A New Year & New Sense of Urgency: Chicago Public Schools Update

Wildwood teachers

January 2018 Contract Negotiations Update

We hope everyone had a peaceful holiday. We are now looking forward to 2019 and our campaign for our Union Contract.  Our last negotiations were on December 19th and over 50 members made their case on behalf of our students, schools and their co-workers.

  • Bus Aides: We challenged the CPS Board to either get rid of the test or not use it as part of an evaluation system that affects our hours and paychecks. We argued for the importance of seniority and experience as criteria to determine the assignment of routes and the right to additional hours. We, also, said that many workers get paid for four or six hours but from the start to end of the workday are ‘held captive’ by the job for up to 10 or 12 hours with little chance to leave or find additional employment. The Board agreed that these split shifts are a problem, so now it is time to do something about it.
  • Custodians: Why do we need Sodexo and Aramark and the other contractors at all? Custodians reported that they are instructed to sign off on training that they are promised in the future but never happens, increased workload, garbage and trash left from the night shift, and no recourse through the revolving door of bosses that come and go. These are all problems created by Aramark, Sodexo and other subcontractors. We demanded that the CPS Board come up with solutions to the problems that are leaving our schools dirtier, abusing custodians, and making Aramark and Sodexo executives and shareholders richer. It’s time for better staffing, training and bringing the work back into CPS.
  • SECAs: CPS is under an appointed monitor for special education programs because of their dishonesty and betrayal of our most vulnerable students and their families. We told them one of the failures is that they don’t invest in the professional development and ongoing training of SECAs and they need to start doing it. This training must include our care work, pedagogy, and classroom lesson plans. The Board responded with surprise that SECAs teach! SECAs reported that closet-cleaning or other BS work is often what they are assigned on professional development days – which has nothing to do with professional development does not benefit our students. When they deny us professional development, they hurt our students.
  • Discipline: We gave CPS a proposal to end the ‘culture of punishment’ by eliminating the overuse of long disciplinary suspensions. Our proposal is similar to the CTU contract on discipline and says to the Board that we will no longer be treated as second-class citizens in our schools.

2019 is the year that we all need to step up and get involved. Here is what you can do:

  1. Wear your Union Button proudly and wear purple every Friday.
  2. Sign the petition to the mayoral and aldermanic candidates in support of our negotiations
  3. Volunteer to be a Contract Captain at your school or bus barn
  4. Come to the next Negotiations from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (locations TBD):

Thursday, January 17th

Tuesday, January 29th

Wednesday, February 6th

Tuesday, February 19th 

        5. Join our Facebook Group.

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