Rank and file expected to vote next week to ensure continuing COVID safety protections for students, staff as families ready for new school year and CTU celebrates 85th anniversary of union’s founding.

  • 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21: Inauguration of new CTU officers, CTU headquarters, 1901 W. Carroll.
  • 7 a.m., Monday, August 22: back-to-school press availability with CTU educators, officers, Back of the Yards High School, 2111 W 47th St., Chicago
  • Noon, Monday, Aug. 22: CTU President Stacy Davis Gates addresses City Club of Chicago, Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 W. Grand Ave., Chicago

CHICAGO The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is kicking off the start of the 2022 – 2023 school year on Sunday, with the 1:00 p.m. swearing in of the Union’s new slate of officers and executive board members at CTU headquarters, followed by a noon keynote speech Monday by President Stacy Davis Gates to the City Club of Chicago. CTU officers are also joining rank and file educators at 7:00 a.m. on Monday at Back of the Yards High School to welcome educators and students back for the first day of the new school year.

The Union has been working for months to build out a more cooperative relationship with CPS officials, most recently landing a new tentative safety agreement with CPS that ensures stability and certainty for students and families as classes begin. The Union’s elected House of Delegates will consider the proposed safety agreement on Wednesday, with members expected to vote on the agreement late next week.

In May, rank-and-file CTU members elected Davis Gates president and Jackson Potter vice president, and reelected Christel Williams-Hayes recording secretary and Maria Moreno financial secretary. All officers are members of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) which took the helm of the union in 2010 under Karen Lewis and Jesse Sharkey. Lewis resigned her post in 2018 for health reasons, and this winter Sharkey announced he would not run for reelection. In addition to officers, rank and file members also elected dozens of members to the CTU Executive Board who also will be sworn in this weekend.

The Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. will conduct Sunday’s swearing-in ceremony, which will be attended by and feature remarks by American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery. The CTU is an AFT and IFT affiliate.

Sunday’s convocation and Monday’s events come as the union is close to landing a new safety agreement with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that will cover the 2022 – 2023 school year. That agreement will be presented to the CTU’s House of Delegates, the union’s governing body, next Wednesday, and if delegates approve, the proposed MOU, or memorandum of agreement, will go to the rank and file for a final vote later next week.

On Monday, the first day of school for CPS students, Davis Gates will address the City Club of Chicago. She’ll discuss the forces that have worked to destabilize CPS school communities, the ongoing harms of mayoral control of public schools, and the CTU’s bold vision for transforming the district into one that centers equity, humanity and love.

Those features have been sorely lacking, especially in schools serving the city’s Black and Brown communities, which are still reeling from the devastation, loss and trauma of the pandemic, as well as years of disinvestment and neglect in their neighborhoods. CTU is calling for a massive investment of resources and a revamped funding model to address decades of systemic disinvestment in neighborhood schools and the District’s chronic structural deficit.

Among the Union’s concerns are chronic special education and bilingual education vacancies, persistent transportation challenges for students – including students with disabilities – and shortages of educators, including substitute teachers and support staff, across the district.

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.