As you may recall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago has demanded that teachers teach a longer school day without additional compensation.

For that and other reasons (including rising class size), the Chicago Teachers Union took a strong stand in opposition. It took a strike vote, and 98% of those voting gave their approval, which was unexpected and unprecedented. The CTU held a rally, and 10,000 members turned out.

Mayor Emanuel accepted a deal that met the CTU’s demands. Its members will not have to work longer hours without pay. The school day will be extended, as he wants, and the teachers who provide the extra time will be selected from the pool of veteran teachers who were laid off.

This was a stunning victory for the CTU. It shows what happens when a union is resolute and united, and its demands are just.

Here is the CTU press release, which is the only information available at this time:

CPS STEPS BACK FROM LONGEST SCHOOL DAY; A VICTORY FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
INTERIM AGREEMENT MINIMIZES LONGER TEACHER WORK DAY,  STAFFS LONGER STUDENT DAY THROUGH NEW HIRES,                                 GUARANTEES NEW JOBS TO DISPLACED TEACHERS
CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) bargaining committee today accepted an interim agreement that many thought impossible:  The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has finally backed off the unworkable seven-hour 40 minute teacher work day and instead will make only modest increases in the length of teacher work days.  CPS thus reverses its publicly-announced policy that the CTU has consistently criticized as bad for both students and teachers.  CPS will staff the longer student day by hiring nearly 500 new teaching positions, and it has finally agreed to recall rights for teachers.  Tenured teachers displaced in 2010, 2011 and 2012 will constitute the pool from which principals must hire the new teachers.
“This is movement in the right direction, but this does not settle the outstanding and mandatory issues in the contract,” said Lewis. “It is too bad this solution—which was actually presented months ago—was rejected out of hand.  It has taken a march of nearly 10,000 educators, a strike authorization vote and a fact-finder’s report to get CPS to move on this issue. This is yet another example of the CTU’s determination and dedication to fighting for solutions that will strengthen our schools.”
Length of the School and Work Day is a permissive subject of bargaining under the Educational Labor Relations Act, and CPS previously announced that it was increasing the length of both elementary and high school work days to seven hours and 40 minutes without bargaining with the Union.  But CTU unity and determination has cause CPS to rethink its position, and the new agreement scales these times back significantly, while restoring work opportunities to displaced teachers.
The new schedules will be implemented with the start of the Track E school year, so that no disruption will occur to students or teachers as a result of ongoing contract negotiations.  It is expected that the new hiring will include many recently-neglected areas of instruction, including art, language, library science and physical education, thus achieving a CTU goal of a better school day, not just a longer school day.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Under the agreement, teacher work days will be 420 minutes (7 hours), which will include a 45-minute duty-free lunch during the day, which is the same length of day for schools that currently have an open campus.  Instructional minutes will be capped at 296 per day, which is no more than was allowed under the expired contract.  Average daily preparation time will be increased from 62 minutes to 64 minutes.  Student days will also be 420 minutes.
Since the student day will be longer CPS has also agreed to hire about 750 new teachers to cover the extra periods, including 477.5 new positions that will be filled under the Interim Agreement.  CPS has finally agreed that any tenured teacher displaced in 2010 or after can apply for an open position, and as long as at least 3 qualified applicants apply for a position the principal must hire a displaced teacher and cannot hire off the street.  Similar to the current process under Appendix H, the principal may elect not to retain the teacher after the semester is completed, but if so, the principal must hire the replacement out of the same pool of displaced teachers.  Any teacher retained beyond the semester becomes a permanent appointment.
A summary of the old school day (open campus), CPS announced Full School Day, and the settled day are shown below:
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Components of Teacher Day
Current Default
(open campus)
Announced
Full School Day
Interim
Agreement
Instructional Minutes
296
315
296
Morning Preparation
30
25
0
Midday Preparation
32
60
64
Duty-Free Lunch
45
45
45
Supervision
17
15
15
Total On Site
Work Time
420
460
420
 
HIGH SCHOOLS
Under the Interim Agreement, high school teacher work days will be increased 14 minutes, from 421 minutes to 435, but instructional minutes will be increased by no more than 7 minutes, from 244 to a maximum of 251.  Average daily preparation time will be increased up to 10 minutes, to a maximum of 102 minutes, depending on class length.  Critically, CPS has also agreed that no teacher will be required to teach a sixth class, as many teachers would have been compelled to do under the original CPS plan, unless that teacher receives additional compensation as required under the expired contract.  Student days will be 435 minutes on average per week.
A summary of the old school day, CPS announced Full School Day, and the settled day are shown below:
HIGH SCHOOLS
Components of Teacher Day
Current Schedule
 
Announced
Full School Day
(regular day)
Interim
Agreement
Instructional Minutes
244
Up to 276
248 to 251
 
Morning Preparation
0
10
0
Midday Preparation
92
92
92 to 102
Duty-Free Lunch
46
46
46 to 51
Passing Periods
38
36
up to 36
Total On Site
Work Time
421
460
435
 
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE
Though this Interim Agreement is significant, it does not settle many important issues that remain the subject of ongoing negotiations and discussions.  
For example, the Agreement does not settle the length of the school year, and it does not settle teacher compensation.  The Chicago Teachers Union and the Board of Education remain far apart on compensation issues, and this agreement does not change the timeline for CTU to exercise its full rights in contract negotiations.
“This Interim Agreement would not have been possible had we not shown our discipline and determination to be treated with respect,” said Lewis. “We are making real progress but we must keep up the pressure for a fair contract.”
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 400,000 students and families they serve.  The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third largest teachers local in the United States and the largest local union in Illinois.  For more information please visit CTU’s website at www.ctunet.com