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HB 2275, a bill to restore CTU’s bargaining rights, passed the House Labor committee and moves to the full House for a vote, potentially as soon as next week. The bill’s chief sponsor is Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin (D-10). The bill’s counterpart in the Illinois Senate, SB 1732, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18).

This legislation would reverse a section of the 1995 Chicago School Reform Act that made it nigh impossible for CTU to negotiate class sizes, special education and clinician staffing, and third party outsourcing with the Chicago Public Schools. That law altered Section 4.5 of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act to move those topics from “mandatory” bargaining (the Union can strike over it) to “permissive” (can be bargained, but not struck). This has resulted in: some of the largest class sizes in the state; woefully inadequate staffing of school nurses, school social workers and other clinicians, special education teachers, and teacher assistants; and the outsourcing of school operations to Aramark that resulted in filthy schools and dangerous learning conditions. These issues are mandatory subjects of bargaining in every other Illinois school district. This proposed legislation merely puts CPS on an equal playing field.

Call your State Representative and let him/her know you’re a CTU member – and that you would appreciate that person’s support in the House.