The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools reached a settlement at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting to increase pay for teachers at 13 schools – including Austin’s Nash Elementary – that have extended the school day, according to a Chicago Teachers Union press release.
The agreement comes after the Chicago Teachers Union alleged the longer school day violated its bargaining rights when CPS offered financial incentives to persuade teachers to accept its Longer School Day Pioneer Program.
In October, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board voted unanimously to seek court-ordered action to prevent CPS from implementing the program at any more of its more than 600 public schools with staff represented by the Chicago Teachers Union. To avoid court, CPS agreed not to extend the work day at any more schools this year and to retroactively compensate teachers who already participate in the longer day.
“We choose to focus on the classroom, not the courtroom, and this settlement is an attempt to avoid the courtroom. Moving to a full day will provide additional instructional time students need with teachers learning critical subjects like math, reading and science, so they are better prepared for success in college and career,” CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll said in a written statement.
Chicago Teachers Union representatives view the settlement as a step in the right direction.
“Today’s settlement is a great victory for collective bargaining in Chicago, and a step forward for the Chicago Public Schools,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said in a written statement.
“The longer school day will give CPS students the schools they deserve only if sufficient resources are devoted to making it work, including fair compensation for teachers. We have serious reservations whether CPS will devote sufficient resources system-wide to maintain reasonable class size, educate the whole child, provide robust wrap-around services and provide quality facilities. But CPS makes its first good faith step in that direction today,” she said.
To view the entire release, click here.