As of today, our action is on as voted by Chicago Teachers Union membership last weekend.
All CTU members are expected to work remotely starting this morning. High school members will join members who have been instructed to report in-person, including clerks, clerk assistants, technology coordinators, clinicians, pre-kindergarten and cluster teachers, and now all of kindergarten through eighth grade staff.
Work your regular schedule. If you are not able to swipe or enter telework, send an email to your principal or manager to document your day. Let administration know when you start and end your day, that you are working remotely. and that you are available for your regular duties. Find some sample language and helpful advice on the CTU website.
Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools will try to scare you into thinking that you won’t be paid. But if you teach, enter any data, submit lesson plans, work on IEPs or contribute any labor the district accepts, that is acknowledgement that you are working. To withhold pay is wage theft.
We had movement yesterday on some of our most important issues — not because we finally convinced CPS at the bargaining table, but because of courageous action by CTU members who voted to take a stand, who have been reporting to buildings, and who have been locked out and working remotely for weeks. There are still, however, critical issues that need to be addressed.
We are seeking a health metric based on CDC guidance; a phased reopening; a plan for access to vaccinations for educators; remote work accommodations for members with medically vulnerable relatives; and enforceable safety standards in school buildings, which so far, have struggled to meet even basic needs for PPE, adequate ventilation and cleanliness.
CPS and the mayor have blinked — again. They told parents today would be a remote learning day and students would remain remote this week. The mayor walked back threats to lock us out at her press conference.
We want to teach, and we want to teach safely. If they force a crisis, it’s theirs to own.
We heard the story tonight of a 27-year veteran teacher whose mother suffers from stage 4 cancer. CPS denied her remote work accommodation — denied accommodation to a woman who has dedicated her career to nurturing children, and given the district half of her life.
There are thousands more stories like this. CPS and the mayor own them all.
Remember, remain working remotely until you hear otherwise from the Union. If anyone is issued formal discipline or locked out of their classroom account as punishment for working remotely, please quickly notify your delegate, picket captain or CTU field representative.
We will provide additional updates later in the day. Save the banner below to use as your remote work background.