Unions: Still No Idea Why It Matters Who Wins [corrected]

After weeks and weeks of politicking here and elsewhere, the arguments for and against the two candidates remain insufficiently compelling for me to understand if it really makes a difference who wins next week's runoff.  Can (or will) Klein Lewis do anything that Stewart hasn't been able to do, in terms of striking or pushing for better terms for displaced teachers?   Can (or will Stewart) protect the current contract or negotiate the next one any better than her challenger?  I don't get a clear sense of difference.  And, for those of us not in the union, it's pretty uninspiring to hear all the talk about protecting jobs and benefits and very little talk about removing teachers who can't perform and closing or revamping schools that can't turn things around on their own.  Teachers need an advocate, sure, but not at the expense of taxpayer dollars and children's educations.  In that sense, neither of the candidates is very appealing.  

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  • related from the huffington post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paras-bhayani/time-to-play-hardball-wit_b_599613.html

  • letter from lewis that may or may not address some of these issues.

    http://coreteachers.com/2010/06/07/a-letter-to-ctu-members-from-presidential-candidate-karen-lewis/

  • sorry -- lewis -- working too fast this morning.

  • This is why I rarely take a look at this blog. A non-teacher reporting on education without a clue about anything actually having to do with public education in Chicago. Russo didn't even know who was running in the election and apparently didn't do any research before a) getting a candidate's name wrong and b) not actually knowing the positions of the two candidates. Russo should just shut down this blog because it would be just as useful if it didn't exist.

  • In reply to jcohler:

    I enjoy this blog and read it regularly. However, I share your frustration here, though I'm willing to consider the Klein slip a simple typo. But what is unfortunate is that there are real, obvious, and stark differences between CORE and the UPC. Truly, the differences could hardly be more dramatic. Anyone with any sense of education politics in Chicago would know the difference. Union members know. Administrators know. The Board of Ed certainly knows. As a blogger reporting on Chicago education, he really should be aware of these huge differences. Then again, Mr. Russo doesn't live here so he's unlikely to have any meaningful understanding of education or Union issues on the ground.

  • In reply to jcohler:

    stewart press release re budget just out:

  • apologies -- corrected -- working too fast this AM

  • "You cannot be terminated for poor teaching or planning" that to me is a major problem. I think that you should be terminated for poor teaching. If you are a lousy teacher, why are you still allowed to teach? Is it just because you can follow rules and file paperwork? That to me says it's a broken system.

  • down with russo! he's the worst!

    meantime, here's a new roundup from labor notes:

    http://labornotes.org/2010/06/chicagos-rank-and-file-educators-well-positioned-against-play-it-safe-incumbents

    both candidates say they won't reopen the contract, but will likely have to. members seem divided about whether the current contract is the best thing ever and needs protecting or a problem that needs correcting since it let so many members get fired.

  • Anonymous-

    Thanks for your post. I agree that education is changing. Whether it

  • I'm laughing, Alexander. You enjoy stirring the pot...reminds me of my students trying to find ways to entertain themselves.

  • The point of a union is actually to protect jobs and secure a safe working environment. It is for the betterment of its members, who, after all, fund its activities, and for that reason, the general public does not have a vote in union elections and therefore, should not expect to feel inspired by rhetoric surrounding such an election.

    Mind you, I think CORE is correct to try to forge ties with community groups because the threat of a strike is reduced when the only people affected are people with children in the CPS and they are no longer a majority of city voters.

  • Alexander, I agree with you. No difference. UPC is ineffective, tired and more concerned with their salaries than the teachers. CORE will get old radicals like Schmidt out to picket on Clark Street and make noise, but their inexeperience at the bargaining table will be deadly.
    Neither group will effectively represent the majority of teachers in this very difficult financial period

  • How far a test

    The only thing a test measures is its author. I firmly believe that.
    But in this data driven world such thoughts are verboten. Some things like the times tables are
    Required to be drilled into a kids head, but the mere fact of memorizing this grammer school
    Icon does not mean a kid knows what to do with this knowledge. Do we peg evaluations on the
    rote or on the ability to utilize it in future mathematical calculations?
    Abstract thought is hard to measure, but rote knowledge is easy to record. Evaluating the entire
    World of education by test is very dangerous and short sited. What it does do is give the number
    crunchers and zealots a way to control human thought by writing tests that measure what
    they think is important. When a test is prepared that measures, personality, and
    scores of other talents such as artistic ability that might be a different story.
    But today

  • There is one thing that people are forgetting. In order to open the contract due to budgetary reasons, CPS must show an audit of all their financial books. The public ones and the nonpublic ones.
    That CPS waited until the middle of an election to ask them to the table is harebrained. Huberman knew of this in February and he waited until now to talk? It's all a political game. CPS and Springfield are playing it with children in the forefront.

