FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, March 24, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools and its partners will open more than 250 sites on April 1st to keep students safe, fed and engaged in response to yesterday’s vote by the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn a “Day of Action” into an illegal one day strike. CPS welcomes teachers to their classrooms on April 1 to teach children, help at contingency sites and do curriculum planning.
“Ensuring the well-being of our students is our highest priority. To help parents plan for April 1st, we want our school communities to know that we will be there for our students should they need us,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “While we are disappointed by the CTU leadership’s course of action, we share their belief that the Governor must fix the education funding formula that discriminates against Chicago’s children and poor minority children around the state. The Governor's failure to fully fund education has pushed Chicago Public Schools and too many other Illinois schools into financial crisis.
"Looking ahead, CPS remains committed to staying at the negotiating table and working around the clock to reach a final deal that keeps our students and their teachers in the classroom and moves our district forward in a meaningful way.”
For families who can keep their student(s) at home or exercise alternative options, the District recommends they do so. However, for families who also depend on CPS for keeping their children safe, fed and engaged during the day, CPS will join with the Chicago Parks Department and Chicago Public Library to provide more than 250 contingency sites across the city. Sites will be across the city and include schools, parks and libraries. Additionally, the Chicago Transit Authority will provide free transportation to all students on April 1st.
While some teachers have committed to being in their classrooms on the 1st, with an unknown number of staff absences on April 1, CPS cannot operate as we would on a regular school day. A full list of contingency sites will be made available on Tuesday, March 29th, when parents will also be provided with guidance about how to locate and pre-register to attend their designated contingency site.
Parents can sign up to receive updates at cps.edu/signup.
· The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board ruled unanimously against the CTU’s complaint over steps and lanes, saying that “there is not a significant likelihood that the Union will prevail on the merits. Therefore, there is not reasonable cause to believe that the Act may have been violated.” A copy of the Board’s decision is attached.
· Striking before mid-May is illegal under Illinois statute, which governs the Chicago Teachers Union. The statute is below.
· CPS employees who do not come to work on April 1 will not be paid. Sick days cannot be used for a walkout, and employees who request sick time will be asked for documentation from a medical provider. Employees cannot use personal business days without a demonstrated need to be absent.
Statutory Prerequisites For CTU Strike
The CTU is governed by Illinois law, and conditions for a strike are laid out below, in the statute.
115 ILCS 5/13
(b) Notwithstanding the existence of any other provision in this Act or any other law, educational employees other than those employed in a school district organized under Article 34 of the School Code and, after the expiration of the 18 month period that commences on the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1995, educational employees in a school district organized under Article 34 of the School Code shall not engage in a strike except under the following conditions:
(1) They are represented by an exclusive bargaining representative;
(2) Mediation has been used without success and, for educational employers and exclusive bargaining representatives to which subsection (a-5) of Section 12 of this Act applies, at least 14 days have elapsed after the Board has made public the parties' offers;
(2.5) if fact-finding was invoked pursuant to subsection (a-10) of Section 12 of this Act, at least 30 days have elapsed after a fact-finding report has been released for public information;
(2.10) for educational employees employed in a school district organized under Article 34 of the School Code, at least three-fourths of all bargaining unit employees who are members of the exclusive bargaining representative have affirmatively voted to authorize the strike; provided, however, that all members of the exclusive bargaining representative at the time of a strike authorization vote shall be eligible to vote;
(3) at least 10 days have elapsed after a notice of intent to strike has been given by the exclusive bargaining representative to the educational employer, the regional superintendent and the Illi nois Educational Labor Relations Board;
(4) the collective bargaining agreement between the educational employer and educational employees, if any, has expired or been terminated; and
(5) the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative have not mutually submitted the unresolved issues to arbitration.
See: IELRB Opinion and Order and Step Lane