CTU Year in Review: Carnegie Elementary Unites and Fights for Safety

For two days, educators at Carnegie Elementary School in Woodlawn taught remotely, refusing to enter the building until Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s CPS leadership team responded to requests for additional safety measures for the South Side school.

Carnegie Elementary School educators reach safety deal after COVID-19 ravages their school

At the start of Thanksgiving week, JonL Bush, a SECA at Carnegie Elementary, started to feel unwell and took a COVID-19 test. He tested positive and died on Friday. As the entire school community mourned and the number of positive cases at the school reached nearly two dozen, members of the Carnegie CTU took action.

For two days, Carnegie educators taught remotely, refusing to enter the building until Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s CPS leadership team responded to requests for additional safety measures for the South school. Side. Sadly, the mayor’s first instinct was to attack educators for trying to ‘score political points’ and ‘throw bombs from cheap seats’.

Still, the mayor’s team had to admit that the educators’ requests were entirely reasonable, ultimately agreeing to a more thorough cleanup, hiring additional janitorial staff, increasing COVID testing (including take-home testing), expanding the immunizing families and adding air purification and filtration systems that adequately meet the size requirements of Carnegie’s classrooms.

“The courage and commitment of our members, support staff, administration and families at Carnegie has kept this school community together,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. “Carnegie has shown our union and our city what real sacrifice looks like, and this leadership will inspire more schools to stand just as strong for the safety of their students and colleagues. “

On the morning of December 10, amid a massive wave of photos of support and solidarity from their CTU families across town, the Carnegie educators returned to their building, stronger together.

“Nothing will bring him back,” said JonL’s mother Claudette Bush. “But if his death attracts attention, highlights a bigger problem, then his death will not have been in vain.”

Previously in the CTU year reviewed:
Negotiate for a safe return to our schools
New part-time clinician positions for 2021-2022
CTU bargaining units organized at two chartered campuses
CPA finally agrees to start providing $ 25 million in sports funding
Making history in Springfield
Reduce the REACH assessment
We Care program for new educators and clinicians of color
Organize the summer and bring vaccines to the communities

(Carnegie Elementary and CTU officers. Stronger. Together.)

We have updated the information on ctulocal1.org, so please check the important updates on the Safe School Communities Campaign for the latest news on Safe Return, including our proposal to reopen at CPS and all Sunday member’s Town Hall Tele-Hall.



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