CTU submits ‘fair’ parental leave request to Chicago Board of Education: ‘We deserve it’


Chicago Teachers Union President Stacey Davis Gates opened for public comment at the first school board meeting of the year on Wednesday, addressing issues ranging from the impact of gun violence to the length of parental leave given to employees. I asked for help from teachers and staff.

“I bring you urgency from the workers who make it happen every day…how can you honor their commitment?” The union has again highlighted the discrepancy between the week’s paid parental leave and the three months given to city employees as of January 1.

“As a women’s profession, we deserve it. … You can’t uphold women’s principles at the city level without doing so at the school level. …Why was it so easy?” 3 CPS The student’s parent, Gates, said:

After the meeting, a district spokesperson said the CPS “remains committed to researching our current parental leave policy and… has conducted a preliminary review of our policy and is working with union leaders. and take the necessary time to negotiate how to best support us.” Team members who are new parents. A spokesperson said updating the district’s policy would also require a 30-day public comment period, community engagement and an equity review.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a union representing more than 20,000 CPS teachers, aides and other school officials have been battling to resolve various parental leave policies at press conferences in recent weeks. .

Last week, CTU submitted a petition to City Hall calling for “equality in the application of new city policies for expectant mothers and parents.” Lightfoot argued that updates to the district’s parental leave policy must be negotiated in a collective bargaining process, rather than enacted through school board votes as the union had called for.

CTU members and aldermen held a press conference at City Hall on January 18 to urge Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Board of Education to extend paid parental leave for CPS employees, as well as for city employees. rice field.

“We want this to be a policy not just for the City of Chicago, but for our sister institutions. But it has to be done through a collective bargaining process. They have to get to the table,” said Mayor Lightfoot. In a September 30 news release, the office first announced the 12 weeks of leave granted to nearly 32,000 city employees, and its policy against agreements with the AFSCME and the Federation of U.S. State, County and Local Government Employees. acknowledged the update of

New parent Cassandra Chisopoulos, a 17-year CPS employee and member of the CTU executive committee, called the district’s much shorter parental leave program “horrible.” After an emergency caesarean section, Chitopoulos said she had to use all her sick leave to spend more time at home with her daughter. “If I get sick, I don’t have a day at home with her,” she said, urging city and CPS officials to work with the union to “negotiate the details and approve them as soon as possible.” .

District CEO Pedro Martinez, whom Lightfoot appointed to lead the CPS in September 2021, agreed with the mayor in a Jan. 17 letter to Gates. “The collective bargaining process is an ideal forum for such discussions, as it enables robust debate about this topic and its implications, and enables the parties to reach mutually satisfactory conclusions,” it said. Martinez said.

At the January 25 board meeting, Gates said: “For too long we have had to challenge, fight, scream and demonstrate for that partnership…. We want that partnership and reciprocity. Because you deserve it.”

Discussions among city agencies about updating parental leave policies are among the sources of recent friction between Lightfoot and the teachers’ union. In the city council elections on February 28, longtime CTU organizer and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson was one of his eight candidates, and this controversial relationship was confirmed. It went on to shape his February 28 local elections.

Lightfoot’s clashes with unions were a major theme in her first term, in 2019, just months after she took office, the CTU went on strike for two weeks. occurred just a few months later, leading to a showdown with unions and a halt to in-person work as they fought for stronger pandemic protection.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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