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The Administrative Transfer Window is open from Nov. 18, 2018 through Jan. 2, 2019. Teachers can transfer from one school to another without their current principal’s approval, should they be offered a position. This transfer becomes effective the first day of the second semester.

Do you need relief from oversized classrooms? The Union has reconstituted our class size panel and can both investigate and make recommendations for relief. We are prioritizing class size in contract negotiations and need to document overcrowding. Please download and submit the class size referral form today by emailing CTU teacher field representative Lois Jones at loisjones@ctulocal1.com or faxing to 312-329-6203.

Dress code pushback

The Union is aware that CPS Labor Relations has distributed a template staff dress code to principals. Members should raise the issue through the PPC at any school where a principal imposes a staff dress code to which members object. If the principal refuses to engage with the PPC and work in good faith toward a mutually agreeable resolution, the delegate should get in touch with his/her field representative and the Union can raise the issue with the Board.

Remember, the Board agreed last year—in the face of bargaining demands, information requests and threatened ULPs—that it would direct principals to resolve dress code disputes through PPCs, and that the Union should let the Board know of any principals who refused to do so. There has been turnover in CPS Labor Relations since this time last year, and, after we saw the staff dress code communication CPS sent to principals, the Union has reminded CPS of the previously agreed upon process to address dress code issues. Coming to agreements on dress codes through PPCs acknowledges that (1) this is an issue that is best resolved locally, in view of widely varying school settings, academic focuses and cultures across the city; (2) the Union and its members have the right to a say about school staff dress codes; (3) there are no issues around dress codes at the vast majority of schools, and it does not make sense for either the Board or the Union to take a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach that would create problems in places where problems do not exist; and (4) there are some reasonable dress parameters that make sense (e.g., none of us would argue that teachers should be able to wear bathing suits to class, with the exception of a physical education teacher who is teaching swimming).

Sick day doctor’s note

Teachers should not be required to submit a doctor’s note unless they have been out of school for three or more consecutive days. In the event that you are sick and stay at home, and your principal demands a doctor’s note, you can write your own note attesting that you were ill and stayed home sick. A visit to the doctor is not always necessary, and frankly, it may not be possible to see a doctor unless the situation constitutes an emergency.