In dangerous reversal, Asian Human Services breaks promise to guarantee protections for students, vulnerable family members, educators.
- 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 5: Press conference, Passages’ educators on bargaining with Asian Human Services management. Event will be livestreamed to CTU Facebook page.
CHICAGO, March 4, 2021 — Rank and file CTU educators at Passages Charter School will work from outside the school on Friday, even as management has threatened to discipline dozens of workers who are demanding safety assurances in writing before they return to the building.
Educators will hold a press conference at 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 5 in front of the school, located at 1643 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. in Chicago, to lay out their concerns that AHS has broken its promise to sign an agreement on enforceable safety standards.
Passages management had previously agreed with the CTU to base any decision to reopen to in-person learning on scientific metrics that include positivity rate, new case rate per 100,000, case counts for overall new cases and case counts for youth cases, with a focus on zip codes where most students live.
In January, the CTU pointed to Passages’ science-based approach to metrics as a welcome alternative to CPS’ refusal at the time to land meaningful science-based metrics to assess risk for reopening District-run schools.
Yet charter operator Asian Human Services, which runs Passages, is now ditching their past commitment to sign off on enforceable safety standards with its educators and has instead told parents classrooms will reopen Monday. Management is particularly insistent on ditching IDPH-based metrics in any enforceable agreement, even as educators are concerned about safety concerns that range from poor mask-wearing enforcement among school visitors to poorly deployed safety screening tests even before students return.
Passages serves an overwhelmingly low-income student population that is roughly half Black, almost 30% Asian, and over 15% Latinx, with a large proportion of immigrant families — precisely the demographic groups whose neighborhoods have been disproportionately hammered by COVID-19 sickness and death.
Safety commitments in writing in an enforceable agreement allow educators to hold management accountable and force improvements when management fails to follow safety protocols. That’s particularly critical for students at a school like Passages, which serves an overwhelmingly low-income student population that is roughly half Black, almost 30% Asian, and over 15% Latinx. A large proportion of children from immigrant families attend the school.
Those are precisely the demographic groups whose neighborhoods have been disproportionately hammered by COVID-19 sickness and death in Chicago.
The CTU and Passages management are scheduled to bargain again on Friday afternoon.