CTU To Present Chicago School Board with Proposals for the next Contract
Today, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen GJ Lewis will lead 40 union members into contract negotiations with the Chicago Board of Education. The CTU will present its proposals for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (the contract). The current contract will expire on June 30, 2012.
At a news conference at CTU Headquarters, President Lewis explained that, “A goal for us in this contract negotiations process is to ensure that we help Chicago’s parents, students and everyone else concerned about educating our children stay informed about our progress.”
Lewis continued, “As we enter these negotiations we do so with the understanding that educational justice is the civil rights issue of today. We wish to express our appreciation for the strong messages of support on this which we continue to receive from around the city - - from parents, community organizations, and average citizens who understand that teachers and other school professionals are on the front lines in helping our children succeed.
“Every Chicago resident has a stake in the education of the over 400,000 children we serve. To be a world-class city begins with having a world-class school system, but we cannot have that without the necessary funding.
“While we cannot negotiate contract proposals and details in the news media, we can share with you the fact that we will be advocating for the practices, support, and resources which our neighborhood schools need and which our students deserve.
“At the heart of our proposals are objectives to strengthen the schools system’s support for professionalism. In order to produce critical thinkers, however, teachers and paraprofessionals must have the tools they need in order to create our city's next generation of productive citizens.
“Starving schools of the necessary resources is not a South Side or West Side problem. It's not a black or Latino problem. It's not a poor or middle-class problem. It's a city-wide problem, because in the end we all pay in one way or another if we fail to support our schools and the professionals who teach in them. We are painfully aware that our city’s leaders champion tax cuts for wealthy corporations at the expense of our schools. This must stop.
“Since the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, we've heard from many parents who told us they don't hold teachers accountable for the severity of the Chicago Public Schools' budget shortfall. Parents told us they recognize the sacrifices teachers make and they oppose attempts to balance the budget on the backs of teachers.
“We look forward to honest dialogue with CPS and a productive conclusion to negotiations, and to beginning the school year on time this fall.”