Three-Way Race Shaping Up For Teachers Union Presidency

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There are a bunch of new stories posted on Substance, of interest especially for those of you engaged in the teachers union leadership contest that's taking place.  Former CTU president Debbie Lynch has formally announced that she's running against current president Marilyn Stewart.  CORE is running, too, but hasn't named a slate of candidates.  George Schmidt, the editor and publisher of Substance, was a member of the Lynch administration.  Several of his writers are CORE members.  What do you think of the various caucuses and candidates, and who do you think is going to win?  

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  • I am a 20 year teacher with CPS and am saddened by what is happening to our CTU sisters and brothers. I know I will not vote for Stewart ever again. I am leaning toward the sincere and energized CORE. (I supported Debbie in the past, but cannot go her way again either.)
    My concern for CORE is their knowledge of how to negotiate a contract. CPS will be looking for blood at the contract negotiations. How will CORE not end up making those that are left, the bloodlust for CPS? Cannot wait to hear their stance on this.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Ditto everything above, except I am only 10 years with CPS. Would love to see CORE go for it, but I too am concerned about negotiating ability when the strongest team possible will be needed.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    Original poster and QuietObserver:
    We in CORE are well aware of the challenges we will be up against if we have the opportunity to negotiate the next contract. We have begun looking at strategies that other unions (both teachers

  • In reply to KristineMayle:

    Thanks, Kristine. It sure is a load off my mind knowing that a twenty-something like you may be negotiating my next contract.

    Sheesh! Marilyn doesn't look so bad next to that.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Are you serious? I'm so confused by comments like yours.

    What leads you to believe Ms. Mayle would be negotiating the contract?

    And which parts of research, analysis, transparency, seeking advice from multiple experts, and engaging the membership in understanding their own contract negotiations are you opposed to?

    CORE members and leaders are thoughtful, open-minded, intelligent, and geeky. And they already work harder than the current leadership. CORE members are smart enough to realize that partnerships, solidarity, an activated (not decimated) membership, the ability to mobilize media, and effective public relations are all keys to Union success.

    I also encourage you and others to attend a CORE meeting. Whatever preconceptions you have of CORE will surely be shattered.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Wow, you're an ass. We haven't had a good contract since Vaughn and somebody answers a direct question with specifics so rather than taking issue with the specifics you rip on her age? I don't think she's mentioned anywhere that she'd be doing the negotiating either. Maybe

  • In reply to KristineMayle:

    I notice that George doesn't mention CSDU, even though he knows very well they are running a slate. He pulled his old trick of leaving a message that he was trying to contact someone, but then never called back when he was given a number. In this way he could say he tried to contact CSDU, but was unable to do so.

  • In reply to KristineMayle:

    The only way this Union is going to be strengthened to the point where it can portect its members is through negotiating a new contract. Sit-ins, camp-outs, sleep-ins, speak-outs, etc., are not going to change anything. It is naive to think that anyone at the Board is listening. It is wheel spinning. In my opinion, this is the major difference in the philosophy of CORE and CSDU. CSDU has its focus on winning the election and negotiating a new binding agreement and enforcing it. The Saul Alynsky tactics of the 1960's are not going to change our Union in 2010.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    No, but remember that the Board represents the Mayor and the Mayor represents the people. The people are the ones you have to convince to be on your side, otherwise the Union goes into the contract talks weaker than it needs to be. Remember, the majority of Chicago residents do not have children in the public schools. That means that even planned work stoppages don't have the punch they once did. To that end, CORE might just be on the right track of trying to unite with the communities. Just a thought from a non-teacher.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    CSDU is just a bad spin-off of UPC. Linda and Ted= 2/5 of the UPC (Marilyn's)leadership team. Dear readers, please don't forget it or fall for their re-packaged garbage! Ted's still trying to run the show, just like he was until Marilyn wised-up to it.

  • In reply to KristineMayle:

    By the way....the CSDU has a website with lots of info on it. Check it out at http://www.thecsdu.org

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    The caucuses ideologies are too far apart. I am a CSDU supporter because CORE is mainly interested in helping the parents and the students. They don't want schools closed for the sake of the students, etc. It's their Socialist point of view, which is their prerogative. CSDU's main objective is in protecting and supporting CTU members. As Al Shanker, one of the great Social Democrats, said, "When the students start paying union dues, then we will represent them". CSDU cares about the students, but this is not the job of a Union.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CORE has enough veteran teachers and union members that are ready to negotiate the next contract. Stewart use to sleep through the contract negotiations so i do not what the worry is. Additionally CORE has developed specialized sub-committees to address the different concerns within the union and its membership. The last few union administrations gave back member rights and weakened the contract. The other and larger issue is contract enforcement: our contract has lots of safeguards for our membership but the current administration refuses to protect the membership though the contract we have now, unless they are forced or threatened to do so.

    John Kugler
    Displaced Teacher

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    Cukoo writes: "The last few union administrations gave back member rights and weakened the contract."

    Like what? Name something.

