The following resolution was passed on September 14 by UUP’s statewide Executive Board:
In Support of the Chicago Teachers Union
Whereas, the Chicago Teachers Union (AFT Local 1, the nation’s first teachers’ union) is engaged in a protracted contract battle that has important consequences for educators everywhere; and
Whereas, Chicago teachers have rallied, marched, won the support of parents, and mobilized for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a rich curriculum that includes art, music, physical education and foreign language; and
Whereas, the CTU has published a report, The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve, which eloquently argues in favor of proven reforms that would improve the education of the city’s 400,000 students; and
Whereas, 92% of the CTU membership participated in a vote to authorize a strike, and 98% of those voting voted yes; and
Whereas, the opponents of the CTU have used the deep pockets of wealthy supporters to launch a torrent of ads attempting to discredit the union and promote private charter schools; and
Whereas, a victory for the Chicago Teachers Union would be a victory for public-sector employees nationally as we struggle to resist the imposition of austerity conditions and the move to privatize public education; therefore be it
Resolved, that United University Professions support the Chicago Teachers Union in its fight to negotiate a contract that meets the needs of its members and their students; and be it further
Resolved, that United University Professions encourage its members to show support in any or all of the following ways: signing petitions in support of the CTU struggle, making individual donations to the CTU Solidarity Fund, writing letters of support, becoming Associate Members of CTU, attending local solidarity events, and any other related activities.
Research-based Proposals to Strengthen Elementary
and Secondary Education in the Chicago Public Schools
The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve is a new Chicago Teachers Union study which argues in favor of proven educational reforms to dramatically improve the education of more than 400,000 students in a district of 675 schools.
These reforms are desperately needed and can lead Chicago towards the world-class educational system its students deserve. Their study presents 46 pages of research-based details on the following 10 essential recommendations:
1. Recognize That Class Size Matters: Drastically reduce class size. We currently have one of the largest class sizes in the state. This greatly inhibits the ability of our students to learn and thrive.
2. Educate The Whole Child: Invest to ensure that all schools have recess and physical education equipment, healthy food offerings, and classes in art, theater, dance, and music in every school. Offer world languages and a variety of subject choices. Provide every school with a library and assign the commensurate number of librarians to staff them.
3. Create More Robust Wrap-around Services: The Chicago Public Schools system (CPS) is far behind recommended staffing levels suggested by national professional associations. The number of school counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists must increase dramatically to serve Chicago’s population of low-income students. Additionally, students who cannot afford transportation costs need free fares.
4. Address Inequities In Our System: Students and their families recognize the apartheid-like system managed by CPS. It denies resources to the neediest schools, uses discipline policies with a disproportionate harm on students of color, and enacts policies that increase the concentrations of students in high poverty and racially segregated schools.
For more information contact the Chicago Teachers Union at 312-329-9100 or read the entire report on their website at www.ctunet.com/Deserve