Chicago Teachers Union officially contradicts CPS happy talk regarding contract negotiations... 'It is not accurate to say both sides are extremely close — this is misinformation on behalf of the Board and Mayor Emanuel.'

As picket lines dispersed during the second day of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012, many teachers and supporters of the Chicago Teachers Union headed downtown for a second day of rallies outside the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago's Loop. But apparently the media war orchestrated by the highly paid propagandists at the CPS Office of Communications and at the Mayor's Press Office or Rahm Emanuel at City Hall had caused confusion of what was taking place at the bargaining table, so the CTU issued a warning that there was still a long way to go at the bargaining table. Union officials also pointed out that they were not going to risk weak contract language for the union's 26,000 active duty members in the face of the cynical manipulation of words that has been the practice of the school board appointed by Mayor Emanuel in May 2010.

Chicago Teachers Union pickets at the corner of Keeler and Fullerton in Chicago on the morning of the second day of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. Substance photo by David R. Stone.At noon on September 11, 2012, the CTU issued the following press release:


September 11, 2012


CHICAGO - Today, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) released a statement regarding ongoing contract negotiations with The Chicago Public Schools. Thousands of CTU members are expected to rally for a second day in front of the Board of Education, 125 S. Clark, as the labor strike continues.

"The Chicago Teachers Union has 49 Articles in its contract. To date, we have only signed off on six of them," said CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin. "The Chicago Public Schools has made proposals to change nearly every article. It is not accurate to say both sides are extremely close-this is misinformation on behalf of the Board and Mayor Emanuel. We have a considerable way to go. This is a fact they cannot deny.

"Today contract talks began about 9:30 a.m. We are discussing proposed evaluation procedures. CTU believes the plan CPS imposed upon us in March was illegal," Gadlin said. "They do not have the right to impose any change while negotiations are ongoing. We believe there are many aspects of their evaluation plan that must be bargained. That is why we have charges pending before the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB). The Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 allowed the Board to unilaterally implement their plan after a 90-day period of negotiations has ended. Negotiations have not ended and there is no contract in place.

"The IELRB has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 24th in Springfield to decide whether to issue an injunction against CPS for unlawfully implementing those changes. This is similar to what happened last year when the District illegally imposed its longer school day on public school educators before their contract had expired. In that case, the IELRB ruled unanimously in favor of Chicago's public school educators.

"In the meantime, the CTU labor strike continues. Teachers, paraprofessionals, and school clinicians are prepared to walk the line as long as it takes. We are fighting for our students; we are fighting for education justice. We remain optimistic. Our fight is over fair compensation, working conditions and resources for our students. In Illinois unions have the right to strike and it is a right that our citizens have protected over the years."

The union is not on strike over matters governed exclusively by IELRA Section 4.5 and 12(b).

The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third largest teachers local in the United States and the largest local union in Illinois. For more information please visit CTU's website at .


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