Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is holding a press conference this afternoon to discuss the teachers’ latest tactic in their battle to prevent Mayor Rahm Emanuel from imposing longer school days: a complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.
The board will hold a hearing on December 14 to consider the complaint. In the meantime, it may ask for a court injunction preventing Emanuel from extending school days until the dispute is settled.
“We have offered several ideas for how to actually plan and implement a better school day,” Lewis said in a statement. “Now that CPS’ ill-thought out gimmick has been found to be illegal, we hope that CPS will sit down with us and discuss how to actually implement a better school day that includes a broad curriculum, rather than simply adding more time for standardized test preparation.”
The unions’ complaint alleges that the Chicago Public Schools threatened to close schools if teachers didn’t vote for a longer day, and attempted to bribe teacher with “lump sum payments, iPads, and extra compensatory days off in exchange for voting to extend the school day.”
The union also claims that CPS prevented its representatives from speaking to teachers considering voting for longer days, and failed to inform the union about votes. So far, teachers at 13 schools have voted for a longer day.
“We will continue to defend our position vigorously for all students who are benefiting from having an additional 90 minutes of instructional time at school with their teachers to help boost their achievement in the classroom,“ CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll told the Tribune.
Lewis’s press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. this afternoon at CTU’s Merchandise Mart headquarters.
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