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Chicago Teachers reject city contract proposal, call for protest

By staff |
February 3, 2016
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Sarah Chambers, member of the Chicago Teachers Union bargaining committee.
Sarah Chambers, member of the Chicago Teachers Union bargaining committee. (Fight Back! News / Staff)

Chicago, IL - On Feb. 1, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) rejected an offer from the city. Management claimed their offer was generous to the teachers, but when the 40 teachers and working members of the bargaining committee looked at the language in the offer, they found more attacks on their students.

Sarah Chambers, a member of the CTU committee bargaining the new contract with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) stated, “Their proposals include language where they would not have to fill positions for people who retire or leave, it includes cuts to paraprofessionals who help kids with special needs and it wouldn't have enforceable class size language. We need to protect our students and the schools our students deserve.”

Chicago Public Schools planned to find money for the contract by laying people off, freezing salaries for union members with the most seniority and ending CPS’s share of payments for the pension. But the union members didn’t believe the promises of no layoffs and halting the growth of non-union charter schools.

Chambers explained, “We don't trust Rahm and his appointed board. Rahm cares about our students as much as he cared about Laquan McDonald,” referring to the 17-year-old Black high school student murdered by a cop in October 2014. Mayor Rahm Emanuel kept a video of the shooting from being released until after he had been re-elected in April 2015.

Teachers will rally Feb. 4 at the Bank of America on LaSalle Street, Chicago’s financial district. Bank of America and other banks receive payments for loans that were arranged in corrupt deals ten years ago. Other cities have renegotiated and saved many millions of dollars. Emanuel refuses to challenge his bankster cronies.

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