STRIKE SCHEDULE: Monday, October 28
- 7:30 a.m.: CTU President Jesse Sharkey, Locke Elementary. 2828 N Oak Park Ave, Chicago
- 7:30 a.m./SPANISH LANGUAGE: CTU officer Maria Moreno, Schubert Elementary School, 2727 N. Long Ave.
- 9:30 a.m.: Students standing with CTU! Youth-led 9:30 a.m. march from Freedom School, 719 S State St., for 10 a.m. rally at City Hall.
- 11:30 a.m.: IL Coalition of Immigrant & Refugee Rights gathering, Art Institute, Michigan and Adams.
“Great” CPS offer would help only one-third of schools address classroom size, while CPS staffing proposal continues to fall far short for case managers, librarians, more.
Livestream of tonight’s post-bargaining update, courtesy of ABC/Channel 7 News.
CHICAGO—CPS CEO Janice Jackson joined her bargaining team briefly tonight to tell the CTU that CPS would not yield from its latest contract proposal. The entire CPS table then left early again to allow Jackson to attend a press conference with the mayor that promulgated another round of bad mayoral math in defense of a CPS proposal that falls far short of the mayor’s promise of equity and educational justice.
Sticking points at the table remain landing contract language designed to reign in classroom overcrowding across the city—CPS’ proposal would leave out two-thirds of CPS schools—and addressing staffing shortages for librarians, restorative justice coordinators, case managers and more.
Put bluntly, the deal that CPS is touting will not set an enforceable class size standard for all schools. On staffing, CPS has refused to meet targets for case managers—the critical staff who manage special education plans for the district’s most vulnerable learners. The offer also falls far short on staff like restorative justice coordinators, in-school staff who seek to work with students in difficulty to address and remedy behavioral and social-emotional issues, and avoid punitive approaches to discipline that can send children along the school-to-prison pipeline.
The union continues to demand a three year rather than a five year deal, and the district’s 14,000 elementary school teachers continue to demand a return of their morning half-hour prep time period that was unilaterally cancelled by Rahm Emanuel.
That prep time is critical for elementary school teachers, as a time to contact parents, grade papers, prepare lesson plans and more. While most teachers provide many hours of unpaid labor after hours doing these tasks as it is, the previous mayor intensified teachers’ lack of prep time by creating a longer rather than better school day. Many elementary teachers are forced to use that prep period to supervise children who eat school breakfasts in their classroom, and spend the time cleaning up spilled milk and breakfast leavings rather than teaching, even though CPS counts those minutes as ‘instructional’.