The staff of CICS ChicagoQuest, who announced in December their decision to unionize is holding a public meeting for all stakeholders in CICS to speak about the lack of accountability from the CICS Board and the failure of school management to recognize their union and address school issues impacting their students.
Today they will start with an action outside their school because they had their approved space in the school abruptly cancelled by their CEO, even though the school is a CPS building. The meeting will then be held nearby at Seward Park.
Below is a media advisory, and if you’d like to get the day-of press release, please let me know. Here are some links that might be useful.
- Fb event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/817584884937375/
- Follow day of on Twitter: #CICSunite and #CQ4union
- Fb page for union at Quest: https://www.facebook.com/CQ4Union
- Story of the union of ChicagoQuest so far, written by one of teachers.
April 25, 2014
Carlos Fernandez, Chicago ACTS 773-450-4176
Kenzo Shibata, IFT 312-296-0124
Teachers at CICS Chicago Quest Charter Schools Demand Accountability from Out-of-touch Board of Directors
Teachers, parents, and students organize to speak out against the Chicago International Charter Schools’ unaccountable bureaucracy
CHICAGO MONDAY – After months of school management holding meetings at times when most teachers or parents couldn’t possibly attend, teachers from ChicagoQuest and other CICS schools will be holding their own public meetingon Monday night. They invited the CICS board to hear concerns over the lack of accountability to parents and students and to demand respect for teachers’ right to unionize. After agreeing to provide space in the school, the CEO suddenly retracted the offer. Now, teachers will be joined outside the school by parents and community members to express concerns over how CICS practices such as its management fees and subcontracting negatively impact students learning and well-being. Planned meeting to be held after at alternative site.
Who: Teachers, parents, students from CICS ChicagoQuest School
When: Monday, April 28th at 6:00 PM
Where: Outside ChicagoQuest Charter School, intersection of Clybourn and Ogden Avenues, Chicago, IL 60610
The CICS network includes 15 schools governed under a Board that does not include a CICS teacher, staff, parent, or student. CICS board meetings are at 3:30 PM during the workday downtown, making access nearly impossible for teachers and the community. Teachers organized this event in the neighborhood at a time more convenient to working families. They will be joined by community members to speak out about the lack of accountability to parents and students and to demand respect for teachers’ right to unionize. In December, more than 97% of the staff at ChicagoQuest signed union cards, the fourth CICS school to do so, motivated by their wish to address issues that impact their careers and the students they serve.
To address issues impacting the staff and students of CICS ChicagoQuest, the school staff decided almost unanimously to unionize in December 2013, the fourth CICS school to do so. They seek the kinds of voice and support the teachers at the 3 other schools have won, but their CEO will not recognize their decision or reach agreements to assure a first contract. The CICS Board of Directors has rebuffed the staff’s requests to get involved and to make its decision-making more accessible. The ChicagoQuest staff call on their CEO and the CICS Board to reach agreements with its union and include staff, parents, and students in its decision-making.