Teachers’ rights: What if someone doesn’t want to participate in CTU’s 1-day strike on April 1?
CPS teachers who are unsure about their options on April 1 can call 312-805-0969 for information or assistance.
Chicago public school teachers who are members of the Chicago Teachers Union, or CTU, have been warned that if they go to school instead of participating in an illegal strike on April 1, they could be expelled from the union and lose their benefits.
So what rights do teachers who are concerned about participating in an illegal strike have?
Teachers that resign their union membership prior to April 1:
- Can go to school on April 1 without punishment from CTU
- Can avoid union fines and discipline
- Can keep their jobs
- Must pay “fair share” fees to the union for the cost of collective bargaining
- Are still represented by CTU in collective bargaining
- Must be represented fairly and without discrimination by CTU
- Cannot be denied benefits under the labor contract because of non-membership
Teachers who refuse to strike on religious or similar grounds:
- Can keep their jobs
- Must pay a fine equal to the pay received for working
- Could file a charge of religious discrimination if they are treated differently than similarly situated teachers
What does Illinois law say about teachers who participate in illegal strikes?
Teachers who strike in violation of Illinois law:
- Will not be paid
- Cannot use sick days to participate in the strike
- Cannot use personal business days without a demonstrated need to be absent
- Are subject to discipline by Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, which could result in reprimand and suspension without pay
In addition, CPS could file a complaint against CTU alleging that the one-day strike constituted an unfair labor practice under the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, which could result in fines against CTU or be used against CTU in the contract negotiations between it and CPS.
CPS teachers who are members of CTU and are unsure about their options on April 1, or CPS teachers who have opted out of CTU membership but have questions about their rights, can call 312-805-0969 for information or assistance with these issues.