Video update on schooling in the fall

We met again with CPS today to further discuss schooling this fall, and this new video updates you on where things are as of today (if you missed the one we sent earlier this week, it’s here).

The CTU is continuing to demand full remote learning in the fall due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases in Illinois and across most of the U.S., as well as CPS’ failure to address many of the problems we have identified with their “framework” for reopening school buildings in September.

Stay tuned for more video updates in the weeks to come – and join us on Tuesday at 6PM for a teletown hall update. We’ll send out a voice and email reminder before Tuesday.

Veteran pay salary tables—at last

As we reported in May, the CTU and CPS came to agreement on how to add the $25 million in veteran pay that we won during the strike to the salary tables, but we only this week received the updated salary tables from CPS.

In the interest of getting this information out to members as quickly as possible, we’re making them available now even though we haven’t had time to re-design them to improve their readability.

These are the same as the schedules we agreed to and voted upon during contract ratification in November 2019, with the exception of the additional $25 million that has been added per finalization of the agreement on veteran pay.

Also, as CPS communicated in an earlier email, all teachers who meet the longevity payment eligibility criteria will receive a FY20 $2,100 longevity payment by July 31, 2020. (Take note: The additional longevity pay at year 30 is *not* reflected in the salary tables because that is a payment that does not add into base salary. Contract language on longevity pay will be reflected in the final version of Appendix A.)

All veteran teachers at or above Step 14 will receive retro payments so that their salaries correspond to the salary schedules.

Teachers receiving these salary adjustments will be grouped into two phases, Phase 1 and Phase 2. CPS sent notification of your group on July 24. CPS arbitrarily created these groupings for the facilitation of the payments across the affected teachers; they do not correspond to placement on the salary schedules.

Phase 1 teachers will receive step changes covering July 5-18 on July 31. On August 14, they will receive the rest of their retro payment for their step change back to July 1, 2019.

Phase 2 teachers will receive step changes covering July 19-August 1 on August 14. On August 28, they will receive the rest of their retro payment for their step change back to July 1, 2019.

When we fight, we win!

Worried about returning? Let CPS know

CPS sent our members a communication today on leave and accommodation requests. If you are concerned about returning to school this fall (and who isn’t!), you must let CPS know that you will not be safe in an in-person teaching environment, particularly as case numbers continue to climb and stay high. Members should seriously consider whether they will need a leave, as we push back against CPS’ proposal that the only option to stay safe is by taking an unpaid leave.

We encourage members to consider CPS’ “pre-questionnaire” an opportunity to let CPS know what your concerns are about returning to buildings this fall. In particular, when you are asked to “please identify the situation below that best applies to you,” it’s important to note that if you have concerns, you shouldn’t choose option 1 even if options 2-5 don’t exactly apply to your situation.

Instead, use the last option (“Other”) so that you can write in your own words about why you think that the school year should begin with full remote learning until adequate and safe conditions for students, families, and educators are in place.

If many of these concerns apply to you, you should select “other” and explain and ask questions.

We need remote learning until the pandemic is under control—and we are fighting for remote learning until we win. The information below lays out options you can consider as you fill out your preliminary leave/accommodation request.

NOTE: There is updated information about leaves, posted later than this communication. Please consult that COVID leave post and our Paid Time Off page and our Leaves of Absence page under My Rights.

A member who is not currently ill but has a chronic condition that will compromise their health if they return to school is entitled to ask for an ADA accommodation. These members have the option to teach full time through E-learning under CPS’ current guidelines. Under an ADA accommodation, members receive full pay. Medical documentation by a physician will be required.

There are several medical leaves. Refer to CPS’ Leave of Absence handbook for details about this policy:

  • If you are currently suffering from a medical condition and under doctor’s care or if you have a surgical procedure planned, apply for short term disability (STD). The threshold and qualifications for a STD leave have not changed.
  • If you are immune-compromised and your physician has ordered you to self-quarantine from the possibility of exposure to COVID, you’re eligible for a partially paid leave. You will receive up to 2/3 of your regular pay rate or a cap of $500 a day. Medical documentation is required.
  • If you or someone in your home has been exposed to COVID and are required to self quarantine or if you test positive for COVID, you get two weeks of fully paid leave. Medical documentation is required.
  • Expectant mothers who are required to self quarantine before their due date will be given two weeks of paid time and one week unpaid.
  • Employees who are unable to work due to a bona fide need to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave time at 2/3 their regular pay rate.
  • Standard FMLA leave. If you have a sick family member with an illness unrelated to COVID, you are allowed five school months to provide care to your family member. This is an unpaid leave. You need to use accrued sick days to get paid.
  • Unpaid discretionary leave. If you do not meet the above qualifications, you may take an unpaid discretionary leave. However, there are some risks. Not only is this leave unpaid, it also does not provide job protection.