The Chicago Teachers Union has filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education, claiming the board is illegally interviewing teacher applicants about their feelings about collective bargaining.
If the respondents do not provide satisfactory answers on the "TeacherFit" questionnaire, the suit alleges, they are not considered for employment. This is the second suit the Union has filed against the city in recent months.
This time the CTU says that's a clear violation of the Illinois Labor Relations Act because it amounts to "interrogating applicants about protected activity" which is "unlawful intimidation and coercion."
The questions include:
Question 20, sub question 4 asks the applicant to state how much he or she agrees with the statement, "I help people when they need it, even when that means risking confrontation."
Question 22, sub question 3 asks the applicant to state how much he or she agrees with the statement, "I love being a champion for my ideas, even against others' opposition."
Question 22, sub question 7 asks the applicant to state how much he or she agrees with the statement, "I love to challenge the status quo."
Question 27 asks the applicant how he or she would respond to being assigned work that takes away from class preparation and requires working over lunch breaks, evenings and weekends (a direct reference to longer school days.)
Question 30 asks the applicant how he or she would feel about a job that would require the applicant to regularly work after hours.
CTU and the Rahm Emanuel administration have engaged in a bitter fight over longer school days since Emanuel took office.
The Union recently won a court decision from the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board saying Emanuel went too far in coercing 13 Chicago Public Schools to accept longer school days -- a violation of the Union contract -- in exchange for incentives.
The most recent suit asks that the Chicago Board of Education cease and desist from asking the aforementioned questions on the TeacherFit application. Furthermore, the CTU would like applicants who were disqualified because of their TeacherFit answers admitted immediately.