CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Teachers Union is taking its case against a longer school day directly to the City Council.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the union plans to lobby aldermen in person to counteract the public relations blitz in favor of a longer school day by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
The Chicago Tribune reports CTU president Karen Lewis issued a letter to aldermen this week, which invited them to attend one of three private meetings that will be held in a downtown motel.
The purpose, Lewis is quoted by the Tribune, is to “share our vision for Chicago’s public school educators and students.”
The meetings also will address school funding, retention of teacher, merit pay and violence in schools, the newspaper reported.
Mayor Emanuel has devoted great attention toward lengthening the school day, and has asked the union to accept the change before the beginning of next school year.
He also offered a 2 percent raise if the union agreed to the longer day.
But the union disagreed, complaining that the extra time teachers are being asked to work is not covered by a mere 2 percent raise. Thus, school officials asked individual schools to break ranks and agree to the longer school day on their own.
As a reward for lengthening their school days, each school was promised an extra $150,000 in funding from the Chicago Public Schools. Teachers at the schools are receiving $1,250 bonuses and the 2 percent raises.
Thirteen schools agreed to the offer.