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Another day of bargaining with the mayor’s team makes clear she has yet to order her crew to move off their obstructionism and work WITH us rather than against us in supporting our school communities.

This is clearly not our first time at this rodeo, so this Friday we’re once again doing what we do: organizing our parents, families and school communities, and getting our message out through another day of action. Schools have been in motion all week with parent flyering, testing, walk-ins and more. This work is essential to moving the needle at the table AND in our schools, and it really has an impact.

On Friday, wear red to show your solidarity. Print out and distribute our demand flyers to parents, colleagues and in your school community. You can download the flyer in English and/or Spanish. Take photos of your action, and share them on social media. Make sure to tag us at @CTULocal1 or send to communications@ctulocal1.org so we can share. Use the hashtag #StandUpForSafety.

The mayor understands pressure, and we aim to continue to step it up. CPS told us today in bargaining that they’re still testing less than 20,000 students a week — still woefully short in a district of more than 320,000 schoolchildren whose parents were promised weekly testing for ALL. We’ve created this flyer in English and Spanish to help parents successfully complete CPS’ cumbersome and confusing testing registration process, so share it with your families, send it home with your students, and watch for more ideas about how to get students signed up for tests.

In our Tuesday bargaining update, we shared numbers regarding substitute teachers and the sub teacher crisis, with CPS asserting they’ve got 158 provisional cadre, 132 regular cadre, and roughly 2,600 day to day subs. We have woefully under-supported cadre, yet the mayor’s CPS team foolishly laid off cadre this summer. Our proposal at the table is simple: we want CPS to hire 1,000 of a combination of cadre and provisional cadre — at a rate of roughly two workers per school.

We’ve also demanded parity with City employees in terms of vaccine incentives, and have proposed that our members get an additional Personal Business Day or a $400 bonus should they be vaxed by the end of the calendar year. We want this applied for EVERY member who’s received a vaccination, in alignment with what City workers are getting. CPS’ quick response: they think the threat of being fired is incentive enough, they don’t think this will move those who may be vax resistant, and they claimed there was an important difference between us and city workers — but they didn’t say what that difference was. Not good enough.

We also responded to their proposal to give a monthly financial bonus to day-to-day subs who work at least 12 days a month — we want a bonus AND health insurance for those workers.

In terms of chronic staffing issues for subs, we’ve also proposed that on daily basis, there should be at least 200 central office personnel who are licensed educators assigned to cover classes that lack substitute teachers.

Learn more from our updated bargaining chart, and check out our FAQ, COVID-Related Frequently Asked Questions, as well.

As I noted above, unsurprisingly, CPS has NOT really ramped testing over the last week. So use our new testing flyer with parents, and make sure you know when testing is supposed to occur in your school so you can spread the word with colleagues and families. Go to our direct link, ctulocal1.org/test and click on the link to CPS testing registration site — scroll down to search for testing at your school, and let your field rep know if your school is again not tested this week.

Please continue to step up, speak out, and stand with your fellow educators in solidarity as we continue to push for the safety and supports our students and school communities need and deserve. When we stand together in unity, we’re unstoppable.