TSJ's Stephanie Hicks on the CTU Strike: Interview by Kevin Powell
Please read the entire post on Kevin Powell's site (Stephanie's answers are in the first part of the post):
http://www.kevinpowell.net/blog/2012/09/chicago-teachers-strike-2-educators-speak/ Read the Full Story
THE STRIKE IS STILL ON!
House of Delegates Votes to Continue Strike
- Secure Raises & Ensure Fair Compensation: The CTU wants a three-year contract. It will secure a 3% raise in the first year, 2% raise in the second and 2% raise in the third, with the option to extend to a 4th year by mutual agreement at another 3% raise.
- Defeat Merit Pay: The CTU successfully fought the star of national misguided school reform policies. The Board agreed to move away from "Differentiated Compensation," which would have allowed them to pay one set of teachers (based on unknown criteria) one set of pay versus another set of pay for others.
- Preserve Steps & Lanes: The new contract will preserve the full value of teachers and paraprofessionals career ladder (steps); and, it will increased the value of the highest steps (14, 15 and 16)
- Provide A Better School Day: The Board will hire over 600 additional 'special' teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes to ensure students receive a better school day, a demand thousands of parents have called for since last year
- Ensures Job Security: Creates a "CPS Hiring Pool," which demands that one-half of all of CPS hires must be displaced (laid-off) members.
- Adds An Anti-Bullying Provision: No more bullying by principals and managerial personnel. The new language will curtail some of the abusive practices that have run rampant in many neighborhood schools.
- Paraprofessional & Clinicians Prep Time: The new contract will guarantee preps for clinicians.
- Racial Diversity: The CTU continues to fight the District on its lay-off policies that has led to a record number of African American educators being laid off and eventually terminated by the District. The new contract will ensure that CPS recruits a racially diverse teaching force.
- New Recall Rights & Tackling School Closings: Acknowledging, the CTU will continue its ongoing legal and legislative fight for a moratorium on all school closings, turnarounds and phase-outs, the new contract requires teachers to "follow their students" in all school actions. This will reduce instability among students and educators. The contract will also have 10 months of "true recall" to the same school if a position opens.
- Fairer Evaluation Procedures: The new contract will limit CPS to 70% "teacher practice," 30% "student growth" (or test scores)-which is the minimum by state law. It also secures in the first year of implementation of the new evaluation procedures there will be "no harmful consequences" for tenured teachers. It also secures a new right-the right to appeal a rating.
- Reimbursement for School Supplies: The contract will require the District to reimburse educators for the purchase of school supplies up to $250.
- Additional Wrap-Around Services: The Board agrees to commit to hire nurses, social workers and school counselors if it gets new revenue. Over the past several months, the CTU has identified several sources of new revenue, including the Tax Increment Financing program.
- Books on Day One: For the first time, the new contract will guarantee all CPS students and educators have textbooks on day one and will not have to wait up to six weeks for learning materials.
- Unified School Calendar: The new contract will improve language on a unified calendar. The District will have one calendar for the entire school district and get rid of Track E and Track R schools. All students and teaching personnel will begin on the same schedule.
- Reduced Paperwork: The new contract ensures the new paperwork requirements are balanced against reduction of previous requirements.
Mass Rally to Support CTU - Sat, Sept 15th
Download flyers, English and Spanish
Statement of Solidarity from the Graduate Employees Organization at UIC: CTU’s fight is our fight!
I am writing to you as a Co-president of GEO and a family member of a Chicago Public School teacher. My spouse, John, is a member of CTU and an elementary music teacher at Dominguez Elementary in Little Village. John has been a teacher in the public schools for 12 years. He has worked inmany different classrooms with kindergartners who never went to preschool, cannot read (much less tie their own shoe), and cannot speak English. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel was pushing for a longer school day and advocates for school “reform” were decrying Chicago’s short school day, John was working from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm and only had a 20 minute break to eat his lunch. Often he was not scheduled time to prepare his lessons during the day, so most of the preparation for his lessons happened outside of the school day—the work he does cannot be measured only by the time he spends in front of his students.
