and Trust: Union Park, Ashland and Washington. B-roll/interview opportunities begin at 11A at Union Park; departure scheduled for 11:30AM. Second b-roll opportunity when caravan arrives at City Hall to deliver a holiday stocking to mayor. Event will be livestreamed via CTU Facebook page and carried live on 106.9 FM. Route: east on Washington from Union Park to City Hall. Action will close at Thompson Center.

CHICAGO—Teachers, parents, students and grassroots groups all want the same thing from CPS: safety, equity and trust. But CPS has rejected the Union’s safety concerns at every turn, refused to bargain to consensus on safety needs, rejected improving its inhumane remote learning program despite months of pleas from parents, students and educators, and fallen woefully short on safety promises they’ve made — and broken.

CTU rank and file members and their allies continue to push back — and will gather at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 12 at Union Park at Ashland and Washington for a Car Caravan for Safety, Equity and Trust. The caravan will head east on Washington to City Hall, where caravan members will stop and deliver a holiday stocking to the mayor — and some pointed criticisms of CPS’ dangerous plan to accommodate the mayor’s insistence on reopening unsafe buildings to students and school staff starting in early January — even as the pandemic is surging.

The Union has been seeking to bargain demands for safety, equity and trust with CPS for months. CPS has repeatedly refused, even as COVID cases have surfaced in over 160 schools just since the fall quarter began — before students have even returned and as those schools have been run by skeleton crews.

CPS has also publicly lied about verifying the ‘safety’ of school ventilation systems to prevent spread of the virus — a claim that CPS contractors have admitted privately is not true, because ventilation systems have never been tested for COVID mitigation. And the District has hired in only a quarter of the 400 new janitors schools were promised, even as hundreds of safety complaints have poured in from workers forced back into buildings illegally. In October, an arbitrator ruled that school clerks and technology coordinators should be allowed to work remotely until CPS could document that building ventilation systems had been tested for COVID mitigation. Yet CPS and the mayor, in an unprecedented rejection of a pillar of labor law, have refused to obey that binding ruling, instead docking the pay and threatening to fire workers who seek to exercise their right to work remotely under that ruling until buildings can be shown to be safe.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.