  • Don't forget CORE also won a big FOIA case against CPS and their suit with the EEOC is moving ahead and things look very good. Marilyn has won no lawsuits, though she did just hold a press conference today to say she was going to get around to filing one.

  • " Teachers need an advocate, sure, but not at the expense of taxpayer dollars and children's educations." I am a mother, teacher, and Chicago taxpayer. I joined CORE as a teacher, but my priority is as a mother of a Chicago student. CORE is the only caucus to speak out for the children, especially those who are too weak and poor to speak for themselves. As a taxpayer, I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that invites the community to participate.
    Please, cut the teacher scapegoating already. If you really want to see some poor pedagogy, check out a private special ed school that make millions with CPS contracts. Oh, that's right: They have no accountability to the public or parents.

  • @Time to deal, received the same letter today, shocked more people are not on here talking about it. Marilyn had a letter hand delivered last Thursday about teachers not being in the reassigned teacher pool. We are less than two weeks from the end of the year and no information about having a job or insurance, and it seems information in the contract about being displaced is now up for "bargaining". Why didn't every member get an e-mail blast about this last Thursday?! How about planning a march or protest over the weekend with the thousands of teachers this will impact.

    There has been so much talk about teachers not getting a raise either, why isn't that in the letter? Maybe that is not up for discussion rather a done deal. The letter states the "CTU will absolutely protect the integrity of the contract. Under state law there are some things they can do" thanks for that specific information.

    Let's see no raise, no reassigned teacher pool, not notified if have a position 30 days prior to end of the year, increase in class size....feel free to add to the list.

    One major change in letter is "The lay-off of any teacher withour a valid current teaching certificate, regardless of seniority." What!? Does anyone disagree with this in the first place?!

    A pre-req to any discussions is a hiring freeze, according to the letter. The idea and demand for a hiring freeze should have happpened before over 700 teachers were in the displaced teacher pool last year.

  • I agree. The city is using fear tactics. The contract and your raises are iron clad until the city tries to break it. These are all threats. They are trying to break the union. Stand together with ONE voice and this will not happen.

  • Leave a comment...

  • When Karen Lewis was an elected member of the executive board she apparently missed 8 of the 10 meetings that year. That's right folks--she sat in on a whole 2 meetings!

    Isn't it curious that there hasn't been a peep from any CORE member defending Ms. Lewis's absenteeism.

    I suppose it is pretty awkward to justify that type of unprofessional behavior.

  • What's up with that Dr. John Kugler? He apparently has strong ties with Karen Lewis's campaign. Why would you want someone with that emotional make up as one of your inner circle advisers?
    He sure is one ANGRY DUDE.
    You would think the CPS first class was his own personal blog! He is a bully to anyone that he does not agree with 100%. And by the way, why is this guy on CPS first class at all times blogging? Something's not right there. He provides way too much personal information too. Surely some members of CORE must find his emotional tirades embarrassing.It's hard to understand why anybody would want a hot head like Dr. John involved with a campaign.
    Is that the professional tone Karen Lewis's leadership will continue to convey if she is elected? This is what happens when leadership operates with the bottom up philosophy that Ms. Lewis is so fond of touting.

  • I don't want to move to Vegas or sit around and hope things go ok. I have poured my heart and soul into building programs in Chicago.

    This reminds me of when we had mass cuts at Julian and our field rep said, "Polish your resume so you can get another job" and "Get more endorsements so that someone else will be displaced".

    This week, we all got our ratings knocked down and lots of layoffs and our field rep isn't calling back. I think he's out campaigning.

    We need a fighting union.

    xian from CORE

  • That's because you were a strong principal who were most interested in the students' welfare--not politics.

    The problem with a subjective process is that good actors use it for the benefit of the students, and the bad principals use it as a tool to rule with fear and dread.

    Why aren't you still a principal? We need you.

    xian from CORE

  • Dear Alex,

    You are sharp on a number of things, but you are missing the boat on the CTU election. Karen Lewis and CORE are different and much better than Marilyn Stewart and UPC.

    Why do you think 65 percent voted against the incumbent? Because Mariln has been letting them down for six years, and letting the kids down too. CORE is for the students, parents and communities as well as the teachers and has stepped up to meet needs the incumbent has been ignoring.