    John, you haven't been around long enough to know what the heck you're talking about. You can parrot the CORE line now, but your flirtation and abandonment of CSDU last year makes you a rather unreliable supporter.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    One thing is for sure, Marilyn is a Machine Stooge. Out with the despot!!!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU--thank you for looking forward for the CTU membership, but you cannot win. Sorry--you will not win. If you really want to show your guts and loyalty, you will support core--it really is that simple. I am not active in core nor do I represent them, but they will need your help and they will welcom it from you. debbie will not win and will only take votes away from you-csdu. core will be even stronger and a fright for CPS and Daley with support from CSDU. You know at most-you will cause a runoff. Please not that you willbe asocited with Marilyn and with the old guard. membership wants new blood new vision and ideas that come to fruition. teachers believe in core - not in the past. I wish you well, but to bat maruilyn first try--you and core need to work together. debbie should really drop out, but she will not--she should be a part of core as well--they would welcome her, but she should not run anymore for ctu president. why not work on core's negotiating team?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I think your analysis is quite flawed.

    First off, let me disabuse you of the notion that CORE and CSDU--though united in opposition to Marilyn Stewart's UPC--will put aside their differences and work together. Uh-uh. Not gonna happen. While each may welcome the votes of the other, neither will welcome the other's members into their leadership.

    Secondly, few people--outside the D299 blog and Substance "News" site--know anything about CORE. I'd be surprised if 10 of the 180 Union members at my school could identify them.

    Name recognition is very important. Remember, it took Deborah Lynch 3 times before she won. PACT and CSDU have the marquee names that are known to the membership; CORE doesn't. And if you're thinking that people will just vote for the unknown caucus to bring in new blood, let me remind you that Marcia Williams' Independent caucus and TH's SEA caucus have both pledged to slate candidates.

    Further, I wouldn't assume that a runoff will be between Mariliyn Stewart's UPC and the highest vote getter among the five opposition caucuses. It may well be between CSDU and PACT; or PACT and CORE. The more likely these scenarios become, the less likely any of the groups will throw in and work with the others.

    Finally, you write that Debbie Lynch "should be a part of core [sic] as well--they would welcome her..." Again, as with CSDU, I'm sure CORE would welcome her votes and those she could bring with her, but as far as welcoming her into their leadership team--no way. Their behavior at House meetings has been to keep away from her.

    Although the two previous posters in this thread have written in support of CORE, they admit they are not members nor even know that much about the group. Perhaps you should check them out.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

    Tuesday, Jan 26, 4:30

    Pulaski Park, 1419 W. Blackhawk

    All Members Welcome to be Considered for Slating.
    Now is the time to get involved and help shape the future of the CTU.

    Join Us for Free Pizza and Pop

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

    Tuesday, Jan 26, 4:30

    Pulaski Park, 1419 W. Blackhawk

    All Members Welcome to be Considered for Slating.
    Now is the time to get involved and help shape the future of the CTU.

    Join Us for Free Pizza and Pop

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

    Tuesday, Jan 26, 4:30

    Pulaski Park, 1419 W. Blackhawk

    All Members Welcome to be Considered for Slating.
    Now is the time to get involved and help shape the future of the CTU.

    Join Us for Free Pizza and Pop

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

    Slating / General Meeting
    January 26, 2010 4:30 p.m.
    Pulaski Park 1419 West Blackhawk Street

    All CTU Members welcome to be considered for slating.
    Now is the time to become involved in shaping the future direction of the CTU.

    Join us for free Pizza and Pop.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

    Slating / General Meeting
    January 26, 2010 4:30 p.m.
    Pulaski Park 1419 West Blackhawk Street

    All CTU Members welcome to be considered for slating.
    Now is the time to become involved in shaping the future direction of the CTU.

    Join us for free Pizza and Pop.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    One huge loss was that tenure is not citywide, but now based in the individual school. So you can have 20 years of tenure in the system, but have been in the current school building for 3 years--the teacher with 4 years and same certification in the same building, beats you out of the job. Experinece does not count and is a liability in the contract. So Cukoo--I have named something and it was a cukoo to give it up.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    That was done back in the 1990s. (It was either the last contract Jackie Vaughn negotiated or the first one Thomas Reece negotiated. Gee, I never thought to keep my old contracts back then.)

    And secondly, you are quite mistaken. Seniority is within your building (and not citywide), but goes back to the date of hire. In your example, you still have seniority and would be kept over the teacher with 4 years--other things equal.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    We need to kick out Marilyn and her crew!!! Lynch had her opportunity. Marilyn sold us out and has no clue. Teachers need to choose anyone but her and her crew.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    Please do not say to choose ANYONE. I hear you. This will be my last election because after 25 years, I will be let go in June and I cannot retire. But the membership must make the best choice--yes Stewart must go, as fact, she should not even run if she had any class. But let us not go hastily into the darkness again. We all must make an informed decision here. Please do that before you vote. We must be strong. A house united can never be divided.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    "Please do not say to choose ANYONE."

    That's exactly what the CORE people are doing. Choose CORE, even though they haven't announced a slate of candidates yet.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Alexander

    I just read your post over at Substance "News." You seem to be starting quite a number of threads about them here, too.

