Chicago International Charter School (CICS) released the following statement on CTU’s call for a strike at four schools on Feb. 5
February 4, 2019
CICS is deeply disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has chosen to strike at four CICS campuses. This strike will place a significant burden on the families of the four schools, reduce 2,200 students’ access to learning and it will cause long-term harm to the school community at our four campuses.
Since May 2018, CTU and Civitas, the employer of staff at these four schools, have held more than 30 negotiating sessions. Because the Civitas team deeply values its educators, they have offered salary increases for teachers and staff that amount to 28 percent over the four-year life of the contract, increased days of paid time off and a class size cap of 29 students. Civitas has also agreed to voluntarily recognize paraprofessionals in this contract and add full-time teacher’s aides to its K-2 classrooms. At no point was it ever suggested that this would be in exchange for social workers, nurses or other critical student support services at any of the Civitas campuses.
Civitas, however, has not agreed to requests that would have a significant negative impact on students, such as reducing the length of the school day, significantly reducing the amount of time teachers spend on instruction and eliminating the ability of Civitas to remove a teacher that is not meeting his or her job responsibilities on behalf of students.
We encourage all parties to remain at the table, around the clock if necessary, to reach an agreement so that our students can be back in the classrooms with their teachers. Students’ learning is simply too important to be interrupted for even one minute more than necessary.
Because CICS and Civitas have a responsibility to the working families whose children attend our schools, campuses will remain open and staffed by principals and non-union staff. The following contingency plan is being implemented at the four impacted campuses (ChicagoQuest, Northtown Academy, Ralph Ellison and Wrightwood):
CICS’ other 10 campuses (Avalon, Basil, Bucktown, Irving Park, Lloyd Bond, Longwood, Loomis Primary, Prairie, Washington Park, West Belden) are not affected by the strike and should expect no interruption in educational instruction or campus operations.
About Chicago International Charter School
CICS’ vibrant network of diverse Chicago charter schools enables students to thrive every day, puts them on a path to success in college and life, and empowers entrepreneurial educators to pursue excellence through innovation.