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We sent a letter to Chicago's mayor and the CPS CEO today regarding their response to the #COVID19 #coronavirus pandemic. We have extreme concerns about their plans for the continued safe operation of our district.…
We have been in close communication with CPS officials about the district’s response to the occurrence at Vaughn Occupational High School. We understand our nation on a whole is in uncharted territory. But this moment demands leadership from the highest levels.
What we've seen thus far has been confusing and inconsistent. We hearing complaints from a number of educators at schools with more than 1,000 students. The governor has wisely banned gatherings of 250 people or more. Where is the continuity?
"Taft has over 1k students at the Freshman Academy. We have over 2.5k at the Varsity Campus. Close the schools"
"No more than 250 people at a gathering...what about lunch periods when you have 3 or more grade levels and it’s over 250?"
"As the @WuTangClan said 'Cash rules everything around me. Cream, get the Banknote with yen sign dollar dollar bill y’all. That is why we have 1,150 kids in school tomorrow and the MPHS Basketball Team is playing a basketball game in a pandemic!!!"
"I work at a school with over 4K students and well over 120 staff members. This is frankly laughable"
"Public health officials agree that social distancing is needed right now to delay the epidemic and reduce burden on our healthcare system. Pritzker and Lightfoot both encouraged social distancing during presser. My HS has +2100 students; I teach 150 every day."
We could go on. This isn't "CTU sticking it" to the powers that be, either. These are our members. We have been in close contact with CPS on a daily basis regarding #COVID19 #coronavirus. We've defended the district on more than one occasion. CTU. Defending CPS. #unprecedented
We sent a #COVID19 school preparation survey to members today which garnered more than 1,000 responses in just 30 minutes. Those on the front lines ALWAYS see firsthand the dangers our students and their families face. Our top priorities remain caution, support and protection.
The Illinois primary is March 17. We have received no direction from the City or CPS about a plan to keep students and educators safe, or anything regarding the care of medically fragile individuals. It's no longer just about social distancing. It's about social responsibility.
We believe there are more than 540 separate polling locations in Chicago public schools. Given the serious health risks involved, we demand that schools be closed on March 17, and that CPS schedules overnight deep cleaning at each school serving as a polling place.
In the increasingly likely event that CPS will need to close additional schools in response to the pandemic, we demand that no educators, support staff, part-time workers or other contract workers who serve our schools suffer any loss of pay or benefits.
Workers should be able to stay home—including those with affected children or dependents—without the risk of losing their job or income.
CPS and the City must take all action within their authority to support 15 days of paid sick leave for and suspension of evictions, urge cancellation of IHSA sporting events, support other demands presented by a coalition of unions, electeds, community…
Long-term, we must consider our social safety net, and how we improve infrastructure to better serve those most in need in times of crisis. Situations like hurricane Katrina, 1995 Chicago heat wave, other global pandemics expose gaps in social services created by austerity.
How is the #COVID19 #coronavirus situation in CPS different if we didn't have to strike for 11 days and already have a nurse in every school, or if we haven't privatized janitorial services and left some of our school buildings rodent-infested, and many, many more unclean.
Short-term, we need more consistency, less confusion. We are warning of community spread, limiting access to government buildings and companies are encouraging employees to work from home. We need to mirror Springfield leadership and have that same urgency in our school district.
We stand ready to sit down with the mayor and CPS CEO to bargain specific contingency plans to meet state requirements for minimum annual instructional days, CPS contractual obligations, postponing/suspending state-required tests, and ALL needs of public health and safety.
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