WBBM NewsRadio

9 CPS Families Say They Will Sue Chicago Teachers Union if They Strike

February 1, 2021

(WBBM NewsRadio) — A legal advocacy organization said it will sue the Chicago Teachers Union on behalf of nine Chicago Public Schools families if members of the CTU go on strike.

Bob Bartlett is a Chicago Police officer who said he has devoted his days off during the pandemic to helping his sons with their remote learning from Ebinger Elementary School on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago.

He said he has a new appreciation for teachers after a year of playing the role as educator.

“I don’t think I could do as good as the teacher, I mean they are the ones that have been doing this and are trained to do this, and went to school to do this,” Bartlett said.

He said his kids need to return to class, because one is starting to struggle with remote learning.

“He has suffered with his grades and what he has been able to accomplish at school,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said an older son attends a private high school that has in-person instruction with few problems.

“He’s able to go school every day.  Why can’t our public schools in the city find the common ground to do the same?” Bartlett said.

He added that the city of Chicago is doing what it can to make the school buildings safe.  Bartlett contended the CTU is holding up a return to remote learning by turning the discussions over a return to in-person instruction into an opportunity to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement which was reached in the fall of 2019.

Bartlett believes that it’s time for students to return to class.

“On a case-to-case situation maybe there’s teachers that can’t come to work.  We understand that.   As a whole we feel that the teachers can go back to work,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett is one of nine CPS families represented by the Liberty Justice Center, which is threatening to sue the CTU if members go on strike.  The LJC contends the strike is illegal under state law and the union contract.

The Liberty Justice Center is a conservative legal advocacy group that has filed several lawsuits over Governor Pritzker’s emergency COVID-19 rules.  It also has a history of legal battles with public employee unions.