Everything we’ve won in previous contracts was because of members’ unity and willingness to take action: organizing our communities, protesting for justice, and striking for decent contracts. We have hoped to create a new relationship.

We’re ready for a relationship of cooperation that could set a national example of what organized educators and school management could achieve together. We’re ready for a relationship that matches and makes possible the transformative vision for the city that Chicagoans are hungry for. But it’s impossible when CPS leadership drags their feet and rejects that partnership.

We have our bargaining rights back and can negotiate our contract in ways we haven’t since 1995. CPS must recognize that this is a new day.

As CPS CEO, Martinez may have inherited the bad deals Rahm and Rauner made with big banks in the past, predatory loans that put CPS in hundreds of millions of debt, but he doesn’t have to use the same playbook they did. Frankly, we won’t let him. Chicago has new leadership in the Mayor’s office because our city wants better.

This union is ready for a better relationship with CPS — for all of us. The question is, will CPS make a choice to try something new and create better together?

Stand with us on July 17 at CPS’ budget hearing.