Chicago Teachers Union
CTU Poster Campaign Up Against the Wall Of Board Policy
30,000 Posters must come down Board Says
CTU Asserts First Amendment Rights
Chicago (June 1) Asserting first amendment rights and in response to CPS Chief Arne Duncan’s proposal to cut 1,600 school based positions, including special education and preschool staff, the Chicago Teachers Union has distributed 30,000 posters for use by teachers and staff in their schools that declare “Cut Brass, Not Staff. No Cuts in the Classroom.”
The posters, to be displayed in every classroom window, are part of the campaign that CTU President Deborah Lynch vowed to wage against the proposed cuts that were suddenly announced on May 25th. While late Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Education said that that it would instruct principals to have the posters taken down on Wednesday morning, CTU attorneys insist that the posters involve the fundamental right of free speech. Union officials also noted that any teacher or staff told by a principal to ‘take it down’, have been instructed to follow the directive, but to call the Union immediately.
“Mr. Duncan needs to understand this is not a one way street. It was outrageous enough, after months of negotiations where we had demonstrated that CPS could save more than 0 million a year by simply agreeing to the Union’s proposed Early Retirement Plan for Teachers, Mr. Duncan unilaterally decided to solve his budget problems on the backs of the neediest students – preschoolers and special ed students.” said Lynch. “Now he wants to gag us. That’s not leadership, it’s dictatorship¿.and we won’t have it.”
The posters are part of a larger campaign, that last week included informational picketing at the Board of Education’s monthly meeting, editorial board meetings, emergency meetings with other Unions and community groups, and a press conference.
The CTU House of Delegates, scheduled to meet at 4:30 pm Wednesday, June 2nd, will review the status of the campaign at that time, and discuss further actions to be taken.