The Illinois General Assembly has started its spring legislative session, and CTU is there advocating for what our schools need. Our goal is to build on our recent victories and to pass legislation that makes concrete improvements in school governance and oversight and that allows us to be more effective in our work.
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What to Do in the Event of Displacement, Honorable Dismissal, or Layoff
First, collect all of the documents necessary to process claim:
1. Displacement Letter
2. Half page of your bio a. Name, Address, phone #’s, non-cps email b. College Degrees c. Certifications d. Years and Teaching Assignments in CPS
3. Chronological narrative of what happened regarding this layoff and any unusual circumstances regarding this displacement
Date:_______ Time:___________ Who you talked to or Document:______________________One sentence summary [It is best that each entry is backed by documentary evidence (email, memo, records, etc…..)]
- Most Recent Evaluations, Ratings and Observations
- Information on student success or growth, accolades, awards and distinctions
Lastly, what help would you like to request from the Union in resolving this issue and getting you back on track?
Get this information to your Union Grievance Department -- Fax 312.329.6203 or Drop off at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400
If you believe that there are special circumstances concerning your displacement, please notify your Union in writing as soon as possible.
1. Fax in a grievance authorization to 312-329-6203 stating why you think your rights have been violated (your narrative with a timeline of events) and let’s start from there to get it resolved.
2. You may be contacted by our legal department to give a statement and provide evidence to be included in a lawsuit against CPS.
3. You can contact your union representative at the Chicago Teachers Union. Their contact information is available here.
4. If you do not know who your union representative is, ask the receptionist at 312-329-9100 and they will direct your call.
What you need to do going forward:
1. Apply for Unemployment if you are not being placed in the Reassigned Teacher Pool. Illinois law prohibits teachers from collecting unemployment over summer break so your eligibility will begin on the first day you would have worked (whether this is Track E or ‘regular’ track. If you are working as a day-to-day substitute, your eligibility will vary from week to week depending on how much you earned in that period from CPS. You might have weeks of full unemployment benefits, weeks of partial benefits and, if you earned more, no benefits. Your unemployment benefits will be reduced if your earnings equal half of your benefit amount. The maximum benefit payment is $338/week with supplements for those who have a dependent spouse and/or child. At this point, benefits are payable for a 26 week period although there is the possibility of another Federal extension which might apply to you. It is generally easiest to apply for unemployment online. To begin your online application or to download helpful pamphlets and information, go to ides.illinois.gov or use Teleserve at 888-367-4382. You can also visit your local IDES office. If you apply in person make sure to bring a photo ID, your social security card, a recent check stub and your termination letter from CPS.
2. Secure medical insurance for your and your family. Possibilities include a group plan through a spouse’s job if available and COBRA. If you are eligible for another group plan, you have 30 days from the time your CPS coverage ends to enroll even if this isn’t a normal open enrollment period. COBRA is available to all and can include family coverage but it is costly. It lasts for 18 months but, if you chose COBRA, you won’t be able to enroll in another family member’s group plan until their open enrollment period. If you or your family have little other income, you may also be eligible for Medicaid, Illinois Kids First or other programs.
3. Put a financial emergency plan in place with your family.
4. Secure all important documents related to your displacement and last assignment. a. Download and secure important e-mails from CPS First Class.b. Make copies of important documents.
5. Start a journal and take careful, detailed notes of: a. any interactions regarding this displacement b. any interactions looking for employment c. any interactions with CPS d. any financial issues
6. Verify your certification and endorsements. Are they up-to-date? Enter all CPDU’s and CEU’s you have earned into the system and keep copies of the paperwork.
7. Do not go to any CPS mass meetings or personal meetings regarding your displacement without first contacting your Union.
8. Do not sign any paperwork that you do not understand without first contacting your Union.
9. Remember; many have gone through this before. It’s going to be okay. You’ve got a network of family, friends, and fellow teachers to help you get through this difficult time. TO JOIN THE CTU DISPLACED TEACHER COMMITTEE, e-mail Pat Gerard at [email protected]
10. If you are thinking of a career change, check the program you are considering with IDES before you enroll. Some types of educational program may disqualify you for unemployment because they will consider you a student who is not available to accept work. Others are considered approved training programs which permit you to collect unemployment as long as you maintain your work search.