[ Chicago Teachers Union ] Unfair Labor Practice 22-CA-0009-C

Charges filed by the Chicago Teachers Union regarding the COVID work action by the law firm Dowd, Bloch, Bennett

Attachment to First Amended Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Employer

Employer: Chicago Board of Education

Charging Party: Chicago Teachers Union Case No. 2022-CA-0009-C

Filed January 5, 2022 [First Amended January 6, 2022]

2. Basis of the Charge

a. Unilateral Implementation of Changes to Terms and Conditions of Employment in Violation of Section 14(a)(5)

In February 2021, the Chicago Board of Education ("CBE") and the Chicago Teachers Union ("CTU" or "Union") executed a Memorandum of Agreement for the Resumption of In­ person Instruction in the Chicago Public Schools during the Covid-19 pandemic (hereinafter "the February MOA). The February MOA was effective through August 24, 2021, and covers critical employee and student health and safety subjects, including health and safety protocols in CPS facilities, school building ventilation, Covid-19 testing for employees and students, contact tracing, public health metrics and quarantine protocols governing operational pauses in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks, school building and district-wide health and safety committees, vaccination, employee workplace accommodations and staffing, and school community supports. The February MOA also covers educator scheduling and other working conditions associated with student instruction during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The parties are currently engaged in negotiations for a successor agreement concerning bargaining unit employees' terms and conditions of employment regarding the same issues for the Fall 2021 semester. During the course of negotiations, CBE has proposed to discontinue or diminish a series of the protocols established by the February MOA- including with respect to health and safety protocols, social distancing, public health metrics and quarantine policy, workplace accommodations, and bargaining unit employee staffing and safety. No agreement has been achieved on these and other mandatory bargaining subjects. As of August 24, the parties had not concluded bargaining and were not at impasse in their negotiations.

On August 24, CBE issued a document entitled "Fall Opening: The Parent, Educator and External Partner Guide" (hereinafter, the "CBE Fall Opening Guide"). The CBE Fall Opening Guide unilaterally announced and imposed new terms affecting bargaining unit employees' working conditions and personal safety, including with respect to health protocols, student cohorts, contact tracing, Covid-19 testing, social distancing, quarantine protocols, exceptions to the face covering requirement, and requiring teachers to simultaneously instruct students who are in-person and online.

The CBE Fall Opening Guide both modifies terms and conditions concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining in effect when the February MOA expired, and implements new terms and conditions, prior to the conclusion of bargaining.

During the parties August 24, 2021 bargaining session, CBE deliberately refused to inform the Union that it would be releasing the Fall Reopening Guidance within an hour after the bargaining session concluded.

The CBE has further unilaterally announced and imposed other changes in employee terms and conditions without prior notice to, agreement from, or bargaining with the Union.

The CBE has further failed and refused to provide all requested information to the Union necessary for formulating and evaluating proposals and otherwise engage in intelligent bargaining. This failure and/or refusal to provide information is detailed in Case No. 2022-CA- 0035.

The CBE has violated Section 14(a)(5) by modifying the terms in effect when the parties' February MOA expired, by unilaterally implementing new terms prior to the conclusion of bargaining a successor MOA, and by failing and refusing to provide requested information.

By the foregoing and other acts, the CBE violated Sections 14(a)(l) and (5) of the Act.

b. Lockout in Violation of Sections 14(a)(1), (3), and (5) of the Act.

On January 4, 2022, a majority of the CTU's members voted in favor of exercising their right to refrain from working in a dangerous workplace and to resume working remotely until the District has implemented an adequate COVID-19 testing program to detect infected individuals during the current surge or until the number of infections subsides below the metrics set forth in the February 24, 2021 MOA commencing January 5, 2022. This resolution is attached as Exhibit A, hereto. Before the workday could begin on January 5, 2022, the CBE cancelled classes, and locked out members of the bargaining unit by preventing them from working remotely This lockout violates Section 14(a)(l), (a)(3), and 14(a)(5).

The Act protects the right of employees to individually assert their statutory rights with respect to their wages, hours and other conditions of employment. Teachers and other CBE employees have the right under the Illinois OSH act and its regulations to refuse hazardous work assignments. The lockout of such employees in response to the assertion of their statutory rights violates Section 14(a)(l). The lockout is in support of the CBE's illegal imposition of new terms and conditions of employment and of CBE's other unfair labor practices in violation of Sections 14(a)(l), (3) and (5) of the IELRA.

The lockout also violates the parties' collective bargaining agreement. Further the District's demand that employees report to work without providing safe and healthy working conditions constitutes a repudiation of the essential elements of the collective bargaining agreement in violation of Section 14(a)(l) and (5).

3. Relief Sought

The IELRB is requested to order the CBE to refrain from unilaterally implementing new tenns affecting bargaining unit employees' working conditions and employees' and students' personal safety until bargaining between CBE and CTU over a success MOA has concluded.

The IELRB is requested to order the CBE to honor the statutory right of employees to refrain from working in dangerous conditions and to allow employees to work remotely. It should make employees for any losses they have suffered.

In addition, the IELRB should seek injunctive relief pursuant to Section 16(d) of the Act to require the District to maintain the status quo ante pending a full decision on the merits of these charges.


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