Now that Chicago Teachers Union members have ratified a new contract, CTU President Karen Lewis detailed what comes next for the union and Chicago Public Schools district.
“We will work with them to shore up their financial issues by promoting legislation that will adequately and equitably fund all of Illinois’ schools,” she said during a speech before the City Club of Chicago.
In discussing the vote results, Lewis said, “What I can tell you is that the level of distrust between the district, parents, educators and communities is still high, and will need a lot of work to repair these wounds.”
Chicago Public Schools officials heard familiar pleas for more school funding during a budget hearing Wednesday night in the South Loop.
CPS convened the 6 p.m. hearing to get public feedback on the district’s proposed $338 million capital budget for 2017. The hearing, held at the National Teachers Academy, was thinly attended and ended an hour early.
“I like the capital plan, but most people came here because they lost teachers at their school, they lost programs at their school,” Martin Ritter with the Chicago Teachers Union told CPS officials.
CTU President Karen Lewis had some choice words Wednesday for Gov. Bruce Rauner over his handling of the state budget. She also rejected the school district’s request to move contract talks into binding arbitration.
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.”