Just as expected, CPS is attempting to scare us out of exercising our rights. CPS bosses have told principals to send the stock letter below to every single member who’s sent their principal our letter giving notification that you’re exercising your right to work safely and remotely.

They’re trying to intimidate us in a desperate bid to keep control over all decision-making power about reopening — and they’re willing to violate our contract and the law in their refusal to give educators and parents of color a voice in planning how to safely reopen.

If you get the form letter below from your principal or manager, remember that you are not alone. CTU members across the city are demanding to work under safe and healthful conditions as our contract and the law require.  We have power in numbers, and thousands of educators are prepared to stand with you if CPS tries to violate those rights.

Be sure to sign our all-member letter to the mayor and the Board of Education pledging to stand with members being forced back on January 4, and to oppose — and take action against — Lightfoot’s reckless plan to reopen. Work with your colleagues and LSCs to issue statements and pass resolutions vowing to stay remote until schools are safe, as a growing number of school communities are doing. Your organizer and field rep can help; find them at this link.

And don’t be bullied by this stock CPS response below. We have a right to safe working conditions. The CTU will defend every single member targeted for exercising that right, and leave every option on the table to secure safety. When we stand together and fight, we win.

CPS Form Letter:

Hello [namehere],

I am in receipt of your email.

While I empathize with your anxiety, whether to report in-person or work remotely cannot be a decision left to individual employees. Without an approved accommodation or leave of absence, all Pre-K and Cluster staff members are required to report to work in-person starting on January 4th as previously directed by CPS. Consequently, your request to continue remote instruction cannot be granted and you are expected to report for in-person instruction starting on Monday, January 4, 2021. If you do not report for in-person instruction starting on January 4th, your absence from the school building will be unauthorized and CPS will take appropriate next steps.

As Dr. Jackson indicated in her communication to teachers and staff, reopening schools for in-person instruction and learning is imperative for our students, a view that is supported by educational and medical experts. Please be assured that the school and CPS take your safety very seriously. CPS has implemented safeguards and policies aligned with guidance from CDPH and other public health experts to ensure that in-person learning can take place safely.

Your principal