    It looks just a bit like...'ya know...sucking up.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    sign your posts and i might take what you write seriously.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    some links and helpful pics of the various faction leaders here:

    here:http://www.chicagounionnews.com/2009/10/field-taking-shape-for-2010-ctu.html

    seems like it might be a four-way race (CORE, CSDU, PACT, UPC and Independent)

    / alexander

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Thanks Alexander for all. And for sharing what is hard hitting on Substance--the CTU race is big news. Many of us will only get our news in Substance or from you and your sources. The CTU journal will always support UPC. So thanks. hey 8:34--apologize.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    the hope is that there will be a runoff between CSDU and CORE. Let's see what happens. Stewart should get only a few votes and should drop out--can the membership be so stupid to vote her in again?--all is lost if that happens 4 sure and it is exactly what the Board and Daley pray for. CSDU got Stewart in in the first place and created this group to get back at her--can they unite with CORE? UPC--yes high schools are angry, but people will still remember debbie with anger (sadness) and youngins' don't know who she is and they know CORE. Independent is just wasting time now--should hook up with the closest one that models their plan-if they have a plan. The elections cannot come soon enough!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    My hope is that the contest will be between CSDU and PACT. Ted and Linda and Debbie all have name recognition. There are no "marquee" names at CORE, and while CORE may be known by people who frequent this blog, Substance "News", and/or Catalyst, most CPS teachers and staff have never heard of them.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Yes, Ted and Linda and Debbie have name recognition. Whoop-dee-doo. If you believe one of these painfully polarizing egotistical figureheads is the solution to the CTU's woes, well, good luck with that and may god save us all.

    Let's not forget that Lynch lost the last election by something like 75% to 25%. And that Ted and Linda were partners with Marilyn Stewart in the $8 million of members' dues that went missing during their first 4 years in office. And that Linda Porter was the treasurer (!) while that money went missing. And that the CSDU is really just the newest version of the UPC.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Let's see. CORE has never won an election. Among their number are avowed communists and socialists. And while they've protested every social ill known to man, they have no victories to boast.

    Maybe it's a good thing they have no name recognition.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Yes, some members are liberals. Me, I was in the college republicans and while I'm definitely a democrat now, I'm in the mainstream. I think it's great that as the current union leadership does little, but watch as jobs disappear and our pension shrinks, you put your own political ideology first. CORE doesn't do that

    I've never seen a CORE meeting devolve into a discussion of the free market or Afghanistan policy. Instead we work on those things that most effect the members of this union--jobs.

    I must confess in our existence we have never won an election. Then again, we've been around less than a year. It does seem you feel very threatened by us and since you don't sign your name I can't tell if that's justified.

    For those that are do want to know what we're all about, I urge you to come out to one of our meetings. The regional meetings are a great place to get to know people, but I might start with a citywide meeting a Manny's Deli. That way, if you come and you are convinced CORE isn't right for you, you can still leave with the best corned beef sandwich in town.

    Joe Linehan
    CORE

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Chris, you really should read up on the commonalities among unionism, collectivism, and solidarity. It's time to relegate your Cold War insecurities to the dust bins of history and irrelevancy where they belong.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    To:District299 Reader:
    I just completed my registration.Previous comments are not mine.
    Do you follow me?Excuse me I still prefer women.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    It is disturbing to read the comments from teachers who cannot write paragraphs without grammatical errors. These are more than typos.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Actually, I have read things from Marcia Williams in the past and she has this very strange way of using the present tense for everything, as Lesson 22 does. I think it is she.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    Okay, I will make sure that I will remind lesson 22 to use the past , present and present participle tenses. Maybe, even maybe lesson 22 should understand that Marcia Williams has the only patent for using that vernacular. I just didn't know that only one person can write in a certain way. But this is my last post addressing such nonsense. I am with the independent caucus; I do believe that they have bigger fish to fry that your inane comments. Let's just get someone who is a fresh face with competence to boot to represent the CTU.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    First, I want to say thank you very much to all the CTU Members who voted against the three referendum issues on November 20th. The Coalition For A Strong Democratic Union (CSDU) deeply appreciates your support in the process to regain control of our union and bring true democracy and transparency back to our great union. You sent a strong message to the CTU President that it is a time for a change.

    Against the tremendous resources of the CTU, we nearly defeated those unfair referenda. Nearly 17,000 votes were cast for referendum items 2 and 3. These two referendum items each passed by a margin of less than 1,500 votes. That is a margin of less that 5% between the Yes and No votes.

    In spite of the fact that many schools lacked CTU Delegates and the voting was conducted by CTU Field Representatives and CTU Administrators, we still we

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    See, now I'm confused. The two main leaders of the CSDU - Linda Porter (current presidential candidate) and Ted Dallas (founding member, removed CTU Vice President) - were once allies with the current administration and opposed to the very democracy and transparency they now allegedly support. You really can't have it both ways. Power and greed and ego are a nasty mix. The time to speak out against the autocracy of the current leadership was when you WERE the leadership.

    Your math is off - Referendum Item #1 passed by a margin of 24.9%. Referendum Item #2 passed by a margin of 8.4%. Referendum Item #3 passed by a margin of 8.5%.