    Desperate, Marilyn Stewart chickened out of Saturday's debate at Operation Push. Instead UPC has started a campaign of dirty tricks, innundendo and disinformation.

    CORE continues to press the issues on an ethical plane. All three caucuses that did not make the runoffs have endorsed CORE. Why do you think our fellow professionals have turned to CORE for leadership?

    Here's the answer, as stated by Karen Lewis:

    If you want information about CORE, read our website
    and look at the work we've done. We have changed the way the Board does business. We stopped the Board from closing 12 schools, saved thousands of jobs, and now Board members actually attend the public hearings. By working with parents, students, teachers, PSRPs and Aldermen, we've forced Ron Huberman to work with struggling schools early in the year instead of simply announcing a "hit list" in January. We've filed two lawsuits on behalf of CTU members. One forces CPS to give us details on TIFs and their claimed "deficits" so we can save jobs and programs now. The other lawsuit exposes turnarounds for discriminating against our members.

    And we accomplished all of this because we worked with our colleagues, built partnerships with our natural allies and empowered members to stand up for our profession, their jobs and their schools.

    CORE is the last best hope for the Chicago Public Schools. Alex, it's not to late for you to realize
    that CORE is different in every way that counts.

    And here's the website: http://coreteachers.com/

  • For more on CORE, please look at my blog at WindyCitizen.

    http://www.windycitizen.com/user/1582/posts

    Most recent posts are about CORE, with some other nifty articles too. See Karen Lewis on video and you'll know who she really is. Karen is backed by a large, vigorous team of dedicated teachers with the courage and intelligence to speak truth to power.

    Do you remember the final scene from Spike Lee's film
    'School Daze? ...The one where Lawrence Fishburne was tolling the bell and saying, 'PLEASE WAKE UP!'

  • Two things - first, it is a violation of labor laws, and not to mention just simply improper, for a Field Representative to campaign for the election during work hours. And you're wrong, CORE would never do that. Second, the budget deficit is first and foremost a deficit in priorities. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that could be reallocated to keep class sizes where they are. The Union should be challenging the budget every step of the way - with real research, data, and meaningful rationale - to save jobs first and raises second. That's not happening.

    It doesn't take Santa Claus to establish an effective defense of public education.

    To one of the above commenters - yes, sometimes some members of CORE are embarrassed by Dr. Kugler and his abrasive style. But we also recognize that 1) he doesn't not represent CORE or its leadership, and 2) all Union members are entitled to a voice and we have no interest in silencing anyone.

  • If President Stewart wins the next six years will be like the last six years. By then 150 neighborhood schools will be closed, and 300 Ren2010 privatized, non-Union schools will be opened. The devil we all know is most decidedly NOT better than CORE.

  • CPS bloggers, who will win the CTU election this Friday, Lewis or Stewart?

  • In reply to chijas:

    Leave a comment...

  • Yes, I accept that some people may be turned off of CORE because of his abrasive style. And I think it's unfortunate, but don't see any alternative. It's not like CORE can censor him on the internet.

    No, Karen Lewis is not part of the executive board of the Union. Full time Union employees should not be campaigning during hours for which they are paid by the CTU.

    Not every other city in this nation is in the red. And I'm not opposed to sacrifice or compromise. But the first step in the fight is to show that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in the CPS budget that could be used to keep classroom sizes reasonable and teachers on staff. For instance: $60 million in the scripted curricula of IDS, $60 million in high stakes test prep, $350 million that is used to close neighborhood schools and open non-Union selective charters. Not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars in consulting and private contracts and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt service that could be renegotiated either before or, at the very least, along with teacher contracts. There is also over $400 million in CPS reserves, some of which should probably be used in such a fiscal crisis is this. And this doesn't even account for the $250 million annually that goes into TIF slush funds to (mostly) pay for enhancing already wealthy neighborhoods instead of education. (See the Chicago Reader for that story.)

    If CPS wants to put teachers jobs and salaries on the chopping block the Union, obviously, has a responsibility to fight back. And the best way to fight back is by 1) getting information out into the open - transparency, and 2) by offering alternative solutions like the ones above.

    There is no reason CPS can't eliminate IDS, reduce high stakes test prep, suspend radically reduce the $350 million spent on closing schools, or renegotiate all of the CPS non-Union contracts.

