Monday, December 24, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union offers class cutting strategies to members

CTU member at  an Occupy Chicago
 anti-NATO rally--on a school day.
When members of the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike this fall, they had to know that make-up days would eventually follow. For some teachers--at Track R schools--two days are coming, January 3 and 4.

Apparently, many teachers plan to play hooky on those days. Some have made non-refundable vacation deposits, others, the CTU hypothesizes, may need to "attend a wedding [or] visit a sick relative."

What about hiring subs? "The Board has insufficient substitute teachers to cover the demand," the CTU says.

Wow. The September strike by the Chicago Teachers Union was not a surprise--the walkout was viewed as likely as early as June. It's safe to say that those teachers who chose to put down money on a winter break trip during this school year were making a big gamble with their money--and on the needs of their students.

The union offers some advice that requires some reading between the lines:
Do I need approval to take a Personal Business day? No. However, be aware that the Board may not pay unapproved days and we would need to seek resolution to that issue through the grievance procedure. PB days are defined as "days for use during the Fiscal Year to attend to the employee's personal business." The Union's position is that our members are NOT required to seek approval in order to take a PB day.

What if I'm sick on the 3rd or the 4th? Do I need a doctor's note? If you have an emergency illness on the 3rd or 4th, Board policy states that you do NOT need to provide a note. Obviously, if you want to tell your principal, "I am going to be sick on the 3rd and 4th" the principal has the right to ask you to bring a note.
FTK: Who is really "For the Kids?"
What about the students that the CTU says they care so much for? Well, there is no mention of them. As for the needs of others, this is as close as the CTU gets: "While union members have a right to take any PB day they elect, we also urge members to consider the needs of the school to provide a safe and secure learning environment on school days when a large number of educators may desire the day off."

When a teacher 'calls in sick,' a substitute needs to be hired, so taxpayers are paying two teachers for that classroom on that day.

Will the Chicago Board of Education and their principals make a stand? For the parents? For the kids?

How many working parents had to stay home during the Chicago Teachers Union strike--without pay?

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