'Crisis' of substitute coverage in many Chicago schools!... CTU leadership gave up the rights of substitute teachers in the new contract... no preps for subs!...

Although it was not included in most of the contract discussions at the recent leadership training for the Chicago Teachers Union, the substitute "crisis" has been growing. And one of the reasons is that the union's leadership -- without consulting subs -- has surrendered important rights that subs had for decades.

As chair of the Chicago Teachers Union's Substitute Committee, I want to report that our committee members have not been allowed to make many significant changes. All decisions go through our "staff liaison" for approval by CTU leadership.

It’s now in the handbook that preps are at the discretion of the principals. Subs are "at will" employees. We asked to be represented on the e board or big bargaining team. The answer by a Ctu official was “ absolutely not” that’s not going to happened.

We pay full union dues with limited representation. Pass Practices were given up. Many classes within CPS have no substitutes teacher when the regular teacher is absence. Those classes are covered by para professionals and some cases parents and security guards. The reason being substitutes teachers are not going to schools where we are treated in a disparate manner.

All substitutes have a Bachelor degree, many are retirees, others are teachers with advanced degrees in numerous disciplines. It’s not about the salary which range from 115-161 per day.

Substitutes teachers work to make a difference in the lives of each student. However, the school climate in many Schools is the reasons many classes don’t have a license Substitute teacher in place.

It’s clear substitutes teachers are not treated equitable and representation is limited.


April 11, 2018 at 1:11 PM

By: Rachel Fowler

substitute teachers

I started out as a full time sub in 1970. If the school where I was assigned could not use me, I was sent to another school for that day. During my career as a regular certified assigned teacher, I had a Math Lab at a school. However, if not enough subs were assigned to the school, I was pulled from my regular classes to become a sub for the day. Of course, that meant that the teachers for whom I was a prep period did not get their prep period! I rarely had a week where I had all of my classes as scheduled. At least I did not have to be a sub to make up for the teachers who had missed their prep periods when I had subbed before. This was in the 1980s so the sub situation has been a problem for decades.

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