Hi, I’m Arathi Jayaram and I’m a preschool
teacher at Audubon Elementary. Today is my second bargaining meeting of the
week. On Tuesday we met for health care. CTU brought our experts. CPS did not. Today, we bargained on early childhood
education and bilingual education. CPS did bring their experts.
They did not bring any counter proposals. They did not give us any substantial offers. So, although they brought their experts, we tried hard
to talk about the ten to one ratio in early childhood. CPS did not agree to anything with us,
in terms of contract language. We also talked about the overwhelming paperwork
that kindergarten teachers have in quarter one, and lessening that. CPS would not agree any language to lessen
that paperwork on kindergarten teachers. When we started talking about bilingual education,
they continued to refer back to the fact that a lot of what we were asking for was in the law. So, we were asking consistently and continuously
for them to invest and commit to invest in quality bilingual education. They continued to say that it was, “already
in board policy … it’s already part of the law.” What we want is for them to actually put it in writing
and put in actual contract language that will empower teachers to be able to defend that. And they wouldn’t agree to that.
And that’s where we’re at.