Monday, August 13, 2012

Brizard says "it's practically settled." CTU says, "keep saving."

Teachers returned to work in Chicago schools without a contract. But CEO Brizard is telling everyone that the new contract is a sure bet. 
“I’m optimistic that we’re going to come to a resolution soon, hopefully before Labor Day,”’ Brizard said after ringing the school bell at Lindblom High School, 6130 S. Wolcott, one of the city’s elite selective-enrollment high schools. 
But many CTU members I've talked with seem to think otherwise. A post on the CTU blog urges members to keep on putting money away in preparation for a strike.
Despite the interim agreement, there are many open issues still on the negotiating table in which there has been little movement. Public school educators also remain concerned about the District’s refusal to provide adequate wrap-around services for students severely impacted by poverty and violence in addition to threats of ballooning class sizes. Teachers are concerned about the new evaluation process of which 40 percent of the review is based on how students perform on standardized tests. Job security, health benefits and teacher pay have not been resolved.
 Rahm's top-down imposed longer school day began for about one-third of CPS students today. But there's still no clarity on the content of that day or what if any new resources will be made available to the impacted schools.  So far the teachers have held their own in the contract negotiations and the union has forced several important concessions in an  interim agreement signed by the Rahm-appointed board.

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