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Union lobbying downstate for the restoration of bargaining rights and to bring democracy back to the decision-making process for Chicago’s public schools.

CHICAGO, May 29, 2019—Chicago Teachers Union members and community partners will be in the Illinois Capitol today lobbying for bargaining rights and democracy in Chicago Public Schools. Two bills—House bills 2267 and 2275—are currently pending in Springfield that would ensure that parents and community members have a voice in school governance, and restore Union collective bargaining rights that were stripped when mayoral control of CPS began in 1995.

HB2275 is the Union’s bill to restore CTU bargaining rights and bring Chicago in line with other Illinois school districts by repealing Section 4.5 of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act—the labor law governing CPS educators. HB2275 would require the district to bargain over class size, clinician staffing, special education teachers, paraprofessional staffing and other working conditions that every other district in the state is required to negotiate over.

HB2267 creates an elected representative school board for Chicago. Senate President John Cullerton, who long held the bill up at the behest of his friend, Rahm Emanuel, is currently doing the same for new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot campaigned for mayor on the promise of an elected school board, yet has asked for the bill to be stalled by Cullerton, who, currying favor with another Chicago mayor, was more than happy to oblige.

“If the mayor has concerns with a bill that she showed no objection to prior to being elected, then we urge her to have some serious and meaningful conversations with the real stakeholders in this—the individuals who have provided multiple iterations of the bill since it was first put on the ballot in 2012,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said.

The current session in Springfield ends May 31 at 11:59 p.m.