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AM News: Union Sues Board Of Ed

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Chicago Teachers Union Files Lawsuit to Prevent Layoffs  WBEZ:  The board of education last month gave Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman the power to lay off teachers and increase class sizes. ...Teachers Union Challenges Chicago Public Schools with Lawsuit Fox: The suit -- which names the Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman and several board members as defendants -- claims the... Huberman responds to CTU lawsuit after business hours Substance:  Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman responded after the end of business.

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  • I am confused by Uberman's rationale, because the Track E teachers I know that were laid off all had excellents or superiors on their evaluations? Is there something I missed?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    That's why he didn't have a face to face press conference. He wouldn't be able to answer questions about Track E teachers, the mentor teachers and how he is still hiring in CO.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I wouldn't say he was a failure. I was looking forward to working with him this year and the Sabin LSC...

    He did make some personnel changes based on bilingual certification that perplexed me. I mean we had like two or three PY students at grade level 7-8 two years ago. Does a principal really have to hire or fire someone based on the classifications of one or two students?

  • The CTU is actually gaining credibility and support from parents and families in the school system by fighting for what is best for teachers AND students on a variety of education issues.

    Now, in this particular case, the dismissal of unsatisfactory teachers it not being challenged; the process by which unsatisfactory teachers are released is being challenged. That's a huge difference. Of course, that's a subtlety, however large, that most blinded Union/teacher bashers will never understand. The simple fact is that CPS cannot unilaterally decide to ignore its contractual obligations and state law.

    Expecting an employer to fulfill contractual obligations hardly amounts to a sense of entitlement. Working class families understand that. It's the wealthy, "elite", and entitled ruling class that would bash teachers for standing up for themselves and for the public service of education.

  • Please read my first post. All the Track E teachers that I know who lost their positions had Excellent and Superior ratings.

  • I have read the lawsuit filed by the CTU and is now before Federal Magistrate Judge Cole who serves under Judge Coar. I think it is a serious lawsuit and has merit. One big problem with Mr. Huberman attempting to layoff teachers with unsatisfactory ratings first is the law CPS cited in attempting to circumvent the layoff rules established under the contract. The law cited by the CTU legal team is 105 ILCS 5/34-18(31) and the CPS referenced the same in its Board report.

    Individual determinations for these teachers does appear to be required by this section of the school code that CPS has attempted to invoke.

    The really big problem in all of this is that CPS agreed to a system to dismiss unsatisfactory teachers and signed a contract to that effect. CPS also agreed to layoff procedures and signed a contract to that effect. CPS chose to approve these provisions as part of a deal with the CTU. Mr. Huberman may not like that deal, some members of the public and Board may not like that deal, but the deal was made and is in effect. Effectively CPS appears to be arguing that all deals are off because of the fiscal crisis, but as the CTU lawyers astutely note in their filing CPS passed a resolution at its special June Board meeting indicating it was fiscally able to honor the CTU contract and this negates the fiscal emergency argument of tossing out the contract.

    I personally believe that teachers who have been rated unsatisfactory probably should be laid off first. But that rating is subject to the grievance process and no tenured teacher should be laid off for an unsatisfactory rating who is appealing such a rating based on how the principal evaluated the teacher. It does seem fair in a layoff situation that teachers in remediation be put on the chopping block first. As I have said before I have seen situations where CPS special education teachers have been given unsatisfactory ratings by principals when they have opposed administrative actions that were in violation of either IDEA or the State Administrative Code for special education. So I for sure want these teachers to have due process rights before any layoff.

    But a modified layoff approach for unsatisfactory teachers is not the deal CPS has in place with its teachers, it might have gotten such a deal during contract negotiations if it gave up something else, but CPS did not. The Mayor wanted the deal done, so the city could get on with the failed Olympic bid. This is not CTU's fault it is the fault of the City and CPS. So I hope the CTU wins this lawsuit the CPS should not be able to do what it is attempting to do, which in my opinion is simply abrogating the contract while at the same time claiming to be able to meet the fiscal requirements of the contract in order to not open the possibility of a strike.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    But will happen to Track E teachers who were laid off despite having a satisfactory rating or higher?

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod is correct in that special education teachers are often retaliated against by administrators just for fighting for services listed on IEPS. I experienced this first hand and although my rating was not lowered probably because I threatened legal action against the principal via an attorney I now advise all non-tenured teachers who ask for help NOT to say a word until tenure is achieved. Special education is in dire straits in CPS and young, competent special education teachers often look to the suburbs just so they can teach students with disabilities.

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