Great victory! Discipline of members was dropped due to communication with returning parents
The Union has reached an agreement with Chicago Public Schools to quash disciplinary action taken or brought against our members alleging that they improperly communicated with parents about the district’s plan to reopen in the 2020 school year -21.
Under the agreement, disciplinary cancellation notices will be issued to affected employees by August 20, 2021, and all discipline records in such cases will be canceled and deleted from the records of affected employees.
What does it mean?
It means you had Chicago’s back and your union had yours. We fought and we won. Still.
And let’s be honest. The problem alleged here was that teachers, PRSPs, clinicians, counselors, case managers and librarians were communicating with the families they serve about safety regarding return to school buildings in the event of a pandemic. Apparently that’s a no-no for Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago’s public schools, but not for us.
Talking to parents and families is what makes us strong. Being isolated and cut off from the parents and families whose students we are charged with educating, caring for, and nurturing is a divisive reign tactic to quell the concerns of the school community. It is this lack of transparency and trust that remains a problem for the mayor and the PSC.
But without the work of our members and our union, our city would have suffered many other COVID-related tragedies. The educators that CPS subjected to the discipline of communicating with families were a big part of it. But we are a union that protects each other and the students and families we serve, and that will never change.
This regulation is an important development for two reasons. First, it underscores the importance of activism and the willingness of our grassroots members to stand up for the safety and best interests of their students, colleagues and families. It also demonstrates the union’s commitment to standing up for members’ rights to do just that, and underscores the diligence and dedication of our bargaining team. We are leaving no one behind, not now or ever.
Second, the union hopes that CPC’s agreement to rescind discipline in these cases is a harbinger of good faith and cooperation as we negotiate a safe and fair deal for the fall semester of 2021. We have worked hard to ensure safety in winter and spring. Keeping these measures in place and building on them for the fall will protect us all.