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School Support Staff Stand With Teachers On Longer School Day

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Chicago Public Schools

(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Unions representing support staff at the Chicago Public Schools are speaking out in support of teachers on the issue of a longer school day.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, UNITE HERE Local 1, the same union that represents hotel workers, also represents aides, security guards, custodians, engineers, lunchroom workers, and others who work in schools in non-teaching capacities.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Henry Tamarin, president of UNITE HERE Local 1, joined others outside Chicago School Board headquarters, 125 S. Clark St., to call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to, in his view, stop negotiating for a longer school day in the media, treat teachers with respect, and discuss the issue at the bargaining table.

“We didn’t create the length of the school day. The Board of Education did,” Tamarin said. “We’re willing to negotiate extending the school day, but this takes good-faith negotiations, not more Board of Education press statements and confrontational rhetoric and tactics.

Mayor Emanuel and CPS chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard have devoted great attention toward lengthening the school day, and have asked the union to accept the change before the beginning of next school year.

The mayor 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.

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