Victory for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel who provide essential classroom support but have confronted years of push-out from Emanuel’s hand-picked school execs.
CHICAGO, November 9, 2017— After a multi-year battle with Mayor Emanuel’s hand-picked CPS management team, the Chicago Teachers Union has pushed the district to hire 91 additional teacher assistants and 11 additional teachers for schools struggling with lack of resources and overcrowding.
Rank and file members joined with CTU field staff to successfully organize around the issue – and to force CPS to enforce the CTU contract, specifically around K-2 class size issues. The agreement means more living wage employment opportunities for CTU PSRPs – paraprofessionals and school-related personnel – a job category that has been under attack by Mayor Emanuel’s hand-picked school bosses for years.
“We know that classrooms in dozens of schools are overcrowded – and that teacher assistants play a critical role in supporting classroom conditions that allow students to learn and teachers to educate,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “This victory is a powerful rejection of management’s endless nickel –and-diming of our members and our students – and an opportunity to put our union PSRPs back to work. We also want to push Emanuel’s school CEO to be mindful of a central demand from our neighborhoods – that CPS hire from within our communities, and that placement focuses on Black and Brown workers who reflect and have a real connection to neighborhoods in need.”
For the CTU, this hiring initiative is an important win in a much larger battle. Many other schools need – but have not yet received – staffing support, and the CTU is encouraging members to reach out to union staff if their schools and classrooms continue to confront school staffing needs.
The new hiring commitment opens up slots for TAs, plus some full-time teaching slots, at schools that include Audobon, Daniel Boone, Bouchet, West Ridge ES, Byrne, Rachel Carson, Carter, Chase, Clay, Cook, Dixon, Dore, Drake, Ebinger, Edgebrook, Esmond, Fort Dearborn, Foster Park, Garvy, Grissom, Josefa Ortiz, Gregory, Sapata Academy, Smith, Hitch, Hoyne, Cullen, Green, Mason, Wells Prep., Pasteur, Pickard, Sauganash, Sawyer, Solomon, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Taylor, Lavizzo, Ward, Ella Flagg Young, Von Beethoven, Willa Cather, Morton, Richard Henry Lee, Dubois, Wacker, Belmont-Cragin, Talman, Tarkington, Delgado Kanoon Magnet, Gallistel, Jackson Language Academy, Sheridan Math & Science, Skinner, Metcalf, Hendricks, Higgins, and Richards Academy.
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 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.ctunet.com.