    By the way, there were several other caucuses involved in opposition to the referenda. Don't confuse votes against the referenda with support for the CSDU. A vote for the CSDU is a vote for 40% of the leadership that got us into the current mess that is our Union. That's not reform, that's regression.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    CORE for me! I am not a member but from what I have seen, CORE has been fighting the good fight and calling Marilyn and her gang on their sleeping with the Daley Machine.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    So you think Marcia Williams and the Independent Caucus might be out? How so? What crystal ball do you or anyone else have? I recall how people counted out our current president, President Obama out of the running for the democratic nomination and then the presidency. Wasn't it supposed to be President Clinton? After all, she had the "name recognition." Yeah, look how that worked out for her! Besides, the other candidates are old, and i mean old news, except CORE. But like some have said on this post, George and a few others may know of CORE but, there are so many more who don't have a clue who they are, especially in the elementary schools. All I can say, is when people including myself have called Marcia Williams and her group the Independent Caucus for information and insight, they have been there for many and asking for nothing in return! That's what I want as a leader for our union! We already have enough egos running CTU. Let's try for a little humiliate!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Someone wrote CORE cannot do any worse than the last two CTU administrations. Are you really ready to take that chance!! Haven't we lost enough!! Let me repeat. "HAVEN'T WE LOST ENOUGH"!! How can you depend on a group like CORE, and they can't even agree on a slate of candidates? How can you choose a group no one has ever heard of before until this year? I have been to a CORE meeting, and there is no way i want this group of confused people to have anything to do with the negotiation of my next contract! How can CORE negotiate with the city of Chicago when they can't even negotiate their own slate? Please attend a CORE meeting and see for yourself how confused they are!! The only real choice we have to stopped being bullied and cheated, the only group i truly believe will have the strength to stand up to Mayor Daley is Marcia Williams and the Independent Caucus!!!

  • In reply to concern:

    I'd sincerely like to know what Marcia Williams and the Independent Caucus has done. Anything besides running a slate election time rolls around?

    CORE doesn't have a slate yet because they'll be voting for their officer candidates, not appointing them. Democracy takes time, but it's well worth it. There are no shortcuts.

    There is nothing confused about CORE at all. They have been the most active caucus over the last 18 months by far in the face of budget insanity, Ren2010, school closings, board hearings, protests, and press releases that actually garner media attention.

  • In reply to concern:

    I have been waiting for anyone to ask the question, "what has Marcia Williams and the Independent Caucus done? Well first you need to check out their web site at www.independentcaucus.org, Next I know for a fact that Marcia Williams has filed hundreds of grievances on behalf of herself and staff and have won at least 70% of those. She has filed several arbitration's and won all but 1. She recently help, including myself over 50 displaced and reassigned teachers file a claim with EEOC and an unfair labor suit. Also for your information, Marcia Williams was the 1st delegate back in the late 90's to file a grievance about missed preps. asking for monetary compensation. They won and every teacher at her school Fulton, including myself, were paid anywhere from $200.00 to $700.00 depending on how many preps. we missed. Before Marcia Williams, no one ever did that or even asked for that as a remedy! Marcia may not have been at the Board meetings because she's at work at her school, or she may have been in Springfield helping to push House Bill 363 through. I also know that Marcia has been interviewed and quoted by numerous newspapers. I have heard Ms Williams urge teachers to make our union work for us by having CTU represent us with the unfair claim and class action suits! Marcia may not be shouting and wanting people to see her at every chance, but she's about action and helping people! Now my question to District 299 Reader and to anyone else is,, Please explain to me and let me know what the other candidates have done that is equal to or on par with what Marcia Williams has done in helping our members!

  • In reply to concern:

    Please, if you don't think the CSDU leadership has more experience than Williams, you are completely misinformed. She didn't file the grievances herself, the CTU Field Rep filed them for her.

  • In reply to concern:

    Rank-and-File Teachers Caucus Unseats Incumbents on Pension Board in Chicago. When the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) endorsed two of our members as Teacher Trustees for the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, we formulated a strategy that strayed far from the expected route. On October 30 our strategy yielded a big win for the rank-and-file movement within the 32,000-member Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). This was the first time that incumbents who were members of the ruling caucus in the CTU lost their seats to a reform group.

    continue reading
    http://labornotes.org/blogs/2009/11/rank-and-file-teachers-caucus-unseats-incumbents-pension-board-chicago

  • In reply to concern:

    it seems like the same old politics of personality. i like core because it does not depend on a personality but depends on persons.

    PS hundreds of grievances and several arbitrations? only the union can file arbitration cases unless williams paid for them herself? now are you saying filed the grievances under her own name straight to the board or filed grievance requests? story is not adding up? was she a field rep or mart employee at one time?

    what the other candidates have done

    PACT work
    Lynch on WGN Radio/Sun-Times Op Ed Page: Tragedy at Fenger High School Chicago Sun-Times 10/02/09
    Safety at Fenger yields to

  • In reply to concern:

    experienced if you want to be taken seriously especially political rhetoric sign with full name and email address.

    otherwise you are just a hack like all the rest.

    John Kugler
    kuglerjohn@comcast.net

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Say, John, are you including all the anonymous posters who tout the wonders of CORE as hackers not to be taken seriously--or just the people supporting other caucuses?

    Danny

  • In reply to concern:

    the all jensen team?

    Marcia Williams-President
    Jensen ES

    Kyle VanEenenaam- Vice President
    Jensen ES

    Haydia Turner-Stanton-Financial Secretary
    Jensen ES

    Marilyn Flood-Treasurer
    Jensen ES

  • In reply to concern:

    Cermak Rd....When it comes to really getting tough, the majority of community people have rarely supported CTU Members. If you really want to accomplish something, you just have to draw a line in the sand and be tough. The mayor and the rest cannot break you down if you stand united and strong for what you believe will help the members. It's unfortunate, but after a time if you are going to succeed, you have to ignore those who are against you and keep your eye on the prize.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    Re: When it comes to really getting tough, the majority of community people have rarely supported CTU Members.

