Help CTU Fight to Ensure You Receive all of the Expense Reimbursements You Are Entitled To!
In our new contract, we won expanded rights for educators to be reimbursed for school supply expenses. Despite this, we are hearing that CPS continues to deny reasonable reimbursement requests that should be granted. The Union is organizing an effort to ensure that members recoup all expenses for which they are entitled to reimbursement under the contract and Illinois state law, and there are some important action steps for you to take to make sure this happens. (1) Be sure to submit all requests for reimbursement with CPS within 30 days of the purchase – submit any lingering receipts you have not yet submitted as soon as possible! (CPS policy is 60 days, but for a potential claim under state law for expenses beyond the $250 allowed by the contract, the request has to be made within 30 days of purchase.) (2) Complete our survey about reimbursement requests you submitted – this is critically important so that CTU has good records to use in pursuing enforcement of your rights.
CTU Reaches Agreement with CPS on PSRP End-of-Year Assignments
This week, we reached an agreement with CPS on the issue of principals asking PSRPs to come into school buildings to perform various end of year tasks. The agreement has 4 parts.
The first part is that all assignments that involve PSRPs going into school buildings must be voluntary. In other words, no principal can require a PSRP to come into school against their wishes. The second part is that paras who do volunteer to do this work
will be paid time and a half hazard pay. The third part is that CPS has to take appropriate safety measures, and the plan for those have to shared with CTU in advance of the assignments being offered to members. And finally, CPS has to send a written communication to all principals explaining these are the only conditions on which folks can be coming into school buildings.
Members at Beasley Secure $47,000 settlement offer from CPS on Missed Preps Arbitration
Last week, CTU secured a settlement offer from CPS on a class action grievance concerning scores of preparation periods that were denied to teachers at Beasley during the 2017-18 school year. The exact payments to be issued to each member are being finalized, but the settlement offer represents vindication of the hard work these members did to ensure their contractual rights were observed. CTU Attorney Latoyia Kimbrough, Recording Secretary Christel Williams-Hayes, and Curtis Bynum were aided in their excellent work to secure this win by the members’ diligent record keeping and persistence with their administration on the issue of missed preps.
Members Successfully Thwart Principal’s Scheme to force an Extended Work Day
The administration at Gunsaulus Academy in recent weeks has been making a push to get educators at the school to agree to work an extended school day next year beyond the school day established by the CTU contract. Members at the school reported to their CTU representatives feeling pressured into agreeing to the longer schedule. CTU immediately raised this concern in strategic bargaining and reminded CPS of the ULPs that resulted when Rahm engaged in direct dealing by trying to get schools to agree to pilot longer school day programs in 2011. CPS thereafter contacted the principal and the extended school day plan was dropped.
It appears that various network chiefs think that efforts like this are a good idea. It will be important for school PPCs to remain vigilant against such efforts, organize against them, and report them to CTU.
Item Retrieval for Educators in High-risk Health Categories
Principals have been scheduling times for educators to come into school buildings to retrieve their personal items before the end of the school year. A number of members have raised concerns about being in high-risk health categories and not feeling comfortable going into school buildings. Members in this situation should contact their field representatives and principals to see if alternative arrangements cannot be made for item retrieval (e.g., sending a family member or colleague). CPS tells us it is also working with its facilities department to address situations raisings these concerns.
Remote Pre-discipline Meetings
Our contract requires pre-discipline meetings to take place in-person unless there is mutual agreement to have them conducted remotely. Over the course of the past couple weeks, CPS has begun to schedule a significant number of pre-discipline meetings, in short-sighted effort to “close them out before the end of the year.” In some cases, members may want to proceed remotely to get the matter over with. But, if a member objects, the member and the field rep can request that the pre-discipline meeting should be rescheduled at a time when public health conditions permit it to take place in person. If the principal denies this request, the member and his/her rep should attend the pre-discipline meeting so as not to be insubordinate. The field rep will make an objection on the record as to the meeting proceeding remotely without mutual agreement, and reserve all of the member and the Union’s rights to challenge the discipline.