Check out all the news coverage and press statements about the agreement between CPS and CTU about the Emanuel effort to convince schools to adopt a longer school day. Then let us know if you care, who won, and so what?
Union to announce deal with CPS on longer school day Tribune: The Chicago Teachers Union has called a news conference at noon Friday to discuss details of an agreement reached with Chicago Public Schools over the longer school day issue.
CTU and CPS Agree on Longer School Day Fox: The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have reached an agreement on a longer school day.
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 12:12:27 -0500
Subject: Letter from CEO Brizard on Agreement Reached with CTU on Longer School Day This year!
November 3, 2011
As you know, over the past several months our district’s leadership team and the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) have been involved in a dispute over the votes by individual schools to adopt a longer school day. Recently, that dispute led the CTU to file a request with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) to seek preliminary injunctive relief directing the Board of Education to stop implementing a longer school day through school waiver votes. The IELRB issued a complaint over the 13 schools that had adopted a longer school day, and subsequently, it unanimously issued an order authorizing its general counsel to file a court action seeking injunctive relief.
Though we have not resolved our dispute over the legality of the waiver votes at 13 schools, our leadership team and the CTU have agreed to avoid a costly court battle over an injunction that would be disruptive to the Chicago Public Schools. Accordingly, the district has agreed that it will not, for the duration of the current CTU labor contract:
- implement a lengthened school day at any Chicago Public School whose teachers and paraprofessionals are represented by the CTU and who did not previously vote to authorize a lengthened school day.
- deal directly with employees about the length of the school day or compensation for working a longer school day, offer inducements to employees to vote in favor of lengthening the school day, or unilaterally modify the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union.
I have instructed the principals at all district schools to observe these terms. CTU President Karen Lewis and I agree that we need to turn the page and get on with the work of educating every child in every neighborhood. We are resolved to move forward in a mutually respectful and collaborative relationship.
I want to thank the CTU’s leadership for working with us to resolve this matter. And I want to thank you for your continued support and commitment.
CTU PRESS RELEASES:
Chicago Teachers Union wins victory in ‘longer school day’ dispute
CPS agrees to stop violations of collective bargaining rights
CHICAGO – At the conclusion of an eight-hour negotiation session Thursday with Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, Board of Education President David Vitale and officers of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), an agreement was reached to end the Board’s efforts to convert more CPS schools to a longer school day schedule this year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel participated in part of the session held at city hall that included CTU President Karen GJ Lewis, Vice President Jesse Sharkey and school board officials.
The settlement puts an end to CPS’ current campaign to lengthen the school day this school year by negotiating directly with employees represented by the Union. The Board also agreed that for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year it will not seek waiver votes at any additional schools beyond the 13 that have already converted to new hours, subject to the outcome of Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge in Case No. 2012-CA-0009-C.
Both parties agreed to immediately ask the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) to withdraw its request to the Illinois Attorney General for injunctive relief. It also states that if the Board violates this agreement the IELRB’s general counsel may request that the Attorney General file a motion for a preliminary injunction and that the Board will not object to the IELRB’s request.
The agreement, however, does not circumvent the pending ULP hearing before the IELRB on the merits of the complaint scheduled for December 14 in Chicago, nor does it force the 13 schools to revert back to their old schedules unless there is a ruling from the IELRB following the hearing or the Union and Board reach a further settlement.
CTU took issue with CPS’ waiver campaign that included financial inducements and other methods of coercion for teachers if they signed away their wage privileges in exchange for a one-time, payment of $1,250 to $700. On October 20 the IELRB ruled 5-0 in favor of seeking an injunction against CPS and sent the matter to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
“This is a major victory for our students, parents and teachers who understand that a longer school day should be a better one—and that involves planning before implementation,” said Lewis. “This agreement stops what would have been a costly and protracted legal battle against the Board of Education. Now that this distraction has ended we can plan for a better school day for our students when all schools switch to extended schedules next year.”
CTU was not opposed to a longer school day, contending the issue was a moot point. Instead, labor leaders and teachers instead called for a “better school day,” one that included a rich, broad curriculum, smaller class sizes, upgrades to school facilities and compensation for teachers and paraprofessionals.
