Rank and file CTU educators consider next steps — including possible job action — to press Asian Human Services management to reverse course and guarantee protections for students, vulnerable family members, educators.

CHICAGO, March 4, 2021 — Educators and their unions across the nation are working tirelessly to land comprehensive, enforceable safety standards with school districts as management moves to reopen schools more widely in the coming weeks and months.

Yet while the CTU and CPS have at last landed an agreement that includes enforceable safety standards in District-run elementary schools, one charter operator — Asian Human Services — is now ditching their past commitment to sign off on enforceable safety standards with its educators.

Asian Human Services is instead trying to force rank and file educators back into classrooms next week with NO safety agreement in place. The operator runs a sole site North Side charter, Passages, that serves an overwhelmingly low-income student population that is roughly half Black, almost 30% Asian, and over 15% Latinx.

Passages management had agreed that any eventual return to in-person learning would be based on scientific metrics including positivity rate, new case rate per 100,000, case counts for overall new cases and case counts for youth cases, with a focus on zip codes where the vast majority of students live. The CTU lauded Passages for its science-based approach to metrics at the time, when the Union was also battling with CPS to land meaningful science-based metrics to assess risk.

But in a shocking reversal in late February, shortly after the CTU had landed a reopening agreement with CPS for district-run schools, Passages abruptly broke off negotiations with the Union and sent a message to parents announcing the school’s reopening March 8. At the same time, Passages also refused to agree to the science-based metrics to which the parties had previously agreed — even as management has fumbled the analysis of those agreed-upon metrics

Rank and file CTU educators have been horrified by management’s reversal of position, and are meeting Thursday evening to consider next steps, which could range from a grievance to a job action. Rank and file CTU educators went on strike at Passages in October of 2019, winning decent wages, better working conditions and real protections for immigrant, refugee and special needs students.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.