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CPS, CTU Agree to Longer Day

Both Sides Will Now Look at Best Way to Add More School Hours

After what seemed to be an endless debate between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union over a longer school day, both parties met and agreed to put down the boxing gloves and have an official meeting along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall.

CPS has agreed that they will not add more schools to the pioneer program this year that would have extended the school day by 90 minutes.

They also agreed that they will no longer negotiate directly with employees represented by the union.

In return, the CTU has agreed to drop all legal proceedings and an injunction that was brought against the school board in what they had said was illegal recruitment.

ÒThis meeting was an important step forward in building the kind of partnership needed between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools to help our children be successful in the classroom and gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their future,” said CPS CEO Jean Claude Brizard.

There are currently 13 schools that have adopted the longer school day in the city.

ÒThough we have not resolved our dispute over the legality of the waiver votes at 13 schools, our leadership team and the CTU have agreed to avoid a costly court battle over an injunction that would be disruptive to the Chicago Public Schools,” Brizard said.

There is still an Unfair Labor Practice hearing to be held before the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The agreement does not force the 13 schools to go back to their old schedules unless there is a ruling from the IIELRB or an agreement is reached between CPS and the CTU.

The CTU is calling the agreement a victory.

ÒMr. Brizard is personally notifying every CPS teacher and paraprofessional today (last Friday) of this decision to stop conducting the waiver votes and stop direct dealing with CPS teachers,” CTU President Karen Lewis said.

ÒNow that everyone is in agreement that negotiations over how to improve educational performance in Chicago need to respect the rule of law, we can get on to actually talking about how to do that,” Lewis added.

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