A Teacher's Day

The day in the life of an inner city large urban school district teacher after the high stakes testing ends and there is still three more months left before summer vacation.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I have taught school for over thirty years always in the inner city and for the most part always upper grade students. I have two children and I have been married for twenty years.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Chicago Teacher's Union Notes--May Meeting

Union Delegate Meeting—May 3rd
Michael H. Brownstein

Proposed changes for our new contract, but don’t hold your breath.
Article 9-3.1 ESPs
In my last report, I wrote about how the union did not let the ESPs speak. At this meeting they were offered time. They asked for a substantial pay raise for all ESPs who either passed the test or earned sixty hours of college credit. The union voted to add to the proposed contract that these individuals be automatically moved to grade five on the pay scale.

Furthermore, the union agreed to place in the new contract that every school would get two clerks for all of the paperwork.

36-9.1—ESPs who work in an NCLB job title with sixty or more college credit hours shall receive a $1000 bonus.

Other actions taken:
23A-3.2—teachers let go by the principal will receive insurance benefits until 9/01 and they will not have a break in service towards tenure if they obtain another position by 11/01.
Budgetary reasons are not a valid reason for letting a teacher go. If a teacher is let go because the principal states it’s a budgetary matter, this may be grievable.

45-7—The union voted to create a new committee to revise the discipline code for professional staff.

The union is going to try to get the board to agree to give each art teacher a $2500 line budget for art supplies and an additional $500 for textbooks. The union will also ask for a pay raise for all coaches.

The union is going to try to cap the number of nonunion schools (charter schools) to thirty. This is going to be hard because state statue has precedence over the contract.

Marilyn Stewart rambled about from item to item (incoherently, it seemed to me) in her President’s Report, but two things stood out: charter schools are really nonunion schools and should be perceived as so and we deserve a substantial pay raise, but nowhere did she offer solutions for rebuttals to the Boards claim that it is broke. She did explain in our packets were petitions and sign up sheets to protest the closing of schools. (See me if you want one.)

Lastly, a proposal was offered that actually disturbed me. One delegate got up and spoke with great passion about “white flight and the rights of whites”, and though I got up to make a rebuttal to his (to me) blatant racist attack, no one in the House of Delegates seemed to care. His proposal failed—and I must admit I used my hurricane holler to vote it down.


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