Members of the Chicago Teachers Union will vote on October 2 whether to ratify the contact negotiated with the city.
In the press release about the contract, CTU says these are the gains in the new contract for students and teachers:
Should members vote to ratify the contract it will force the Board of Education to:
· Hire over 600 additional teachers in Art, Music, Phys Ed and other subjects – helping to make the school day better not just longer.
· Maintain limits on class size – pushing back Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to remove all class size limits and threats to crowd 55 students into a class. The CTU also won a small increase in funding to decrease class size and was also able to add a parent Local School Council member to the “Class Size Committee” for every overcrowded school
· Make needed textbooks available to teachers from the first day of work and to students on the first day of school
· Promote racial diversity in hiring at CPS – fighting against the dramatic loss of African American teachers in Chicago’s schools
· Lower the focus on standardized testing by defeating merit pay and beating the percentage of our evaluations from test scores down to the legal minimum. This will allow more focus on teaching rather than high stakes testing
· Provide more attention to students from their school’s Social Workers and Nurses – under new rules to lessen workloads and prevent the growth of paperwork for our already overstretched clinicians.
· Establishes a Workload Committee to investigate work load sizes for social workers, psychologists, SPED teachers, classroom assistants and counselors in schools with high caseloads. It also provides funding to alleviate excessive workloads.
· Spend any new state money to fund school personnel to hire up to 100 additional social workers and clinicians
· Provide new protections for special education students, making class size violations grieveable.
CTU President Karen Lewis will cast her ballot at Dyett High School, a popular school that has been targeted by the district for closure.