Know Your Rights

Click here to download the March 2013 version of this information.

School Closings: Rights for CTU Members

If your school faces closure or a similar disruption, you have rights under the contract we won in September 2012. Our entire union will continue to fight against unjust actions taken against our neighborhood schools. Even as we fight, we must plan for all possible outcomes.

Rights of the CTU members whose schools are targeted for actions (closing, consolidation, turnaround)

First, know that the CTU is committed to continuing the fight against any and all school closings or other actions that displace our members and harm the education of our students. We conducted a public campaign against the mass closings in 2013, we promoted legal challenges to the closings, we will continue to pursue a legislative fix, and we will continue working with our members and community to build a mass movement to save our neighborhood schools. Rahm enacted the largest mass school closing in the history of the nation—but if we join with the parents, students, and community we can ultimately stop his agenda.

Second, you should be aware that the contract does provide some rights for teachers, clinicians, and PSRPs who are victims of school actions. This short description of those rights is not intended to answer every individual question—but it does provide a basic overview of what happens to our members in the event your school is closed or turned around. All references below are to the 2012-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union.

  • Notice. Teachers and clinicians shall be notified at least 21 days in advance of layoff.
  • PSRPs should receive 14 days advance notice of layoff.
  • Tenured Teachers follow their students…
    • if they have one of the top two ratings (last year excellent or superior)
    • “to the extent that a vacancy within the teachers certification has been created as a result of or in connection with the transfer of students. If more than one teacher is eligible for appointment to the same vacancy, selection for the vacancy shall be based on seniority.” (from Appendix H, Section 5-B.1)
  • Finding a new job. At least half of all new CPS hiring (for teachers and clinicians across the entire system) must be from displaced teachers—and principals must interview at least three displaced teachers for all vacancies.
  • Layoff benefit, tenured teachers. Tenured teachers who do not find work are eligible for 5 months in the “Reassigned Teacher Pool” at full pay and benefits, and 5 months as a cadre substitute while they look for work.
  • Severance benefit for PSRP’s. “PSRPs who are assigned to schools that are subject to closing, consolidation, reconstitution or phase-out at the end of a school year and who are not reappointed prior to the first day of the work year for the following school year shall be eligible for a severance package equal to a $1,000.00 one-time payment and nine months of BOARD-paid insurance premiums for health care continuation coverage.” (from Article 9-10)
  • Return from layoff. If a tenured teacher returns to a permanent position within two years, their tenure and prior seniority will be restored.
  • A tenured teacher who has been laid off due to school actions shall be offered the opportunity to resign and receive three months of pay.
  • Probationary teachers who are laid off and who have been rated in the top two rating categories shall be offered placement in the day-to-day substitute pool.