    Once these types of things have been done (and there are many more I haven't discussed here) I'd be willing to consider a compromise.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Ms. Lewis was on the executive board 3 years ago. Her unremarkable tenure stands out due to her apparent disinterest in attending the meetings she was elected to (as well as expected to]attend and participate. I suspect there were many missed opportunities for Karen to give her input on as
    well as to advise on union policy. As stated earlier, Karen Lewis attended a mere 2 of the 10 meetings she had committed herself to when she accepted the position along with the other executive board members.
    CORE has been uncharacteristically quiet about this part of Ms.Lewis's past union involvement [or should I say lack of involvement]. Does anyone have any idea as to why Karen Lewis shirked her duty to the union members? By CORE remaining so tight lipped about this I can only conclude that the CORE members are in the dark on this subject as are the rest of us. I guess it would be a bit embarrassing to attempt to defend such neglectful behavior. Why did she even bother to be on the executive board if she had no interest in fulfilling her obligation to those who had elected her. Seems more than a tad disrespectful but then I am just one of those old fashioned girls who still believe in holding up my end of any bargain that I have agreed to. Where is the transparency Karen Lewis? Why did she miss eight out of ten executive board meetings in one year? This question deserves an honest answer. So any takers out there? In reference to John Kugler's 6 is enough--I say 8 out of 10 is enough!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    By the way, who is Keith Lewis? Is he Karen's son? husband? brother?
    His contemptuous responses to other CPS employees on First Class is just,in plain words,rude. Why don't the CORE folks seem to understand what a turn off it is to have such members in their rank and file? Of course, if he is related to Karen I guess it's okay.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Are you suggesting that we exclude members of the bargaining unit because they are a "turn off" to you? Also, are we really going to slur random members based on them having a last name?

    Also, who are you? I mean I could change my name to "Center for the Chicago hockey team" and it wouldn't make it truth. I assume that you are a strong rank-and-file member of our great union, but could chill with the anonymous, fabricated attacks:

    "Marilyn Stewart: Patrick Stewart--Long lost identical twins? Does this mean that Marilyn cares more about actors than teachers? Does it mean that she will funnel all of our money into space research? Why hasn't she used her family connections to get us on The Daily Show? Has her sister Martha gotten out of prison yet?"

    Ridiculous. Let's think positive about our union instead of attacking each other...

    Imagine a Union that intimidates the Board of Education with its strength of unity.
    Imagine a Union that builds respect for our profession through effective PR and outreach.
    Imagine a Union which trains its own teachers to be more collaborative, imaginative, and creative and protect ours jobs when our administrators are less collaborative, imaginative and creative.
    Imagine a Union that listens to its own membership and involves them in decision making.
    Imagine a Union which brings students, parents, families, and communities together to fight for students -and- teachers.
    Imagine a Union where leaders engage in original, academic education research.
    Imagine a Union run by technology geeks and academic nerds.
    Imagine a Union that operates by the rules all the time, every time.

    I don't know who Union Girl is. I do know that a lot of teachers with the current climate with the Board and our own union leadership are scared.

    I hope that he/she will drop the cloak of anonymity and join us. Not necessarily CORE, but return to fighting for all teachers, not just political affiliations.

    VOTE for CORE, this is who we are, and it's what our union could be.

  • In reply to xian:

    Imagine a world without the sanctimonious and the self absorbed constantly beating their own drum. I will vote for CORE because UPC has been competely ineffective but CORE, PLEASE stop with the self promotions....it's maddening and a real turn off.

  • In reply to beshoo:

    I'm tired of all the back and forth, too. I think nearly everyone has made up his or her mind by now. I just try to remember that we're in the middle of an election campaign. Promotion is the name of the game.

    With a grain of salt...

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Karen Lewis and Keith Lewis are not related. In fact, I don't know if they ever even met as Keith Lewis is NOT a member of CORE. He is just one of thousands of teachers frustrated with the current "leadership." I actually am pleased that we have the support of articulate and witty members, as opposed to the poorly punctuated rants of UPC members.
    Laura with CORE

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Wow! We can see who wears the pants in that family. Can you say "whi-ipped". I really have enjoyed your posts. I wish I didn't have to spend so mcuh time in front of my students so I could spend more time on here too. These CORE people are nuts.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Glad someone told me that these comments were here. I am no relation to Karen Lewis, and I am not, as I mentioned on FirstClass, a member of CORE. I am merely someone who was offended by the tactics used by members of UPC to promote their caucus. I looked at the argumentation and merely explained why it was faulty.

  • In reply to kmlewis1:

    Do you differently now? I hope so.

  • In reply to kmlewis1:

    Transparency Questions That Require Answers

    Why did Ms. Lewis miss 8 of the 10 executive board meetings as an elected member?

