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The second installment in our top 10 memorable moments and Union achievements of 2021 addressed unprecedented need among our students.

Secured new part-time psychologist and nurse positions for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

Our union’s advocacy pushed Chicago Public Schools in November to create part-time psychologist and nurse positions for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, our students desperately need this additional support after seeing their neighborhoods and their own families hit hard by disease, death and the epidemic of violence on Chicago streets.

Our schools also suffered enormous staff shortages this year. At Frazier elementary in Lawndale, the principal was teaching algebra, the librarian worked as a substitute and the school still has no nurse, case manager or technology coordinator. Similar conditions are playing out all across our city.

The additional nursing and psychologist positions will address unprecedented need among our students and relieve the pressure on existing CPS clinicians, who are stretched to the breaking point. Initially, these positions were created on a temporary basis for this school year, but we are advocating that CPS make them permanent and expand half-time offerings to other clinician position titles as well.

We also secured a written commitment from CPS that the creation of these positions will have no adverse impact on current full-time psychologist and full-time nurse positions. Full-time positions cannot be replaced with part-time staff. These job titles are CTU bargaining unit positions and will have all corresponding rights and privileges under our contract.

These new clinicians illustrate — once again — how, when we fight back, we win. Our union has been organizing in our buildings, taking our message to parents and loudly demanding more staff for our schools. That kind of advocacy has worked for us before and continues to work today.

Previously in the CTU year in review:
Bargaining for a safe return to our schools

Please visit COVID-19 Safety Campaign on our website for the latest on safe return, including important member surveys, and information on upcoming testing events and all-member meetings.