Cleanliness and Safety
Take a moment to fill out this short survey on school cleanliness – and feel free to upload photos or videos of facilities problems at your school.
Teachers are routinely forced to clean their own classrooms. We know this is not the fault of janitors. The responsibility lies with private corporations who short-staff schools, fail to provide janitors with adequate supplies, and ignore critical needs – while lining their executives’ pockets with our tax dollars.
The Chicago Teachers Union has blasted CPS and Mayor Emanuel for these deplorable conditions – and it’s time to step up our fight for decent teaching and learning conditions in our schools. You’ll find more information and tools to spur action at your school below.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Dirt and dust – including from asbestos floor and ceiling tiles and lead paint in windows – not swept or mopped up or appropriately sealed.
- Food left rotting in garbage cans and rodent and insect infestations in classrooms and other school locations.
- Deplorable conditions in children’s and staff bathrooms, gas leaks from old boilers, non-functioning heating and air conditioning, and other facilities problems.
These kinds of conditions — buildings that are crumbling, toxic and filthy — compromise the health and safety of students and staff.
We have contract provisions that allow us to fight against these dangerous conditions!
Members need to document and collect information – so fill out this short survey on school cleanliness and upload your pictures and video there. Article 14 of the CTU contract, “Safe and Healthy Work Environments,” stipulates that all school staff shall work in safe and healthful conditions (14-1) and that any situation that is likely to cause harm will be assessed with an on-site inspection within three days (14-2). Article 44, “General Provisions,” stipulates that teachers should not have to clean their own classrooms (44-3), that bathrooms need to be clean (44-5) and that every area in the school building will be cleaned each day (44-5).
What You Can Do:
- Use this Guide to Fighting for School Cleanliness, as well as the survey above and other documents below.
- Document everything! We have schools that are using a google spreadsheet or this document to track cleanliness problems. Please take lots of photos and videos and email them to the CTU.
- Raise this issue at your monthly PPC meetings
- Contact your field representative to file a grievance
- Talk to the LSC and to parents and encourage them to speak out
- Involve your local politicians
- Organize a group from your school to testify at the monthly board meetings
- Request a meeting with one of the board members: http://www.cpsboe.org/office-hours
- Become deeply informed:
- Use our Guide to Researching Your School’s Facility Conditions, which includes some of the resources below.
- Read your buildings’ facility assessment on your school’s profile page and check it for accuracy
- Read your buildings’ asbestos report on your school’s profile page and note which rooms are problematic. Also compare the report to the Asbestos Nation report and see if there are inconsistencies: http://www.asbestosnation.org/facts/inspectors-find-widespread-asbestos-risks-in-chicago-schools/
- Check your school’s lead test result on the CPS lead page: http://cps.edu/Pages/LeadTesting.aspx
- If any of these tests, assessments or inspections are outdated, fight to get updates!