November 4, 2011
The following is a statement from CPS CEO JC Brizard on agreement reached yesterday between CPS and CTU on the longer school day this year. CTU has agreed to not move forward with additional legal proceedings to stop schools in this year’s longer school day pioneer program from adding 90 minutes of additional instructional time to boost student achievement, while CPS has agreed to not add more schools to the pioneer program in the current school year. Also pasted below is the agreed upon letter between CTU and CPS that was sent out today on behalf of CEO Brizard to all CPS staff regarding this important agreement.
Statement from CEO JC Brizard:
The Chicago Teachers Union recently approached us about not pursuing more schools to extend their day as part of the Longer School Day Pioneer Program. Yesterday we met with the union to resolve this matter. As a result, the CTU agreed to forego additional legal proceedings; in return, CPS has voluntarily agreed to stop adding more schools to the Longer School Days Pioneer Program during the current school year.
This meeting was an important step forward in building the kind of partnership needed between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools to help our children be successful in the classroom and gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their future. This collaboration allows all pioneer schools adopting a longer school day this year to move forward with an additional 90 minutes of instruction time for subjects like math, reading, art, and music. It also establishes a critical foundation of working together to assist every CPS school with a longer day next school year.
Today, the CTU and CPS are working together to do the right thing for all children in our schools and I want to thank them and Karen Lewis for coming to the table as our partners.
As you know, over the past several months our district’s leadership team and the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) have been involved in a dispute over the votes by individual schools to adopt a longer school day. Recently, that dispute led the CTU to file a request with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) to seek preliminary injunctive relief directing the Board of Education to stop implementing a longer school day through school waiver votes. The IELRB issued a complaint over the 13 schools that had adopted a longer school day, and subsequently, it unanimously issued an order authorizing its general counsel to file a court action seeking injunctive relief.
Though we have not resolved our dispute over the legality of the waiver votes at 13 schools, our leadership team and the CTU have agreed to avoid a costly court battle over an injunction that would be disruptive to the Chicago Public Schools. Accordingly, the district has agreed that it will not, for the duration of the current CTU labor contract:
- implement a lengthened school day at any Chicago Public School whose teachers and paraprofessionals are represented by the CTU and who did not previously vote to authorize a lengthened school day.
- deal directly with employees about the length of the school day or compensation for working a longer school day, offer inducements to employees to vote in favor of lengthening the school day, or unilaterally modify the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union.
I have instructed the principals at all district schools to observe these terms. CTU President Karen Lewis and I agree that we need to turn the page and get on with the work of educating every child in every neighborhood. We are resolved to move forward in a mutually respectful and collaborative relationship.
I want to thank the CTU’s leadership for working with us to resolve this matter. And I want to thank you for your continued support and commitment.
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.