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The Proviso High School Teachers Union may have been inspired by the striking Chicago Public School teachers to the east when they filed a lawsuit in September, alleging the district didn’t follow new state rules for teacher evaluations.

A union representative also complained to the Proviso school board on Sept. 18 that the union teachers and social workers had been disrespected and asked to do work outside the scope of their jobs.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, teachers complained in the lawsuit, filed Sept. 11, that Illinois School Code required that tenured teachers be evaluated only once every two years and that D209 had conducted evaluations twice in two years.

Illinois Federation of Teacher Services Director Arnavaz U. Mistry-Mujthaba declined to give a copy of the complaint to the Forest Park Review.

“The matter now resides in the Circuit Court,” she wrote in an email.

But Matthew Brown, Proviso Math and Science Academy music teacher and union vice president told the school board publicly that Proviso teachers had experienced working conditions that were violations of the collective-bargaining agreements. Brown complained about social workers being asked to do clerical tasks, staff being replaced with full-time substitutes, teachers being asked to do new tasks such as keep track of attendance, develop curriculum and work outside hours, including “Freshman Night.”

“It is not our desire to bring these grievances to the board of education,” Brown said, “but the PTU asks that the contract language be honored.”

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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