CTU Contract Demands for the City Chicago Students Deserve
The current Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) contract—agreed to after an eight-day strike in 2012—expired at the end of school last year. Teachers and CPS are now negotiating a new contract. The CTU’s contact demands include important services and supports for our classrooms, while CPS is asking for a 12 percent, $26,000, pay cut and threatening massive layoffs.
Since CPS is only required by state law to negotiate over pay and benefits, it falls on parents to make their voices heard and demand CPS address the needs of students, teachers and families during contract talks.
The CTU’s contract demands include:
- Smaller class size limits that are enforceable. As budgets have been cut, class size in schools has exploded. At one point last year, a Kindergarten class on the South Side had 44 students.
- A clinician, school counselor, nurse, truant officer, and librarian in every school. Also, a restorative justice coordinator; art, music, PE teachers, and playground instructors.
- A significant reduction in number, duration and high stakes of standardized tests. NO testing at all for Pre-K through 2nd grade. Elimination of all non-state mandated standardized tests.
- Adequate preparation time and enforceable paperwork limits for teachers. Teachers want to teach instead of spending countless hours filling out forms and data sheets.
- Fund the Grow Your Own (GYO) program instead of Teach for America. GYO recruits CPS graduates, expanding opportunities for students of color to enter the teaching profession.
- CPS legal action against big banks to retrieve over $1 billion for our classrooms. End contracts with financial institutions that refuse to renegotiate excessive fees and penalties.
- Return of diverted revenues—estimated to be over $1 billion—from the tax increment financing (TIF) program to the schools.
- A moratorium on charter school expansion, school closings and turnarounds. Allow teachers at charter schools to unionize.
- Expanded pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) for parents at 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Establish 50 sustainable community schools and adopt policies to increase integration and access to a culturally relevant curriculum for all students.
The mayor and CPS want to use the current budget crisis to drive a wedge between parents and teachers. But many of the teachers’ demands—such as reducing testing, a charter moratorium and revenue proposals—would actually save money. If we stay united and support our teachers, we can win real changes for our students.
How can you help teachers win a fair contract that transforms teaching and learning for our children? Let CPS and the mayor know you support the teachers' contract demands because good working conditions for teachers are good learning conditions for students. Say NO to any pay cut for teachers.
- Call CPS CEO Forrest Claypool: 773-553-1000
- Call Mayor Emanuel: 773-744-3300
- Call CPS Board President Frank Clark: 773-553-1600
- Organize a parent meeting at your school to discuss the contract fight. P4T can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help win a new teachers’ contract that transforms teaching and learning for our children.