CTU contract negotiations will begin soon for Chicago Public Schools; Stacy Davis Gates talks plans

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
CTU about to negotiate new contract; Stacy Davis Gates talks plans
The Chicago Teachers Union, or CTU, contract proposal will soon be pitched, and Stacy Davis Gates talked about the future of CPS at the City Club.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Teachers Union is about to negotiate a new contract.

On Tuesday, the head of the union was the featured speaker at the City Club of Chicago.

President Stacy Davis Gates answered questions and talked about the union's plans for the future of Chicago Public Schools.

She calls it a movement, transformation and a cultural shift.

Davis Gates didn't mince words when speaking to a sold-out City Club crowd about the union's campaign to transform Chicago Public Schools, as the CTU is about to negotiate a new contract.

"We not going to fight for the schools Chicago deserve anymore; we are going to give it to 'em," she said.

Davis Gates said the days of organizing, building solidarity and walking off the job to get what they want are in the past, now that the CTU's handpicked mayor, Brandon Johnson, occupies the fifth floor.

However, while they support the same agenda, Davis Gates strongly denies she advises Johnson or tells him what to do.

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"I'm not going to be part of the narrative of Lady Macbeth to a Black man that doesn't have a brain. Like, that ain't my role. My role is to run the Chicago Teachers Union," Davis Gates said.

She said for anyone to think otherwise is racist and sexist.

CTU's contract expires in June.

While the union has yet approve its proposals, Davis Gates said wage increases will be one of them, so will sports and arts programs in all schools.

"We endeavor to put orchestra, band and choir and drama in all schools, and it will cost money," she said.

Davis Gates acknowledges the new contract will be costly. She is hoping the city can help pay for it with Johnson's new investment strategy that moves away from the Tax Increment Financing Program, known as TIFs.

"What that means for Chicago Public Schools is billions of extra dollars into its system because they will be shifting from their obsession and love affair with TIFs," she said.

On Wednesday, CTU's House of Delegates will be reviewing and voting on a list of specific contract proposals.

Davis Gates is also calling for open negotiations, so people can see how much work goes into the process.