    I agree. And that needs to change. But isolating the CTU, even a "tough" CTU, from other education stakeholders weakens the Union's ability to fight. Partnering with other stakeholders - parents, communities, and yes, students - provides a tough CTU with important allies and additional resources in the fight for public education. The Board has allies in the mayor & his lackeys, the media, state legislators, and the corporate elite. The Union *must* have active allies as well. And right now it doesn't. That's one reason, among many, why the Board has been so effective in destroying public education to date.

    One of the main reasons I support CORE is because of the partnerships they have created and strengthened. CORE's on-the-ground organizing has been tremendous. They are the only caucus that seems to understand the importance of building a collaborative effort in the fight against Ren2010 and privatization. As a result CORE has been at the forefront of that fight. Remember, the CTU never made more than a peep about Ren2010 until CORE hit the stage last winter...

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    I think what the CSDUPC have accomplished in their years together and since the split is well known. Afterall, we get the union newspaper every month.

    CORE has some accomplishments too:

    - Last winter we helped stop the closing of 6 CPS schools
    - We were the only caucus to attend all the Ren 2010 hearings last February, all school opening hearings, and all CPS budget hearings this past summer.
    - We filed an EEOC complaint on behalf of displaced teachers.
    - Forced the Board of Education to offer a hardship salary advance to all teachers who could not pay their bills because of the payroll rescheduling fiasco in the Spring.
    - Have met with teachers from Washington, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to develop a national response to the continues assault on unionized public education.

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    as a displaced teacher form he now closed and now chartered de la cruz, it was CORE that gave us the information we needed about our rights and what would happen to us as diplaced teachers. Our calls for months, to the CTU fell on deaf ears. CORE even went beyong this and spoke out aggressively to the Board abou the aftermathof the closing of de la Cruz. they did not have to dothis at all. and again, CTU was deaf and dumb. Thank you CORE!

  • In reply to CSDUSupporter:

    I'm not familiar with Marcia Williams' group except for running into her in front of HoD meetings. She was super-nice and I enjoyed chatting with her. I received a flyer from her that stated that the Soto Bill was still a moratorium on school closings (this was a month or two ago) so I was a little taken aback by that (since at that time my understanding was that the bill had already been gutted to a large degree and no longer contained that provision).

    Regardless, it seems that she has a group of people who are willing to put themselves out to help teachers. I think we should commend that.

    My personal belief is that the type of work we in CORE are doing to defend public education is the best path to ensure any sort of positive future for the teachers and PSRPs (and students and communities) of Chicago.

    But whatever people's visions are, I do think another non-corrupt group that advocates for our union members is never a bad thing. I'm tired of the bad-mouthing and politicking. I'd rather study up on the Board's plans so if we get new leadership in May, we can actually remove some of the board bureaucracy that impedes our work and threatens our livelihoods. Let's let actions speak for themselves. We can eat like kings and nourish the children of Chicago with real education, or we can continue to battle and malign each other for scraps from King Richard's table.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    when is the last time marcia spoke at the HOD or at a Board meeting or anyone from that group.

    Has she ever filed a grievance for the membership?

    How about writing an article or being on the news in support of the membership?

    Does she comment on CPS first class?

    just curious

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Go to coreteachers.com -- HOME tab -- and SCROLL, SCROLL, SCROLL. This group takes smart action -- school closings/massive protests, EEOC lawsuit, GEM coalition leadership, 20-day cuts, labor outreach, twittering HOD meetings, cross-country urban education coalitions, Duncan/Renaissance 2010 protest, secret job fair opened -- they keep the Board on the run and make it public/news. Then hit LINKS tab -- CORE covered EVERY school closing hearing (and more recently this summer's budget hearings).
    The rest of the contenders are just talk.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    There are some CORE people who are pretty liberal, but not all of us are. Frankly, I don't think most union members care about personal politics. There are a lot of displaced teachers, our union membership continues to shrink, and morale is ridiculously low. I think when faced with the crises that face us as a union, the average member is far more concerned about what their union leadership with do about their job conditions than about how they feel about global warming or supply side economics. This race is about people's livelihoods and I believe that is the main concern of most union members.

    No, CORE doesn't have a slate of candidates yet and if you don't like the slate we put up, you are certainly free to support other candidates. One of the reasons I joined CORE is because it was a change of pace from the ego driven politics and marquee names, which I believe had hurt this union.

    As chitown teacher pointed out, CORE has already accomplished a lot in a short period of time. There are several very experienced union people as part of our caucus and since none of the caucuses running candidates have experience successfully negotiating a quality contract, I don't see that as a hindrance.

    Joe Linehan
    CORE

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Make it a big tent.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Something is wrong with Alexander's arithmetic.

    The first slate that announced (back in the spring) was the Coalition for a Strong Democratic Union. They have been visiting schools since the summer and count among their "steering committee" a number of delegates from some of the bigger schools across the city. Since Ted Dallas masterminded the past two campaigns, one cannot discount him this time.

    Deborah Lynch's ProActive Chicago Teachers (PACT) caucus has also named a slate now. She has been visiting a number of schools since summer, and last Friday's fundraiser was attended by 250 paying supporters.

