The National Association of School Nurses recommends one nurse to 750 healthy general education students. Illinois has the fifth worst ratio in the country, with one nurse for every 2,893 students. This puts our state at almost four times the recommended ratio. As the largest school district in the state by a factor of ten, Chicago is the heavyweight in this statistic. We all know that because nurses are spread so thin, our students and families are not getting the services they deserve, while already busy clerks and teachers are asked to fill in the gaps.
We’re told that resources don’t exist to hire nurses, or that there are not enough nurses to hire. This district has to stop the excuses, and make this a visible priority. They can no longer afford to put the health of our students at risk. We know this city and state have the resources to hire more nurses, and until set goals are established, the decision makers will not be held accountable.
The United Teachers Los Angeles six day strike in January of shows that a nurse in every school every day is a winnable demand. Over the next two school years, that district is contractually required to hire 300 more nurses. UTLA’s win will put a full-time nurse in every school 5 days a week. Politicians move when they are forced to, and as the CTU we need to continue to push on this issue. We should take advantage of the lessons others have learned through this victory, so that we can replicate the outcome here.
At 6:30 pm on Tuesday, March 19th, Arlene Inouye, the elected Secretary of UTLA and co-lead negotiator, and Stephanie Yellin Mednick, a rank and file UTLA nurse leader, have made themselves available to talk to CTU members via Zoom.
People can participate in this conversation at the CTU offices, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. or via an electronic device following the instructions below the signup form. We’ll meet and network with each other at the CTU Center about next steps in Chicago, so physical attendance is preferred over remote call-in.
Zoom Webinar Info
Topic: UTLA Strike – Nurses
Time: Mar 19, 2019 6:30 PM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/2732818473
Meeting ID: 273 281 8473