Since I’m a full-time graduate student earning low wages as a teaching assistant and paying high fees at UIC, John’s salary covers our living expenses. The day the CTU went on strike, John ceased to earn any income. Every day he goes to the picket lines at 6:30 am and marches with his fellow teachers every afternoon downtown. This strike is not about increasing teachers’ salaries. John and all CTU teachers are committed to fighting for better working conditions and for a better education for all CPS students—that means up-to-date text books, social workers and nurses in every school, smaller class sizes, and music and art for all CPS students, not just the wealthiest.
As a teaching assistant at UIC, I see the same fight ahead of us. We are up against a University system that takes our labor for granted. A University that is slow to give us the proper training and supplies that we need to do our job and that continually uses the current economic crisis to force us to work for low wages. Like John and the CTU, I am standing up for workers and demanding that we not bear the weight of austerity alone. Support CTU at a rally this Saturday, September 15, at noon in Union Park (Ashland and Lake), and join the GEO at the bargaining table as we negotiate our contract with the University on Wednesday, September 12, at 1:00 pm in University Hall, room 650. Stand with the CTU and the GEO to fight for workers and the future of public education!
TA, Department of Art History Read the Full Story
TSJ Appearances on Democracy Now!
Why We're Striking in Chicago
Teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians in Chicago have been without a labor agreement since June of this year.
Following the inability of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to reach an agreement over benefits, the role of standardized tests in teacher evaluations, and physical improvements to schools that teachers say are harming both teacher and student performance, the CTU has announced that a city-wide stirke will begin today - the first teachers strike in 25 years.
Pickets are expected at 675 schools and the Board of Education.Read the Full Story
TSJ Strike Support Actions Week of 9/9
Every day of the strike, TSJ will be handing out flyers and talking to parents at many of the holding schools Rahm has set up. Join us! Be there at 8am when parents arrive or at 12:30pm when they pick up their children. When you arrive at the school, find the CTU picket captain and tell them you are there with TSJ. You can download flyers to print here.
Also, in collaboration with Parents United For Safe Passage, TSJ is volunteering time and resources for K-8th grade students to receive educational instruction from 9am-3pm every weekday. To volunteer or donate supplies and/or food, please contact Aisha at aishaelamin2[at]gmail.com.
For up-to-date information from CTU, please go to CTU's Strike Central Page.
- Picketing at CPS holding schools 8-9am (when parents drop off kids) or 12:15-1:00pm (when parents pick up kids)
- Feeder march from Pilsen to downtown rally. Meet at 1:45pm at 18th and Loomis. March will start at 2:15pm. We will march through the Loop and meet up with the rally at CPS Headquarters. Contact # 312-375-8898 for more info.
- Picketing at CPS holding schools
- 9:30am - March & Rally in Albany Park. TSJ is joining with Albany Park Neighborhood Council on a march from Hibbert Elementary School (3244 W. Ainslie at Sawyer) through Albany Park to Haugan Elementary (4540 N. Hamlin) and ending at Roosevelt High School (3436 W. Wilson) where there will be a rally. All three schools are CPS holding schools (or what we're calling "Children Last" schools).
- 2:30pm - CPS HQ - Fair Contract Rally
- 4:30pm - City Hall, 5th Floor - Labor supporters press conference
- 9am - Student press conference w/ VOYCE at Wells HS 936 N Ashland
- 11am - Rallies at 3 High Schools:
- Marshall HS 3250 W. Adams (meet at Jackson and Kedzie)
- Kelly HS 4136 S. California (meet at Archer and California)
- Dyett HS 555 E. 51st Street (meet at 51st and King Dr)
- 8:30am - March in Albany Park from Haugan Elementary School 4540 N. Hamlin to Hibbard School, 3244 W. Ainslie, ending at Roosevelt High school at Kimball and Wilson.
- 3:30pm - DAILY CTU RALLY: Communities Support the CTU Strike Rally at the Hyatt, 151 E. Wacker. 3:30pm picket @ Hyatt and 4:45 rally and press conference at Congress and Michigan. FB Event here.
- 6:30pm - Albany Park CTU Strike Community Forum: The Teachers Strike and the Schools Chicago Children Deserve, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3253 W. Wilson. Co-sponsered by TSJ, Albany Park Neighborhood Council and Albany Park Teachers Solidarity Campaign. CTU Spokesperson will share bargaining update. Child care and Spanish-English interpretation provided. FB Event here.