    No one else has officially announced their slate of candidates. It looks as if Marilyn Stewart is running again, but the UPC hasn't announced yet.

    CORE hasn't announced yet. It will bolster them if Jay Rehak wins the pension trustee election. (I cannot see Lois Ashford winning. She is by far the weakest of the six candidates.) Regardless of what they claim, I'd be surprised if their candidates are different from the leaders they elected last summer (Karen, Jackson, Carol). The fact that Jackson Potter has asked me twice (e-mail and in person) not to engage in "red-baiting" about CORE makes me think he realizes the kind of race CORE is going to have. Whatever name you want to give it, Jackson and Carol and others in the group are far left of center, and that will turn a number of teachers off.

    Thus, there is a viable 4-party race right now. I think you can discount Marcia Williams' Independent Caucus as a contender. Twelve of the 17 people listed on her steering committee are from a single school, and she counts only two delegates among them.

    A sixth group with the acronym SEA has been distributing literature, but they may have gotten started too late to make an impact (other than throwing their support to one of the other groups later).

    It should be an interesting campaign.

    CSDU is visiting my school this week, and I'm hoping they sling some mud (and juicy gossip) at Marilyn's shrinking UPC>

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I think you can discount Marcia Williams' Independent Caucus as a contender.
    What? Are you high? Don't you know that you never underestimate the competition, no matter how small they may seem to you. Who knows, they may even offer a pleasant surprise, a breath a fresh air that is so sorely needed among the CTU. I do agree with you that it will definitely be an interesting campaign.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CSDU & PACT are old news. CORE pay to advertise in George's newspaper, so what would you expect but for Substance to "endorse" CORE. But the real test will be if they can reach to the CTU membership and come with something new that will unify instead of divide our membership even more. And I wouldn't discount Marcia and the Independent Caucus. I've seen her in action and heard her speak when she came to our school.She can hold an audience and she doesn't get rattle when a person ask a tough question. She just answered it and left the person feeling satisfied. But, I recall how many made the same mistake with our former US senator and current president. The press and others counted him out. People were saying things like, "Who is this guy?" They found out. He was the guy to watch and the guy who made the naysayers into believers. Besides, Linda and Ted will have alot of "SPlaining", to do to the membership as to why they have to pay back a ton of money back to UPC after being found guilty of taking money from their old caucus.

  • In reply to Lesson22:

    Hey, that was a dispute between members of the UPC not the CTU. Each side felt like they were the real UPC and they were fighting over who should have the treasury money. After all, the original chair was the one who raised the money for the UPC. Why shouldn't he have claimed it for his UPC. Most of the money in the treasury was sent back to UPC Members so they could decide which side they wanted to be with. The rest was returned when the judge said that Stewart's UPC group should have it. Don't libel Dallas and Porter. It was they who stood up and said that Stewart shouldn't run again and that's what caused them both all the trouble. You don't know what you're talking about.

  • In reply to Lesson22:

    our former US senator and current president.
    same guy how hired ducan to push chgo reform across usa?

    dude chill out till you get used to hacking on a regular basis. havent figured out yet if you are upc or someone else. it aint nick is it?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CORE can not do any worse than the last two administrations. Our job security was compromised during both contracts while we unknowingly paid for our own demise with Union dues. Principal abused their power and hundreds to thousands of teachers were displaced or fired -- many with tenure and excellent to superior evaluations while 105 ILCS 5 34/84-85 was manipulated in the best interest of CPS, not CTU. We lose our salary and benefits, etc. but we are classified as "displaced" instead of "fired." How can we ever get valid data on teacher's loss of jobs?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CORE FOR CTU!! WE'LL C 2 U ALWAYS!!

  • In reply to Displaced:

    It is unfortunate that some people on this list who have promised not to red-bait and instead stick to the issues have decided launch invective against people, like myself, without revealing their own identity. I also strongly disagree with the characterization of Lois Ashford as the least qualified of the pension candidates. Lois has been a displaced teacher when the Board turned-around Copernicus, she and Jay Rehak are the only candidates to directly confront Ron Huberman in Board meetings and Budget hearings for his dishonest claim that our pension is what is causing the budget deficit. With CPS actively lobbying to get out of funding our pension at State mandated levels, we cannot afford to elect pension candidates who just attend meetings. We need people who can fight and aren't afraid to confront those in power. Lois and Jay will do that. Stay tuned. Vote Jay-Lo. - Jackson Potter, CORE

  • In reply to jpotter:

    By Danny

    Hi JP!

    I meant to sign the post above, but this forum works a little different than when the blog was at Catalyst.

    I'm starting to think you're just a big baby, JP. What did I write about you that could possibly be characterized as "invective?" Invective would be speculating about how overactive a libido someone's mama has. That's hardly in the same league as saying someone is politically left of center.

    Also, JP, stop putting words in my mouth. I didn't say Lois Ashford was the least qualified of the pension candidates. I wrote that she was the WEAKEST of the six candidates. Heck, none of them are qualified. None has ever worked in the financial sector; none has a degree in finance. They're all teachers.

