Roughly 20 CPS teachers and parents rallied this afternoon on the West Side outside the now-shuttered Robert Emmet Elementary School. Emmet, located in the Austin neighborhood near the corner of Central Avenue and Madison Street, was closed in 2013 as part of the massive round of 50 school closings.
CPS teacher Tammie Vinson, who worked at Emmet before it closed, is now a special education instructor at nearby Oscar DePriest Elementary School, also in Austin.
Vinson said teachers are hitting the picket lines to call for fair-share revenue solutions to pay for increased education and social service funding.
"The message, really, is tax the rich," she said. "Bring in what we need so that we can fully fund our schools, we can fully fund our communities. We're here now to show the disinvestment on the West Side ... Even when you get to the commercial areas of the West Side, that money doesn't stay in our community. The money that comes here goes right out ... We don't have a firm tax base, so the services that we need are not here."
There was palpable anger in the standing-room only audience as the Alliance of City College Unions hosted a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss a number of issues, including tuition raises and program consolidations.
Following February's no-confidence vote for City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, faculty members say they have been let down by the administration, save a select few.
Loretta Ragsdell, president of the city colleges' part-time faculty union, thanked all the politicians who have advocated on behalf of faculty.
"We have a lot of friends in politics," said Ragsdell. "Not Rauner, and certainly not Rahm."
The Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back against Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool's assertion that the planned April 1 teacher walkout is "illegal."
The teachers union's House of Delegates voted to approve the walkout Wednesday evening, solidifying plans for Chicago public school educators to hold a one-day strike next week. But Claypool called the walkout illegal at Wednesday's Chicago Board of Education meeting, hours before the union voted on the proposed action against unfair labor practices.
"In January we reached a tentative new labor contract with CTU leadership, so we believe that a final contract can be reached if both parties continue to negotiate in good faith," said Claypool. "But rather than focusing on reaching an agreement, it is disappointing to see CTU's leadership promoting this illegal strike that would take a critical day of instruction away from our students, to say nothing of encouraging teachers to break the law."
Activists and city residents packed the Chicago Temple Building on Wednesday evening to push back against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's fiscal policies, which have led to budget cuts and an ongoing state budget impasse.
Tracey Abman, associate director of AFSCME Council 31, kicked off the night with a spirited attack on Rauner's administration, particularly targeting his decisions on how to allocate state funds.
Abman said the state is "broke on purpose," adding that Rauner is the reason why the state is broken. The audience erupted into a chorus of boo's at the mention of the governor's name.
Chicago Public Schools principals will have to spend less as the cash-strapped district grapples with its pressing financial issues, including an upcoming $688 million pension payment, district officials said Wednesday.
A former Chicago transit worker who claims he was "unjustly" terminated last month saw support Wednesday morning from some Chicago Teachers Union members and community groups, who want the fired bus driver rehired.
The group, including representatives from the Black Youth Project 100, spoke out before the Chicago Transit Board meeting.
Erek Slater, who previously worked as a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus driver and claims to be a "union steward" and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 241 executive board member, said he was "unjustly" fired last month.
According to the group, Slater was fired after initiating, as a union steward, "an inquiry into a possible violation of the contract" by the CTA "on the request of his coworker."