- 6:30pm - Rogers Park Community Forum: Parents and Teachers United For Our Children, St. James Presbyterian Church, 6554 N. Rockwell. Cosponsored by West Rogers Park 99% and Parents 4 Teachers.
- 8-9am - Teachers will be picketing at schools
- 9-noon - Canvassing the neighborhoods with teachers after picketing. Use this flyer in English and Spanish for canvassing.
- 9:45am - March and Rally @ Logan Square Monument: Join parents and students from 12 Logan Square schools on Friday morning at 9:45am at the Logan Square Monument (Kedzie/Milwaukee/Logan Blvd) to show some love for our teachers! March, rally and children's songs. Ask your kids to bring hearts/valentines/love notes to teachers.
- Noon - CTU Strike Solidarity Rally, Union Park, Ashland & Lake. This Saturday, the CTU and all of labor will hold an historic rally to support the CTU and stand up for what is best for students, schools and union members.
Contact Erin (emomoore[at]gmail.com)
- Sunday, leafleting @ Lindo Michoacan w APNC, 1-3pm
- Sunday, leafleting in Lincoln Sq (area w shops on Lincoln just South of Lawrence), 3:30-5pm
- Monday, Solidarity w CTU @ Hibbard School (3244 W. Ainslie) and Haugan School (4540 N. Hamlin), 8am
- Tuesday, 9:30am - March & Rally in Albany Park. TSJ is joining with Albany Park Neighborhood Council on a march from Hibbert Elementary School (3244 W. Ainslie at Sawyer) through Albany Park to Haugan Elementary (4540 N. Hamlin) and ending at Roosevelt High School (3436 W. Wilson) where there will be a rally. All three schools are CPS holding schools (or what we're calling "Children Last" schools).
- Thursday, 8:30am - March from Haugan Elementary School 4540 N. Hamlin to Hibbard School, 3244 W. Ainslie, ending at Roosevelt High school at Kimball and Wilson.
- Thursday, Albany Park CTU Strike Community Forum, 9/13, 6:30 p.m.,Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church 3253 W. Wilson
- Strike school in collaboration with Parents United For Safe Passage, M-F 9am-3pm. Volunteers to work with K-8th grades needed, as well as supplies/food. Contact Aisha for more information: aishaelamin2[at]gmail.com
Contact Missy (missy48[at]gmail.com)
- Sunday, Logan Square Farmers Market (corner Milwaukee, Logan Blvd) 10 AM – 3PM
- Sunday, Jimenez Mercado, 3840 W. Fullerton 8:30-9:30am
- Sunday, Tonys Grocery 3607 W. Fullerton 9-10am & 12-2pm
- Friday, 9:45am - March and Rally @ Logan Square Monument: Join parents and students from 12 Logan Square schools on Friday morning at 9:45am at the Logan Square Monument (Kedzie/Milwaukee/Logan Blvd) to show some love for our teachers! March, rally and children's songs. Ask your kids to bring hearts/valentines/love notes to teachers.
- Flyering on the weekend (Contact Missy at missy45[at]gmail.com)
Contact Lew (rosetree[at]mindspring.com)
- Sunday, flyering at Lunt and the lake, 3-5PM
- Monday, flyering at Gale Elementary 1631 W. Jonquil Terr 8am
- Monday, flyering at Armstrong Elementary 2100 W. Greenleaf 8am
Contact Tonya: tonyat80[at]yahoo.com
- Sunday, flyering Far South, at 87th & State, 2-4PM
- Tuesday, flyering Hyde Park 55th & Lake Park, 4-6 PM
- Wednesday flyering 47th & Kedzie, 4-6 PM
Contact Byron bsigcho[at]gmail.com
- Monday, flyering at Cooper Branch School 1624 W. 19th St, 8-9am
- Monday, flyering at Perez School 1231 W. 19th St, 8-9am
- Monday, flyering at Smyth School 1059 W. 13th (ABLA Homes, Roosevelt Rd) 8-9am
CTU Strike Support: What You Can Do