    Lois Ashford gave the worst speech of the group. And don't give me any cock and bull about how she didn't know she was going to speak that night, and how you called her up and told her to get to the meeting. None of the others knew Marilyn was going to let them speak (and Jay Rehak already had a speech prepared to deliver during the question period). Lois Ashford has been running for months now, and she couldn't formulate a 3-minute speech why people should vote for her. She spent half her alotted time in a "shout-out" to some of her friends in the audience. And how does being a (temporarily) displaced teacher qualify her for pension trustee? Every candidate who has ever run for trustee has the same personal stake in it: they rely on the fund one day to pay them an income in their retirement. The talk I heard after the meeting was that Lois Ashford was the least knowledgeable of the six candidates.

    I stand by that. If you want to balance your vote for a white man by also voting for a black woman, then you should consider voting for Nancy Williams. She has experience, and she did vote the right way on the matter of suing the Board to provide individual data to the Pension fund.

    I, however, am voting for Rosemary Finnegan and Jay Rehak. Rosemary has more experience than the two incumbents, and I trust her. Despite his connection to CORE, Jay is probably the strongest of the six candidates. Certainly, it's easy to believe he will make himself heard at meetings.

    So dry those tears, JP. CORE is 50-50 in this race.

  • In reply to jpotter:

    danny wondering where you were.

  • In reply to jpotter:

    I don't know the process, but I suspect a 4- way race will favor the incumbent. It's the best thing Marilyn Stewart could ever have hoped for. Please people, get strategic about your alliances up front! Give a little, get a little.

  • In reply to jpotter:

    I would like to address the issue of unity. Unity around what? I want unity around fighting for what we need, and not just caving in to whatever CPS wants. CORE has given leadership to this fight, the other caucuses have not. Unity is achieved when people treat each other with respect. CORE has also taken leadership on this front.
    On negotiations: in addition to other points already made, I would add that "experience" is not the main thing that will get us a good contract, especially if that experience involves negotiating bad contracts, as PACT, CSDU leaders and UPC have all done! Being accountable to the rank and file and having strong two-way communication with the CTU membership is the best guarantee of a strong contract. Again, CORE excels in this area.
    In my opinion, it's a no-brainer: vote for CORE in May and vote for CORE candidates Jay Rehak and Lois Ashford Friday.

  • In reply to ccaref:

    By Danny

    Just what has CORE achieved?

    Do you have anything other than platitudes and empty phrases to throw around? You don't sound like an experienced teacher to me. Just a political hack.

  • In reply to ccaref:

    CORE has done more for the membership then the mart employees who we pay to advocate for our rights. At no charge to the membership. Not a bad deal. Just imagine if they have the resources of the full union membership what we can expect.

    The Board is most scared of this group to win, that is why huberman and his team are giving material support to stewart including surveillance, covert and clandestine activities against the opposition.

    CORE Files Discrimination Charges Against Board of Education(shouldn't this be done by the union leadership?)
    http://coreteachers.com/2009/06/11/core-files-discrimination-charges-against-board-of-education/

    CORE

  • In reply to ccaref:

    The Officer Candidates of the CSDU understand that to become elected as officers of the CTU, it takes an incredible amount of hard work and time. That is why we announced our slate in May of 2009. Until last Friday, we were the only announced slate that was actively campaigning for office. We want to meet and talk with all CTU members before the May 2010 election takes place.

    Since that time, we have visited nearly 200 school whether passing out literature, talking to CTU Members in school parking lots, or holding nearly 40 formal school meetings with staff. We have introduced ourselves to the staff, answered their questions, and explained our platform. We have listened to their concerns and explained how we would handle the problems facing the CTU. We have received tremendous support and encouragement where ever we go. People continue to join our caucus.

    We have also tried to present several motions at the House of Delegates Meetings concerning member issues but have been thwarted by the lack of Democracy at the House Meetings at this time.

    People are looking for leaders who have a vision of change and improvement for the CTU. We are those leaders. Our position is that no one should loose their job, unless for cause. The CPS has turned around schools several times without any improvement in the quality of education for the students. They have turned around schools that were helping their students and turned those schools into war zones. The turnaround process has proved to be a disaster and will be stopped. Experienced, qualified teaches will not loose their jobs to be replaced by inexperienced teachers. We will return Democracy to the House Meetings, letting all questions be asked and answered. We will allow motions to be made, discussed and voted on according to Robert's Rules of Order. This not just campaign talk, this is the pledge and commitment of all CSDU Officer Candidates.

    When you are a leader, you understand that you will be attacked. We have been attacked because Linda Porter and Ted Dallas are leaders in our caucus. We have been attacked by anonymous people who have not worked with them in the CSDU. I am proud to call them my friends. These are two people who left the UPC that they helped create when they saw that it had become a dictatorship headed by someone who was only concerned about her own power and that would not listen to reason. They both have real integrity and have done nothing wrong other than stand up for what is right.

    If you want more information about the CSDU, visit our web site, which has been live for over a month. www.thecsdu.org

    Also, attend our next General Meeting on Tuesday November 17th at the Parthenon Restaurant.

    Contact us on our web site if you would like to set up a school visit by the Officer Candidates.