    Exactly how many associate members are in CORE?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Has Karen Lewis mentioned what she plans on doing with all the money she will make if elected? For all constant criticism of Marilyn's high salary that has come from Karen Lewis, it just seems odd that she has not suggested a cut in the presidential salary nor with reducing the union dues to the membership. How come? If we are to be a true socialist union it is about sharing the wealth with your union brothers and sisters as the first order of business. OR DOES SHE HAVE PLANS TO SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY GROUPS OUR UNION DUES? ANSWERS ANYONE?

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Respectfully:
    1. Yes, she has mentioned our plans on how to spend money if elected. We will stop contributing to backstabbing legislators who took our money and then destroyed our pension, and then got a mass email thanking them for championing a residency bill that even get voted on. Instead, we'll use the money for internal organizing and press to improve the image of teachers in Chicago.
    2. It may seem odd, except that we have promised to cut her salary and the salaries of all of the officers. I expect that to happen as soon as contractually allowed should we be elected.
    3. I don't think there in any inclination towarrd a "true socialist union" unless that means "a fighting union where field reps actually answer your phone calls"/
    4. Why would we want to do that? I worked with these community groups myself. They collaborate with us because they want what's best for students and know that demands respectful, fair treatment of teachers. They have worked with us through GEM to fight school closings which CTU used to be a part of until our current leadership decided that it wasn't a priority and stopped attending meetings.

  • In reply to xian:

    What meetings did the CTU stop attending and when?

  • here's some recent and deep CTU history from lee sustar at the socialist worker --
    http://socialistworker.org/2010/06/08/challenges-facing-the-ctu

    remember that in addition to charters and budget cuts there's also demographics at play here -- fewer students means fewer jobs.

  • Memo:

    To: UPC

    From: The teachers

    Subject: lawsuit

    Too little too late.

  • At my daughters school at least 3 positions are in limbo. I feel so bad for these teachers. One of the teachers happens to be my child's 1st grade teacher. This teacher is absolutely amazing and deserves better!

  • True, the economy is tough. Still, the last time the Board offered a 5+5 enough veterans took the opportunity to retire that CPS was able to keep employee costs flat. (Check out Board reports on salaries at cps.edu.) It's not the cost that prevents CPS from offering a 5+5. It's the fact that they want to kick the Union in its teeth every chance they get.

  • Ok - with all the dirty nastiness floating about as tensions rise for the impending election, this actually is cute and funny. I don't think that's how it was intended, though. But, still, made me smile! Thanks!

  • The economy is pretty bad right now and yes teachers are losing jobs everywhere, but that doesn't excuse the 6,000 jobs lost in 6 years by the UPC administration. By our inability to effectively stand up to Arne Duncan, we managed to export the "Chicago Miracle" nationally.

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    Oh yeah. Blame Obama's appointment of Duncan on Marilyn too. How do you propose we "stand up"? Striking? That will give Ron and Daley just what they want. Money to balance the budget and open more charter schools.

  • I guess that really is what it comes down to. If you believe that you are doomed to a miserable experience as a teacher while one by one the teaching jobs in the city continue to shrink, then it really doesn't matter who you vote for. If you do believe that you deserve a union that will fight against "charter schools, turnarounds, the closings, and layoffs" then CORE is probably the caucus for you. Nobody said it was going to be easy. It certainly wasn't easy in Florida when the teachers mobilized to stop a bill that would have eliminated tenure and step increases. It wasn't easy in Oakland where a one day strike by teachers with large parental support got the city back to the bargaining table. A strong union is a wonderful thing. We've tried it the other way for the past 6 years, I believe it's time for a change.

  • I must say that the rate of pay for officers sounds good if in fact they really stick with that idea if they are elected. Since the budget was approved at the most recent meetings it does mean that new officers would have the current salary for the first year. They might change their minds about a reduction in pay after having gotten comfortable with more. After all the CORE folks are human too and may be tempted by the good life. But I will take your word for their best intentions.
    My question is I have not heard a word about dropping the amount of money the rest of us rank and file currently kick in for union dues. I think it should be addressed by CORE. Thanks for your answer.

  • I used to work with Keith -- prior to my being "reassigned," to the indifference of my "union" -- and I admit he can come off as rude. However, he is right, and his comments are an excellent representation of how we all feel. Indeed, I recall when I still had a job, but was watching the Board of Ed close down schools and cut teaching staff -- to the indifference of our "union" -- we would count the photos of Marilyn in the glossy union rag. That is what our union offered: PR and pictures.
    You are right about teachers -- and, I would add, the community -- needing to unite. But that has not occurred under Ms. Stewart.

