December 1, 2022


The Education People

Shame on you, CPS | Chicago Lecturers Union

Table of Contents

Union ability will come to the rescue of paralyzed veteran college clerk

PSRP Judy Mahoney is specifically the kind of personnel CPS really should value: hardworking, devoted to her university local community, bilingual and a good purpose design for pupils. She served as the college clerk at Whittier Elementary in Pilsen for 23 several years right up until a drunk driver modified the class of her existence 1 evening.

A head on collision remaining Judy paralyzed from the midsection down, in need of a wheelchair. It could have been a everyday living shattering occasion, but Judy settled to rebuild her life and return to the pupils and staff she beloved. There was only just one dilemma. A few decades just after passage of the Us residents With Disabilities Act, Whittier, like hundreds of CPS educational facilities, is not wheelchair obtainable.

In want of a task, in 2018, Judy recognized a placement at Byrne Elementary, in which her tough perform and can-do spirit won around that overall school neighborhood, too. Now, 4 a long time later on, CPS has slashed Judy’s position at the college and, had our Union not fought back, she would have been out of occupation at the conclusion of June.

We Battle Back

But we did battle back. That’s what a Union does, stand up in opposition to the greed and indignities of the bosses. PSRPs like Judy know a tiny some thing about that. They serve as the spine of our universities but typically really do not get the respect and appreciation they deserve. So it did not shock me when I read about the procedure Judy been given from CPS.

And I most definitely was not shocked when CTU’s arranging team sprang into motion, demanding justice for Judy. We aided mobilize aid at Whittier and Byrne and in her community. We circulated a petition signed by about 7,000 supporters. We achieved out to elected officers who despatched letters to CPS and the mayor demanding they fund Judy’s situation. And we held press conferences and rallies that generated beneficial media protection of Judy’s plight.

Folks see how CTU stands up and fights again when we choose to the streets in the course of a strike. But we stand up and defend our users against injustices on a each day basis — as Judy uncovered.

Crying Broke

CPS will before long get approximately $2 billion in COVID reduction funding, the major infusion of federal funds in CPS background. Yet it moaned that it could not manage to pay for Judy’s posture at Byrne. She tried reasoning with the district, even pleading, to no avail. Then, she attained out to her Union.

Following months of tension from CTU and other supporters, CPS at last agreed to fund Judy’s situation — but only for another calendar year. That’s a get started but not good sufficient. Experienced Whittier been wheelchair obtainable, Judy would not have been experiencing unemployment. If CPS funded Byrne dependent on what it requirements, Judy’s place would be protected. And experienced CPS invested in true accessibility for every single scholar, loved ones member and worker at our educational institutions, Judy would not require to be at rallies combating to conserve her career.

Judy just needs to be afforded the stability she justifies right after devoting just about 30 several years to CPS. That is not way too a lot to question. She hardly ever needed to make a fuss or be the heart of a community campaign. But that’s what it usually takes to get CPS, controlled by Mayor Lightfoot, to display some decency and humanity — and to do the appropriate detail.

At this point, Judy is fatigued but wants to maintain fighting. Our Union will hold battling, far too, for her and for all the other Judy Mahoney’s out there, remaining callously turned away from educational institutions simply for the reason that they are differently abled. Disgrace on you, CPS.

Christel William-Hayes is CTU Recording Secretary and a PSRP for lifetime.