Our 2019 contract fight with Mayor Lightfoot produced critical wins for additional staffing, including more social workers and nurses, more teachers and Teacher Assistants to ease overcrowded classrooms, and extra staffing positions for high poverty schools. CPS told us for months they would not bargain to add these positions — but our members sacrificed, stood strong and won unprecedented improvements for their school communities, including 120 new:
- Restorative Justice Coordinators
Per the new Joint Staffing article, those new positions in counseling, library, and restorative justice will be added over the life of the contract. In each of the final four years of the contract, 30 high-needs schools will be provided an additional staff position. Last year, 30 positions were also assigned, and we anticipate 30 more being assigned in each of the next two years.
These positions are paid for by the district, so they don’t come out of school budgets. That’s vitally important in our effort to push the Mayor to fund school communities based on what students need, not on how much CPS has squeezed school budgets in recent years.
The CTU has just completed a process with the District that awards 30 of our schools a Librarian, a Restorative Justice Coordinator, or an additional Counselor. Restorative justice and counselor positions play a key role in helping schools move towards a less punitive approach to school discipline, and more librarian positions help reverse CPS’ deep cuts to our teacher-librarian staff that have left three out of four West Side schools without librarians.
- Schools receiving a Librarian: Cather, Foreman, Langford, N. Davis, and Ninos Heroes.
- Schools receiving an extra Counselor: Bradwell, Crown, Dulles, Libby, O’Keeffe, and Plamondon.
- Schools receiving a Restorative Justice Coordinator: Beidler, Carson, Chalmers, Ellington, Ericson, Howe, Jensen, Kellman, M. Clark, Mireles, Northwest M.S., Pullman, Sherman, Tilden, W. Brown, Webster, West Park, and Williams Prep.
- Seward will also receive a position which has not yet been determined.
Members at these schools have an important role to play, through your PPCs, in helping to make sure these positions are filled. You can help to make sure that CPS lives up to the contract and fills these positions by sharing the news with your colleagues, encouraging people to apply to the new position at your school, and making sure that this is an agenda point at your next PPC meeting, to ensure that the principal is actively working to hire someone for this position.
These jobs are funded through the end of 2024, when our current contract expires, and we will fight to have them funded past that date. Meet with your PPCs, and push your admins to fill these hard-won, critical positions!