  • If you are worried about non-teachers as union members, I would hope that a couple of retired teachers serving as non-voting members in our caucus would be less scary than the non-elected non-teachers that are currently holding important decision making positions for our union. Why do people like the Mayor of Park Forest have so much power?

  • Locke,

    Don't believe the smears. Postmen, grocery store clerks, and Huberman will not be able to join the Union. CTU membership is explicitly defined in the CTU Constitution and By-Laws:

    ARTICLE 2 MEMBERSHIP

    Sec. 1: Eligibility for Regular Membership

    a. All persons (except superintendents, principals, directors of departments and bureaus holding principals' certificates, and other categories specifically prohibited from membership by statute) who are regularly certificated by the Chicago Board of Education according to regular examinations for teaching or for supervision of teaching in the Chicago public schools and Chicago Board of Education playgrounds, shall be eligible to membership in this Union.

    b. All teachers hired on an emeritus contract type of assignment shall be eligible.

    c. All teachers on sabbatical leaves shall be eligible.

    d. All teachers temporarily certificated by the Chicago Board of Education shall be eligible.

    e. All persons belonging to other categories of educational personnel, who have been voted into membership by the House of Delegates shall be eligible.

    There are also clear definitions for Retired Functional Group Membership, i.e. retirees (2-2), Inactive Associate Membership, i.e. members on leave (2-3), and Student Membership, i.e. teachers-in-training (2-4). Any changes to this would need to be approved by 2/3 of the House of Delegates or the membership itself.

  • Thanks for helping me make my decision, UPC! This one definitely sealed the deal for me!

  • I have to admit you have some very good points. Most of the union members I know do not want to protest either. They enjoy teaching-period.
    They expect the union delegate to watch out for their rights
    but do not want to be involved with any of the heavy lifting! I was the same way for a long time.
    That is why the job of the union delegate is so important. i agree that the members are quite turned off by all the infighting among all of the factions.

  • To those who believe that CORE will briing us a united Union REMEMBER--Obama had the dream of Republicans working with Democrats. Idealism isn't reality.

  • Let's face it..just because the presidential candidates of the other caucuses have endorsed Ms Lewis and if she does get elected there will be plenty of problems still. Do all of the other caucus members from the other 3 really support Karen's platform?
    Of course not! Otherwise they would have aligned up with the CORE platform much earlier in the game.

    They supported their team because they really believed they had the correct approaches--not CORE. So this will be interesting to see how Karen Lewis will be able to manage the meetings if elected! How will she address the point of order interuptions,etc? Anyone who has attended more than a few union meetings over the course of the past 3 years understands exactly what I am talking about. Do any of you really believe Ms. Lewis and her team will be able to address all of the demands from the other groups?

    Because like it or not the descention that exists will still exist. There will be no quick fix. No union miracle is going to take place if leadership changes hands. If I thought that was true I would be on board. Nothing would make me happier than to see our union unite.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    After CORE wins this election the House of Delegates meetings will be run in strict accordance with Robert's Rules of Order as mandated by the CTU Constitution and By-Laws.

    I also know how much CORE values differing and multiple perspectives. Building coalitions and democratic processes is hard, time consuming work. Though it will take great effort and sacrifice from all sides to unite, it can be done.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Keep dreaming CORE. As Union Girl said--if CORE wins and they do not place leaders from opposition groups in power positions, there will still be constant disruptions from all the other caucuses. And if they DO place the opposition in power positions, there will be in fighting as well.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    I'm referring to are PACT, SEA, CSDU. They have their own ideas of how the Union should run. As Union Girl said--if they had the same ideas they would have joined CORE.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    I think there are ways to make everyone feel included and move forward. We have some differences in our viewpoints, but we all have similar goals and needs in our profession. We've worked well with the other caucuses in our joint committee and the UPC was invited too. They just refused to join. That's not a criticism. Maybe some day soon they will share all this "great budget stuff" that Ochoa says "some people are doing". And that's fine.

    I'm just saying that if you want a group that will bring people together, we are already doing that.

    xian from CORE

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    RIGHT ON!!

  • Due to the direction the district has been heading these last six years, you will have plenty of time to be an activist when you are displaced.
    Laura from CORE

  • If everyone can work together no matter who wins the election, I would be happy. Just not sure it would happen.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    It can happen!
    Let's decide to join in together with our support for our president Marilyn Stewart. Let's unite together with the understanding that we are all urban instructional standard bearers in the struggle of our union's life to combat the forces that do not know how to educationally take care of our precious students.
    Unite as we never have.
    It is possible.
    We can do this.
    We must do this.
    Yes we can!

