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Hello My Name Is...Reflections of the CTU Strike

A look at the Chicago Teachers Union's strike by the educators on the picket lines
by

Nicole Zumpano

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Hello My Name Is...Reflections of the CTU Strike

Hello, My Name is... ...Reflections on the CTU strike from educators on the picket line Who's Talking to You? Nicole M. Zumpano, NBCT Lead Technology Teacher
May Community Academy
20 years in CPS Why am I* Here? 163 Years of Service Average # of Years: 11.6 *Lead Technology Teachers *Field Impact Specialist
(former 5th grade teacher) *7th/8th Grade L.A. Teachers *Technology Coordinator *3rd Grade Teachers *2nd Grade Teachers Things You Need to Know 3rd Largest District
~404,000 Students
578 Schools ~30,000 Members Negotiations began
Nov 2011 Ended in 7(school)day strike Monica Former 5th grade teacher, NBCT
Former union delegate 8 years experience Brandon 8th grade language arts teacher 7 years experience Roxanne Technology Coordinator 15 years experience Jada 3rd grade teacher, NBCT 14 years experience Jenny 7th/8th grade language arts teacher, NBCT 8 years experience Derek Lead technology teacher 16 years experience Cherianne 2nd grade teacher, NBCT 9 years experience Shane Lead technology teacher 10 years experience Nicole 2nd grade teacher, NBCT 9 years experience Anna Lead technology teacher 16 years experience Abby 2nd grade teacher, NBCT 9 years experience Jakki 3rd grade teacher
Union delegate 16 years experience Anita 8th grade teacher 6 years experience May Community Academy Bringing it Back
to Students What We Accomplished Thank You! "Thought the strike was necessary" "I wanted to continue standing
for what I was fighting for in
the beginning. Just because I was no longer in the system I still need to support my friends and colleagues who were still being downtrodden." "Went to Wisconsin two times to
protest for the right of public employees" "Had my daughter participate so she
could understand why she was out of school and what it meant to stand up for what you believe in." "The vibe was one of unity,
togetherness, and power!" "I think the strike was a positive thing." "With all of the chaos within CPS and
the often negative attacks on teachers,
the strike was an opportunity to show
the determination of CPS teachers. Too
often teachers are pointed at as the cause
of the problems within CPS. Teachers are
not the problem." "The CTU strike was an
opportunity for teaches to
display their power and voice." "I never really thought much about the Union
or attending Union meetings. The strike changed
my perspective." "I was really surprised by the strike and REALLY surprised it lasted as long as it did." "I was really impressed with the level of commitment that teachers showed." "One thing that will stay with me from the strike is the feeling I had during the whole time...like a 'yuck' in the pit of my stomach." "It's not what I wanted to be doing by any means, but I felt it was important to hopefully raise more awareness to some of the real issues." "I definitely thought the strike was a necessary action. I felt I was fighting for more than my career- this is my passion." "A good number of parents, students, and retired teachers came out in support of us." "The strike gave us an opportunity to bond when we may not have had that chance otherwise." "I feel we are a stronger staff because of it, and that has a direct effect on our students' success." "I was very scared and actually pretty emotional when it all started." "Our students, parents, and administrators were amazingly supportive." "The energy at the downtown rallies and marches just solidified what we were doing was right and necessary." "This was the first time in my career that I saw parents, teachers, and students united for common goal." "Talking to the parents and students allowed me the opportunity to see that both stakeholder groups also felt voiceless and powerless as CPS stakeholders." "Poor classroom/school environments, resource
disparity, arbitrary punitive administration
decisions against teachers, and unfair treament of teachers by CPS lead me to participate." "It felt good to come together and learn how widespread CPS issues are a part of the district's education system." "The videos and pictures I took can speak for themselves; the camaraderie and unity felt among my coworkers and city-wide colleagues was immeasureable." "For me it was simply about inequality." "Just because a school is getting lower scores overall,
does that mean every teacher in that school is a bad
teacher? After all, maybe they took that job because
they wanted to make a difference. That struck a chord with me." "From my standpoint of we made people stop their day for a few minutes to even think about it or have a discussion than it was worth it." "As a society we cannot continue to ignore the problems with our school system." "For me it was never about the money." "I participated because I felt it was a necessary move by the teacher's union in an effort to fight an employer who was attempting to take what is already questionable working conditions, and make them even worse." "I know for myself and our staff it was a positive, albeit difficult and emotional experience. We really banded together and leaned on one another for support." "Forgot to tell the story of the cpd officer that went into the Mcdonalds we were picketing outside of and paid the cashier $50 for 50 of us to get a coffee. Also the fire house by out picket let us fill our coolers with their ice machine everyday." “It was difficult to watch the news each evening after coming home from another day of picketing. By the 4th day I found myself muting the television when the mayor came on.” “I become proud in a way that I didn't expect. It was a feeling of unity that I didn't expect either. “ "All said and done: it was an experience of a lifetime that I am grateful to have had. It was powerful. It altered my perspective in many ways. I hope to NEVER do it again." "I wish I could describe that first rally for you. Still haven't found the words." Striking makes you fat. People bring loads of bad food and you're either standing with sign or sitting with a sign. "Picketing can get a little dull after the novelty wears off." "I think the Chicago Teacher's Union strike was imperative to public education across the country." "What the Chicago Teacher's Union won was a chance to show the public that all students deserve a quality public education, not just the ones that can afford it." "The strike brought teachers from across the city together as we shared our passion and concern for the children in our schools." "The strike was somewhat of a double edge sword for me. While I believe the strike was something that needed to happen it was painful to have my students losing out on the day to day instruction." "In addition, as the school's delegate I wanted to be the Strongest Link, ensuring that May teachers would know I was there even if one of them could not be there. It was important for the teachers know that I believe in one for all, and all for one." “I felt honored to be apart of CPS's strike. I was honored to stand up for what I believed in, not just in monetary gain but in fighting for better circumstances for our children and for a better educational system.” Bringing it
Back to Students Term: Three years 3%, 2%, 2%
Steps and Lanes: steps 14, 15, 16 increases raises,
Lanes are preserved
No Merit Pay
Benefits preserved at current prices
Right to appeal a rating
Lesson plan freedom
512 additional "specials" teachers hired
Textbooks available on day 1 of school
$250 supply reimbursement (formally $100)
Teacher evaluation only 30% of student growth http://www.ctunet.com http://www.cps.edu nmzumpano@gmail.com http://goo.gl/csOV8 Read the full transcripts:
Full transcript