Chicago Public Schools Responds to Illegal Work Stoppage (Chicago, IL) – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is working around the clock to find a solution for parents, students, and CPS staff in light of the illegal work stoppage being driven by union leadership. Our schools are safe – with universal masking, social distancing, on-site testing, and classroom-by-classroom air quality reports, among other measures, implemented during the past year. There is no legal basis for our system to automatically transition to remote learning, nor is there a health, safety, academic, or moral reason for teachers and students to not be in our safe school buildings.
We know that in-person learning is the best thing for students, families and staff. We encourage CTU to end this illegal work stoppage and work with us on providing a safe in-person learning experience so students can continue to grow and thrive academically, socially and emotionally.
CPS is not authorized under state law to satisfy the union’s demand for District-wide remote learning. When students transitioned into remote learning in March of 2020, students experienced learning loss and more social and emotional issues. Students with limited internet access, diverse learners, and students in poverty all suffer under remote learning. We know from experience that such a move ends up hurting our students of color the most.
Thousands of CPS staff showed up to CPS schools today ready to work; these staff members will continue to be paid. CPS staff who do not show up to work will not be paid until they honor their commitment to the District and our students and report for work in-person at our schools. We stand firmly in our commitment to provide our students with in-person instruction as soon as possible.
If we are unable to resolve this issue with the CTU today – and negotiations are ongoing – we will inform parents about the status of tomorrow’s classes by the end of the day. Last night (Wednesday) CEO Martinez noted that if schools believe they will have enough staff Friday, they may begin today to invite families back on Friday for academic services. We ask that parents do not send children to school without instructions from their child’s school. Parents can expect to hear from their child’s principals today about what may or may not be offered at their children’s individual school(s).
Yesterday, one out of 10 CTU teachers showed up at CPS schools ready to work. That’s 10.1 percent of 21,624 teachers, and 9.97 percent of 4,193 substitute teachers showed up Wednesday.
Today, it was one out of every 8:12.82 percent of teachers and 15.33 percent of substitute teachers reported to schools on Thursday.
Schools are not offering educational services today, Thursday, but there are some 25 Safe Haven Sites.
Attached is an Unfair Labor Practice complaint filed with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.