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I don't understand why I wouldn't unite behind her. I've been stuck uniting behind her with no one returning my calls for my entire teaching career. If UPC wins, I'll continue to miserably unite behind her.

    But if I can, I'd love to unite behind a group that will lengthen and improve the quality of my teaching career.

    xian from CORE

  • Yeah! About time somebody said it. I was halfay tempted to start my own caucus called NFC--No Fat Chicks!

  • Exactly. If these people were good teachers, why are they teaching in those neighborhoods? Sorry, if you're displaced you're probably a bad teacher

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    I don't think it's really worth comparing the merits of teachers. I'm not going to compete with you.

    But I do believe your idea that "teachers at bad schools are bad teachers" is deplorable. Many of us chose our schools because they were challenging and we wanted to develop our skills and help students in the highest conditions of need.

    And many of us have thrived. You may prefer to teach in less challenging conditions and I say, "More power to you my respected colleague!" but please don't badmouth us for choosing a different path.

    xian from CORE

  • In reply to xian:

    I think that comment was meant as snark. Certainly if it came from me, I would have meant it as snark.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    I'm an amazing teacher. I choose to teach in a neighborhood high school under difficult circumstances because I believe these struggling students need the absolute best teachers available. That includes me. So I am devoting my career to them. I'm insulted that you consider me a bad teacher because I choose to serve the least fortunate.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    Why does CORE make everything a personal attack?

  • I had no doubt it was you Union Girl. I know sometimes when I go back and forth between multiple identities to post stuff or agree with a point I made, I'll forget. It helps to have a scratch paper so you can remember which of your screen names said what.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    Mr. Swift please do not give me too much credit in the world of blogging as this is the first blog I have ever participated in.
    I must have accidentally hit a button. As you can plainly see as soon as I saw the Anonymous signature I quickly rectified the situation. There are many people I have worked with that know I am no tech gal.
    Let me be clear Mr. Swift. I have no intention of posting anything without my name on it. Thank you.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Oh I did see where you anonymously said that you didn't mean to be anonymous. I just figured you were getting your ids mixed up. It's no big deal either way, but I would just be careful to keep track of who you're posting as or it could get embarrassing. Anyway, I really enjoy your postings and I hope you'll keep them up.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I don't get this. CORE is a bunch of socialists out to destroy the union. They're led by a really fat woman. Why would you want to unite with them? I've gotten a lot of very interesting mail in the past week about CORE and it seems like at the very least a criminal investigation is called for.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    You are so out of line with the comment regarding CORE's leader. You should be ashamed of your post! As much as I despise Stewart and her minions, lies, mailings, and poor leadership skills, I would never criticize her appearance nor one of any fellow union member. Stick to your UPC flunky talking points and get off the personal attacks! Shame on you!

  • I really feel too much negative and at times attacking energy from CORE toward other members who may not agree with them. With UPC the tone is defiantly more positive.

    Seriously? Are you really living on the same planet as the rest of us? Have you read the UPC campaign materials? I think I'd like to take a vacation in your fantastical world some day. It must be quite an experience.

    P.S. John Kugler does not represent CORE. He represents himself.

  • Really? The board cut me due to decreased enrollment. Fair enough, but are teachers who are being cut this week due to class size increases all "doing a poor job teaching or .. teach at a school that constanly underperforms"? Or is that included under "position closes"?

  • I absolutely disagree that I was demeaning... at least not demeaning toward the individual, though it has been tempting, as UPC delegates have come onto FirstClass telling people to "get a life" and accusing everyone of lying no matter what they said. In truth, you sound so much more reasonable in the above than they have in their posts, that I'm more concerned about the fact that I came off rude to you... not them. As I said a couple times, I am not a member of CORE, so my opinions and statements should not be held against them. In truth, I was pretty upset during the Bush administration. I recognized so many tactics being used by the UPC delegates that were used by the Bush administration strategists during his two elections. Fear tactics. "If you don't vote UPC, then the mayor is going to blah blah blah!" sounded a bit like "If you don't vote right in this election, there's going to be another terrorist attack!" to me. Too much like it. "Karen Lewis doesn't have the experience" sounded like "Senator Obama doesn't have that experience" and even "John Kerry doesn't have the experience." I called out and railed about those tactics during the elections, and when I saw them being used in this union campaign as well, I was seriously offended. As you have probably noticed, I am sitting back now. I said my piece. Unfortunately, you didn't take it the way I intended, but I hope I have clarified myself now. The union does need to unite. This is true, but I honestly do not believe our current leadership is representing us well. And the people they've selected to be their voice on FirstClass are not representing them well. They're simply using fear tactics and logical fallacies (as I mentioned) to scare people into voting for them. It made me wonder what the angle was. What are these people getting with Marilyn Stewart in power? It's not protection.

