Board issues three furlough days; CTU promises to strike

Mar 3, 2016 by

The Mayor’s Handpicked Board issues new 1.6% pay cut to CTU educators and all but assures teachers will walk on April 1st

CHICAGO—Moments ago, the Chicago Board of Education added insult to injury to every teacher, paraprofessional and clinician by announcing it would impose three furlough days this school year, causing educators to potentially lose a whopping 8.6 percent loss in pay.  The first furlough, Friday, March 25th, marks the start of the Easter holiday season.

In an email forwarded to the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), the Board writes:

Please be advised that the Board is modifying its academic calendar for SY15-16 and will conducting 3 furlough days of employees on the following days:

  • March 25, 2016
  • June 22, 2016
  • June 23, 2016

The reason for these actions is to improve the Board’s cash flow.  Employees will no longer be scheduled to work on those days and will not be paid on those days.   To the extent that teachers redistributed the flex PD day on June 23 and have already work the time, they will be paid.   Employee benefits will not be affected. 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the impact of this decision, please feel free to call me and I will schedule a meeting with you.

Notices are being sent to employees via electronic mail simultaneously with this communication.  A copy of the employee communication will be transmitted to you separately.

CTU President Karen Lewis denounced the cuts by saying this (action) “only strengthens our resolve to shut down the school district on April 1st,” she said. “The mayor is already seeking a 7 percent pay cut and today’s directive adds another reduction in salary and benefits. They should have never extended the school year in the first place if they couldn’t afford to do so.”

The “pension pickup” has been in the contract since 1981, and was agreed to in lieu of salary increases. It requires CPS to pay 7 percent of teachers’ salary to the pension fund instead of to the teachers. If CPS does not pay the 7 percent, teachers must pay this pension fund requirement themselves. Such action would therefore constitute a pay cut and therefore would make a strike permissible under an interpretation of state law.

 

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