The CTU is ticked off, but they have no one to blame but themselves. The kids need to go to school. They are more important.
I tried hard to word a decent headline but the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) makes it impossible.
The teachers will not return to the classroom with the students in January. So the cash-strapped city will hire supervisors to be in classes and at the school with the students.
This is because the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) refuses to get back to work.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) took advantage of the situation (what else is new?) to issue new demands and collective bargaining. They even blamed the pressure to reopen schools on sexism, misogyny, and racism.
No, it had nothing to do with education and a child’s mental health.
CPS provided mandates that many schools across the nation already instilled: mask requirement, the distance between desks, take temperatures, new air purifiers, better ventilation, etc.
It was not good enough for the CTU.
But parents wanted their children back in school, especially children with special needs. Those children have missed many therapy opportunities, causing them to lose any progress and engage in self-destruction.
The CTU’s demands have come back to bite them in the ass because CPS knows kids have to be in the classroom.
CPS wants to hire 2,000 new employees to help out in the schools while teachers work remotely:
One of the primary responsibilities for half of the new positions will be student supervision, according to a job posting. That includes supervising “students who are learning in person if [the] classroom teacher is teaching remotely,” the posting says, raising questions about what in-person instruction will look like for students who return to classrooms and signaling that the district intends to forge ahead with reopening despite a potentially massive number of staff requests for medical leave.
The Chicago Sun-Times has a screenshot of the job posting.
CPS will hire 1,000 “cadre substitute” teachers, which means they have a license to teach. The hiring will give them benefits and they can become members of the CTU.
The other 1,000 new hires will earn $15 an hour and no benefits. These people will focus on COVID-19 compliance.
CPS described the job posting as an “operational necessity:”
Asked if the additional adults coming in contact with several groups posed a new health and safety risk, [CPS human resources chief Matt] Lyons said “this is one of those minimal risks that, it doesn’t present any additional danger in any way. It’s more an operational necessity.”
“All of the efforts we’re taking are layered mitigation risks,” Lyons said. “There’s a chance that if anyone who goes from classroom to classroom is COVID-positive, it’s possible they have close contact across pods and it would force certain different pods to shut down temporarily. But the likelihood versus the value to the school operations of that being the specific person is fairly low.”
CTU Whines and Cries
Of course, the move angered the CTU.
But the CTU will never realize this is not about them. It is about the kids:
Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said the part-time job posting was the first the union heard teachers might teach remotely to students in a classroom, a proposition she called “slightly less terrible than forcing teachers to engage in synchronous learning from unsafe buildings.” She said in a statement, however, that “hiring people into a position that barely pays minimum wage, with zero health care benefits in the middle of a pandemic, seems particularly cynical.”
“CPS can try to exploit low-wage temporary workers to fill in for staff who are not willing to sacrifice their lives for their livelihoods, when they must instead come to the table and bargain collaboratively to land what we need to return to our school buildings and our students safely — enforceable safety standards and real equity for Black and Brown school communities starved of equity for years before this pandemic,” Davis Gates said.
It seems like every other school district around the country has been able to return to the classroom or at least come to a reasonable agreement.
Why can’t CTU do the same?
Why won’t teachers speak up and defy the union? When is it enough for the teachers to stop supporting the union?
Parents have spoken out about getting their children back in the classroom. They do not do this for selfish or lazy reasons. They do not have the resources to properly educate their child. Children with special needs have to have lessons with specialists.
We are losing a generation of children with these games.
We didn’t need another example of the corruption that saturates every public sector in Chicago.
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