    John Moran
    CSDU Vice President Candidate

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    You know, just a thought, but inappropriate usage of English is probably harmful to your cause. The word you are seeking is lose, not loose. I understand that a blog has casual language with typos, but this was no typo as it was used twice, and it was used in a somewhat formal letter format.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    Russo, Hmmmmm.....I didn't notice you posting any links to CSDU positions, etc. If you all want that info, go to http://www.thecsdu.org where you can read everything about why the CSDU has mounted a campaign against Stewart - their platform, and all the latest newsbriefs about her not conforming to the CTU Constition. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has a recall provision for an officer who doesn't adhere to their Constitution. CSDU should have actually put that on their Recall petition. If it passes, Stewart could be recalled on that issue alone, IF she wins again. Just a fallback position. I'm sure she will lose. The CTU needs an intelligent leader and the members know it!

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    I hope you are all helping to get the petitions signed? It's a non-political, union democracy issue that ALL of us should be involved in. We should be united on this.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    John,

    Thanks for responding. I'm happy to discuss things with you. I do believe people can change their point of view. In the 2000 Presidential Election, I voted for George Bush. Nobody worked harder against him in 2004 once I realized my mistake.

    The difference is, I voted for the man. I didn't run his election campaign, govern with him, run his reelection campaign, govern with him some more. I won't claim you are rats deserting a sinking ship, but the timing is odd, I'll say that.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    OMG, I jusr got a call from a delegate who says that Stewart sent out the meeting notice saying that delegates could not initiate a Constituion change? What next! She really out to be put out of the union.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    CTU Constiruion, ARTICLE XI11
    AMENDMENTS AND REFERENDA
    This Constitution, with the exception of this article, may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any meeting of the
    House of Delegates, provided that notice of the proposed amendment and a copy thereof was in the call for the
    meeting, and provided further that the amendment was published to the membership not less than ten days previous
    to the meeting.
    Any question, including amendments to this Constitution, shall, on recommendation of the Executive Board or on
    recommendation of the House of Delegates, or on petition of five percent of the membership of the Union, be
    decided by referendum of the regular membership of the Union. A majority of votes cast shall decide the issue.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    Get your Recall petition here: http://www.thecsdu.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/petitionfront-and-back.doc

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    PE Teacher:
    If I'm not mistaken, John Moran was a PACT supporter and might have even been on that slate at one time, so you see that people really can change their minds.

  • In reply to JohnMoran:

    CPS THREATENS TO SHORT CHICAGO TEACHERS PENSION FUND BY $100 MILLION

    CORE

  • In reply to ccaref:

    OK, I'm confused here. So Ted Dallas ran Marilyn's campaign and then her reelection campaign and then realized the mess he made, so this time he's got somebody else he's backing. Can he at least promise that it won't happen again? This is like Karl Rove running against George W. Bush. Also, is it hard to run for change when you've been part of the governing coalition? I notice UPC isn't on here. Are they also running on a change platform?

  • In reply to ccaref:

    PE Teacher,

    I would be glad to have a discussion with you about how people can and do change their mind and actions. That was the whole point of the Civil Rights Movement and the opposition to the Viet Nam War. I'm sure that at some point in your life, you saw an issue in a different light and changed your opinion.

    Or maybe not. Or maybe you think that once you take a position, you can never review it and change your mind. So sad if you do.

    Come out of the dark and let's have a real discussion. I posted my name because I strongly believe in what I said. I knew that I would be attacked but I am not afraid of those attacks. True leaders do not hide in the shadows.

    John Morn
    CSDU Vice President Candidate

  • In reply to ccaref:

    Retired Principal said: What will happen to the CTU if Marilyn Stewart and the UPC wins again?

  • In reply to ccaref:

    a new post from proactive chicago teachers (ie, PACT), fwiw, including a list of candidates and lynch's speech transcript.

    http://proactivechicagoteachers.com/ctu_election_2010

  • In reply to jpotter:

    To:J.P.
    You are so sensitive.I just registered.Previous comments are not mine.
    It does not mean that I am socialist at this time.

  • In reply to Displaced:

    i understand how time changes perspectives and makes one wise. as an untenured teacher and someone not raised in chicago, this becomes more apparent every day. however, i strongly disagree that only the old and tenured know anything or that the union ought to be run only by those who are older and tenured. i also strongly disagree that the older, tenured teachers in my building always know more than i do about the union or contract, or that they could fight harder against cps than i could in a delegate/officer position.
    this line of 'older, wiser' is one of the biggest weaknesses of the union - of ANY union. if we go into this pitting 'experience' against 'inexperienced', 'old' against 'new', 'tenured' against 'tat', 'teacher' against 'esp' against 'social worker/etc' against 'administration', we've divided ourselves before the struggle has even begun. all of these divisions also negate the fact that many 'old', 'tenured', 'teachers' also began as 'new', 'tat', 'esp/social workers/etc', and that many more will go on to be 'administrators'. our similarities are what bring us together, and our differences have to make us stronger.

    we ALL hear about the problems - teacher side, admin side, parent side, lsc side, student side. it's a matter of how we choose to connect them or separate them. is this a 'me' fight, or is this an 'us' fight?

    whoever it is, whichever slate of candidates, however the platform is pitched, this union has to address the issues. not in rhetoric, but in actions. personally, i will be looking for the group that connects rather than separates, and that does rather than talks.

  • In reply to Displaced:

    It would be nice if CORE, PACT and CSDU joined in a unified slate.

    Then for sure Stewart would be out.

    It would also send a message to the board of a unified opposition.

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