“This victory is for all unions and members, not just the CTU and the hard working teachers and paraprofessionals who proudly don our name,” she continued. “It reaffirms what the future should look like for collective bargaining in Illinois, and that CTU will be at the table helping to craft the future for our 400,000 students.”
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ statement on agreement with Board of Education
CHICAGO – Today the Chicago Teachers Union President Karen GJ Lewis released the following statement regarding an agreement between the Union and the Board of Education on the debate over implementing a “longer school day” this year in neighborhood schools:
“On October 20th, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board authorized Attorney General Lisa Madigan to seek an injunction blocking the Chicago Public Schools from extending the longer school day to any more schools by unlawful means.
“Attorney General Lisa Madigan notified the CTU and CPS that she was prepared to file for that injunction.
“But I am pleased to report to you that after an 8-hour meeting yesterday, CPS has voluntarily agreed to stop the unlawful school waiver program of in its tracks. The meeting was attended by Vice President Jesse Sharkey and me, Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, School Board President David Vitale, CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, and others.
“CPS has agreed in writing that for the duration of this school year it will not conduct any more waiver votes to lengthen the school day and it will not implement longer school days at any more CTU-represented schools than the 13 schools that previously voted for them.
“Further, CPS has agreed in writing to stop dealing directly with Union-represented employees about length of school day or compensation for working it, to stop offering its employees any inducements to agree to a longer school day, and to stop violating our labor contract.
“The ultimate fate of the 13 schools that voted for longer day waivers will be decided after a formal hearing in December. In its October 20th Order, the Labor Board ruled there was significant likelihood that the votes at those schools were illegal. But the Labor Board did not demand to enjoin them because it would be disruptive to force them to change their curriculum a second time, mid-year, and we respect that decision. These 13 schools are less than 2 percent of total number of CPS schools, employ less than 1% of CPS teachers, and educate less than ½ percent of CPS students.
“We respectfully acknowledge the Chicago Public Schools and CEO Jean-Claude Brizard for voluntarily agreeing to stop the longer day waiver program in its tracks rather than forcing a showdown with the Attorney General. As part of our agreement, Mr. Brizard is personally notifying every CPS teacher and paraprofessional today of his decision to stop conducting the waiver votes and stop direct dealing with CPS teachers.
“As the Union has stated numerous times on the record, it does not oppose a longer school day, but it seeks a better school day that is fairly implemented.
“I am happy to report that the CTU, Board and Mayor came to an agreement to end the dispute over longer school day waivers.
“This means that we can get back to the important work of teaching our students and discussing how to best improve our school day. Research is clear that a broad curriculum and smaller class sizes are key to improving student performance. We look forward to discussing with the Board how to best implement a school day, district wide, that is not just longer, but is also better.
“As the IELRB stated in its October 20, 2011 order, ‘The hallmark of American law is the contract. It is the basis of the American rule of law and freedom. In America, the parties freely choose to enter into an agreement and to be bound by the four corners of the agreement for the agreed upon term. Here, the contract at issue is a collective bargaining agreement between the Union and the Employer. ….. In the United States of America, no entity is above the law. No individual, corporation or governmental entity is free to unilaterally abrogate its contractual agreements without following the appropriate legal process, in this case review by the administrative agency established by the legislature to administer the law, and ultimately by the courts, as they have final review of administrative rulings.’
“Now that everyone is in agreement that negotiations over how to improve educational performance in Chicago need to respect the rule of law, we can get on to actually talking about how to do that.”
The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of theAmerican Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, is the third largest teachers local in the country and the largest local union in Illinois. For more information visit CTU’s website atwww.ctunet.com.
SAVE OUR SCHOOLS
West Side community reacts following CTU press conference
“It is a sad day for Chicago residents when the Chicago Teachers Union celebrates an arrangement that blocks students from spending more time in the classroom with their teachers. Make no mistake, today’s announcement hurts the thousands of kids throughout the city who desperately need more instructional time.
“Our school district is in systemic failure. Now is the time for adults to start acting responsibility and make the necessary sacrifices for Chicago’s children. For too long their education has come second to one’s own self interest.”