CFL News
October 14, 2011

Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board Issues Complaint Against CPS For Coercing Longer School Day Votes

Union Calls on CPS to Stop Encouraging Illegal Waiver Votes and Discuss How to Implement a Better School Day System-Wide

By Chicago Teachers Union

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board had issued a multi-count complaint against Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for coercing longer school day votes in 13 CPS schools.  The complaint found that CPS had committed dozens of different unfair labor practices.  CTU officials urged CPS to stop encouraging the illegal waiver votes and discuss how to implement a “better school day” system-wide.

“We have offered several ideas for how to actually plan and implement a better school day,” said Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union.  “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 IELRB found that CPS unlawfully threatened and coerced teachers who participated in school votes to extend the school day, including by threatening possible school closures if they did not support it.  The Board also found that CPS offered teachers illegal inducements, such as lump sum payments, iPads, and extra compensatory days off in exchange for voting to extend the school day.  

The IELRB also ruled that CPS had barred Union representatives from speaking to teachers who were considering  the extended school day.  The Board also ruled that CPS unlawfully refused to inform the Union as to the details of the votes in which teachers were forced to participate.

The IELRB ruled that CPS’s actions interfere with employee rights, unlawfully discourage teachers from supporting the Union’s leadership, and undermine the Union’s legitimate role as bargaining representative on behalf of CPS teachers, violating Sections 14(a)(1), (3) and (5) of the Educational Labor Relations Act.

The IELRB has ordered a hearing on its complaint for December 14, 2011.  On October 20, the IELRB will consider whether to seek preliminary injunctive relief to block the extended school day from taking effect pending the conclusion of its unfair labor practice proceeding.

For more information visit the Chicago Teachers Union website

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