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Was Claypool bluffing about that $480 million 'budget hole' and the screaming about Springfield as a last resort?... CTU tells its members that layoffs are not coming -- yet -- despite deadlines...

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis with members of the union's "Big Bargaining Team" (rear) and union attorney Robert Bloch (left) and Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle (right) at a recent press conference.Despite seven months of claims by both the Chicago Board of Education and some of the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union that the city's public schools were in 2015 - 2016 "broke on purpose" (as opposed to lying about the financial situation), as the final deadline for layoffs across the 600-school system looms in mid-January 2016, the official version seems to have changed. CPS officials are not issuing layoff notices, not ordering school principals to prepare for massive cuts -- and not proclaiming how "broke" they are and how the only thing that can "save" Chicago's schools is a massive increase in state funding to CPS.

The details are slowly emerging, as in a January 18, 2016 email to members from the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union (see below).

The union is still planning to demonstrate a Bank of America (if there are layoffs), but along with the city's major corporate media, seems to be hedging bets. The union says that it will sponsor a major march and rally -- but when? "If CPS does announce layoffs of hundreds or thousands, we will need thousands of members and supporters to join us at a PEACEFUL AND NONVIOLENT RALLY..." which will go from the headquarters of Bank of America (across the street from the old Board of Education headquarters) to Chicago's City Hall.

The stories were also reported in Chicago's daily newspapers (see below, below the CTU email).

The union's January 18 email reads as follows:

Dear Friend of Public Education:

As we approach the last three weeks of the semester, CTU membersand, indeed, the entire cityhave been on pins and needles waiting to see whether CPS will demand that the wealthy and the banks pay their fair share to our schools or whether they will lay off hundreds or even thousands of educators, making students and those who serve them pay for the poor decisions of the mayors handpicked Board of Education. The choice is stark and so far Claypool, Rahm and Clark continue to protect Chicagos wealthiest institutions and people, rather than the communities they serve.

YET CPS HAS MADE NO ANNOUNCEMENT OF LAYOFFS. THEREFORE, WE CANNOT BE SURE OF ANY PARTICULAR DATE WHEN WE MAY EXPECT TO RESPOND. (NOTE: In an email last week, we linked to our Facebook event page. Although the page lists Tuesday as the event date, that date is only tentative.) THE ONLY SURE DATE IS THAT A RALLY WILL TAKE PLACE THE SCHOOL DAY AFTER ANY ANNOUNCEMENT BY CPS OF MASS LAYOFFS.

Please go to the Facebook event page. Like, share, invite others and pledge to attend the rally, on whatever day it may actually occur.

In the meantime, our officers and Big Bargaining Team continue to negotiate with CPS (including this weekend). If an announcement about layoffs occurs over the weekend, we will rally Tuesday. If not, there may be another date (or the Board can take responsibility for fairly acquiring the necessary revenue from sources who can afford it). CTU will keep you informed. Check your email. Visit the Facebook page and website.

If CPS does announce layoffs of hundreds or thousands, we will need thousands of members and supporters to join us at a PEACEFUL AND NONVIOLENT RALLY:

RALLY TO SAVE OUR SCHOOLS & JOBS

Date: The SCHOOL DAY AFTER mass layoffs are announced

Time: 4:30pm

Begins: Bank of America HQ

135 S. LaSalle St. (LaSalle & Adams)

Ends: City Hall



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