If you are not a CTU member and you’re here to show your solidarity, we hope that you’ll send a message to your elected officials asking them to stand up for us. The letter on this page is specifically for CTU members to pledge action for safety, equity and trust. Thank you for your support.
Sign the all-member collective letter pledging to oppose — and take action against — the mayor’s reckless plan to reopen on Jan. 4.
CPS is trying to split us up and force more people back in despite their failure to bargain, despite the grave concerns of our members, and despite the overwhelming majority of parents who’ve said NO to their reopening plan.
Our members who’ve been called back on January 4 have the right to decline unsafe work. Let CPS know that we will exercise our rights — and that we are willing to take collective workplace actions to defend ourselves and secure our right to safe working conditions — by signing this letter. CPS will threaten us for exercising our rights — and to protect ourselves from these risks, we must all stand together.
By signing onto this letter, you — and all of us who sign — are pledging to take collective action and escalate our fight for real safety, equity and trust in any CPS reopening plan.
For members not called back on Jan. 4, signing this pledge will help protect our members who are on the front lines from retaliation. ALL CTU members should sign this letter to let CPS know that we will exercise our rights — and that we are willing to take workplace actions to defend ourselves.
To: Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Board of Education
From: [Your Name]
We, the undersigned members of the Chicago Teachers Union, are deeply concerned about Mayor Lightfoot and the Board of Education’s push to return students and staff to school buildings without meaningful input from parents, educators, or independent medical and safety experts. We believe this reckless effort prioritizes the Mayor’s political interests at the expense of our students, health and safety, and the advancement of equity or trust in our public schools.
CPS leaders have ignored workers’ rights, our contract, the decisions of an independent arbitrator, and public health best practices as part of this campaign to open buildings at all costs.
CPS is refusing to name a reasonable health public metric, is refusing legitimate requests for leave, is insisting that school staff work in-person for remote duties such as remote teaching and PD, and is requiring that we return prior to having negotiated an agreement on safety measures with my union. The incidence of COVID-19 infection in the City and in my school community remains dangerously high. Working in-person under these conditions poses an abnormally dangerous threat to my health and safety, and that of my family and school community members, and I have a legal right to decline to work under such conditions.
CPS is demanding that we return prior to having negotiated an agreement on safety measures with our union. The incidence of COVID-19 infection in the City and in my school community remains dangerously high. Working in-person under these conditions poses an abnormally dangerous threat to our health and safety, and that of our families and school communities.
Therefore, in the name of public health, and out of respect for ourselves and our co-workers, we pledge:
- We will refuse duties that pose a serious threat to our health and safety, and we will speak up if we see our co-workers or students subject to unsafe conditions.
- If confronted with unsafe conditions, we will perform that work remotely.
- We will support official actions by our union to achieve safety, equity and trust — and an agreement on those matters with the Board of Education.
Retaliation against CTU members for exercising these rights to protect the health of ourselves and our communities will be seen as a violation of labor law and harm against our schools, deserving swift action by our entire union.