CPS Strike Make-Up Days = Colossal Waste of Time and Money (UPDATED 11-08-19)

Did anyone really believe there wasn’t going to be a residual effect from the 11-school day CPS teacher strike?

The CTU is claiming victory as they’re saying the strike is historical in terms of what was won for students, teachers, and schools. But, at what costs?

One cost is CPS teachers and support staffers lost 6 days of pay and only 5 days will be made up. The dates chosen as make-up days are sure to be a colossal waste of time for everyone and waste of money for taxpayers as those are low students attendance days and it’s is highly unlikely any quality learning will be going on. And, what if there’s snow days to be figured in later?


CPS saved $68M by not making up 6 days at an average of $11M+ per day. The 5 make-ups days will costs Taxpayers $56M+ But, what are they paying for?

The first make-up day is the one before Thanksgiving where it’s not uncommon for younger students to be taking part in activities like tracing their hands and making colorful turkey art along with watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. While, high schools students will have special events like Turkey Bowls or Basketbrawls where students pay $3 to get out near Noon and go to the event, if they do go and not sneak out to a day party.


Another two days to be made up will be two days after New Years Day which fall on a Thursday and Friday during Winter Break. Will families really cut short vacations to rush their kids back for ‘do little to nothing’ days?


Two more days to be made up are the last two days of schools. Elementary schools generally have their students doing graded work very close to the last day of school, but, that hasn’t been the case for all high schools.

Traditionally, many high schools were finishing exams and makeup exams 3-5 days before the last day of school and doing virtually nothing on those student attendance days.

CPS had better load up on substitute teachers for these make-up days as there’s likely going to be a run on teachers using personal days with many students being invisible.

Though, the irony about the five school days being made up is CPS and their principals will rely heavily on substitute teachers to come in and work in place of several teachers. Yet, there was barely a smidge mentioned about substitute teachers in contract negotiations.

UPDATED (11-08-19): If CPS Teachers plan to take off any of the 5 make-up days:

Using ‘0’ or PB days—not sick days—for make-up days

If you had travel plans for Nov. 27, Jan. 2 or Jan. 3, prior to the strike, let your administrators know immediately, and if asked, be prepared to show travel receipts or confirmation of such plans. This is not something we would agree to do under normal circumstances, but these make-up days are not normal days. And remember, you must use personal business (PB) or ‘0’ days only—not sick days.

Arbitration precedent concerning PB day rights provides that principals can deny PB day requests insofar as the denial is connected to a school’s ability to provide adequate class coverage. Principals cannot deny PB day requests on the basis of the reason the employee is using the day. Days that had already been approved prior to the announcement of strike make-up days should still be allowed.

Members whose PB day requests are denied and have unavoidable commitments that will require them to be absent from work should submit ‘0’ days (not sick days). Any member who believes they has been denied a PB day request for reasons unrelated to the school’s ability to provide class coverage should contact their field representative and file a grievance.


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