Chicago Teachers Union says schools dirty, wants CPS to hire more janitors

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A call Friday to hire more school janitors. The Chicago Teachers Union says the city's schools are filthy and they want 500 new janitors added to the district.

Members of the Chicago Teacher's Union said CPS is doing too little too late. Friday they suited up in hazmat gear and offered to clean the schools themselves.

Parents, teachers and Chicago Teacher's Union representatives marched up to Kenwood Academy High School Friday morning.

They offered to deep clean the school, but were not allowed inside.

Union members said cockroaches climbing up windows, peeling paint and dirty sinks are just the tip of the iceberg in CPS schools

Rodent other problems that are so bad, that they're wearing hazmat suits and cleaning things up themselves.

"We'll do spot check, we'll say we've gotta evacuate a building if students and educators are unsafe and unhealthy as a result of this negligence," said Jackson Potter with the Chicago Teachers Union.

"We have administrators buying mops and cleaning supplies for custodians and it's still not enough," said Kenwood teacher Michael Shea.

The announcement comes one day after CPS announced it would be hiring 200 custodians to deep clean schools over summer break and 100 full-time employees after that.

On Friday, the teachers' union said it was wasn't enough.

The Chicago Public Schools Chief Operating Officer called the meeting a stunt.

"From our perspective we wanted to get the issues addressed, not necessarily involve ourselves with any stunts," said CPS Chief Operating Officer Arnie Rivera.

Arnie Rivera said CPS has heard the cleanliness concerns and responded appropriately with the additional custodians - also instituting new monthly inspections and restructuring facilities teams.

But the union says they want to re-take control of the right to bargain - and potentially strike - over non-monetary issues like school cleanliness.

"You can't get a quality education in a filthy school," said Stacy Davis Gates with Chicago Teachers Union.

A bill that would allow the Chicago Teachers Union to bargain on issues like school cleanliness passed out of committee last week. Teachers said they were hopeful it would make its way to the governor's desk.
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