The following resolution was passed by the CTU House of Delegates at its April 7, 2021 meeting.
WHEREAS bargaining between the CTU and CPS over HS reopening has not yet produced an agreement, and
WHEREAS CPS had originally suggested most High Schools would return with students attending 2 days a week, and
WHEREAS CPS is now indicating that upwards of 75% of high schools could return with students attending 4 days a week, and
WHEREAS high schools are mostly unable to schedule students in pods, meaning that scheduling is the main mechanism for ensuring social distancing and therefore safety, and
WHEREAS most of our students and their families are not yet vaccinated, and
WHEREAS the current surge in Covid 19 cases in nearby states such as Michigan and Minnesota is being driven by the B.1.1.7. variant, which is both more contagious among young people and more deadly, and
WHEREAS the current surge in Covid 19 is being driven by young people–including those of high school age, and
WHEREAS CPS schools currently qualify for a district-wide shutdown on two of the three metrics that were established under the MOU, and
WHEREAS CPS has been unwilling to enter any agreements about making vaccine available to students or their vulnerable family members, and
WHEREAS there are many open issues in bargaining, including the willingness of CPS to allow high school teachers, clinicians, and other staff to work remotely on Wednesdays and other times when students are remote, and
WHEREAS CPS has not yet addressed increased technology support, the right to unpaid job-protected leaves, or updated their safety protocols for high school, and
WHEREAS CPS has still not made commitments about pandemic-related student supports going into the summer, and
WHEREAS it is increasingly obvious that bargaining during the pandemic is a continuous process in which the HS reopening date is only the latest crisis point, which is sure to be followed by others including in the fall, and
WHEREAS the Chicago Public Schools have received over $1.8 billion in federal Covid Relief, but have yet to commit to staffing improvements to address student trauma, and
WHEREAS the BOARD has not put forward an effective plan to regain parent trust and bring the hardest-hit communities in the city back into school, and
WHEREAS the failure of students to return in the fall will be felt most acutely by our public school families, and by public school staff who could face job loss and loss of public confidence in the institution that has been our commitment and career.
NOW, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, CTU will work to inform members, parents and the public that, without reaching an agreement, CPS educators do not yet believe the district has adequate plans in place for in-person high school education or safety for High School students, educators and their families, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Chicago Teachers Union calls for CPS to delay their high school reopening plan to provide further time for negotiations and to monitor developments around the current COVID-19 surge unless the Mayor and the Board of Education reach an agreement with the Union, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the CTU will continue to gather demands from our members and continue bargaining even after high school reopens so that the CTU goes into the summer and fall with a plan to increase pressure on the BOARD and city in order to address safety and learning needs in our schools, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the CTU will work to build connections with parent and community groups in order to encourage the growth of a broad-based movement for meeting the pandemic-related needs of our students and their communities.