  • In reply to kmlewis1:

    Understood. Thank you for your honesty.
    The union has not selected anyone to write on First Class. Anyone who has posted has done so at risk of written attacks by some CORE members.If you look at the past few weeks on First Class you may notice what I would call a disturbing trend. There are significantly more CORE postings.When a supporter of Ms. Stewart has posted, there has been an almost immediate negative CORE response. At times it has almost looked like it had become a blog site for CORE! Many CORE supporters have expressed smug comments.If you don't think that members who expressed views not in line with the Coalition of the Rank and File were being bullied in print,then I invite you to review the past few weeks on First Class. If you would do me the courtesy of writing back with your honest appraisal that would be wonderful. I know that more than a few members felt intimidated by the responses
    and therefore did not post. I wonder if Karen Lewis is aware of these tactics? As a self described socialist I would think this approach would conflict with her world view as to how we should treat our fellow man. I choose to believe that if Ms. Lewis was aware of all of the above, then she would have addressed this issue right away. That is, unless she is operating her campaign from the bottom up leadership style she has espoused in her campaign literature. Perhaps she has no idea that these tactics were being implemented. Never the less, what I have reported to you is true.
    As for the use of fear tactics,an outside observer would probably say both sides are
    engaged in this.
    Ms. Stewart's supporters are quick to defend her because they know that Marilyn's genuine mission is to protect all of her members'
    rights as well as the rights of of Chicago's children.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I'm an outside observer and unaffiliated with any caucus or Union political party. Here is my summary of campaign materials and discussions.

    UPC says:
    CORE is Communist or Socialist.
    CORE will eliminate Union representation.
    CORE will strike immediately and destroy the contract.
    Daley & Huberman will join CORE and run the CTU.
    CORE will allow ANYONE to join the Union.
    CORE will disaffiliate from the AFT and IFT.
    CORE wants community groups to run the Union.
    CORE wants to divide the Union.
    CORE will dismantle the CTU.
    CTU members don't do enough for the Union.

    CORE says:
    After 75 school closings and 100 new non-Union schools, it's time for a change.
    The CPS budget should be studied for solutions to the budget crisis.
    Parents, students, and communities are the allies of the Union.
    CTU members should have a bigger voice.
    The Union doesn't do enough for CTU members.
    CORE is supported by all four opposition caucuses.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    We've also made a strong case that Karen Lewis isn't black enough and that CORE is spending all their time attacking us. If you must post these horrible anti-UPC opinions, at least be complete.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Another question we should make Ms. Lewis answer is when did you start hating America?

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    Through the arduous research project of playing Civilization, I have discovered that one must discover Communism before one discovers the Labor Union. Clearly, therefore, anyone in a union is a derivative of a Communist. Clearly, then we can see that Ms. Lewis started hating America when she first thought of joining her Union.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Sid Meier is in cahoots with Lewis. If we elect Marilyn Stewart we will get to Alpha Centauri and defeat those pesky Mongolians.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Top o'the evening to you my union brothers and sisters,

    Does anyone happen to know if the PACT, SEA or CSDU loyalists were actually out there campaigning for CORE?
    Just curious.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    No, I just lumped them all in as CORE. It seemed easier that way then trying to understand their issues.

  • What's your point here? It's true. I'm not related to her. I have never met her. I am not a CORE member.

  • In reply to kmlewis1:

    When I posed the question as to whether you were related to Ms. Lewis, it was because the tone of your First Class postings impressed me as written by someone coming to the defense of a relative. I interpreted your angry responses incorrectly. I understand your analogies to the political fear tactics that were used during the Bush years and with the Obama's campaign. I also understand why you interpreted the honest concerns that have been expressed by UPC members. Thank you.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    It isn't like Union Girl said you were married to Ms. Lewis--though I still suspect you are. She simply asked if you were here husband, son, or brother? Knowing what we know about Ms. Lewis, it's possibly you could have been several of those things at once.

  • Simple!
    The case manager from Kennedy is a hard working, dedicated member of the UPC. She has strongly felt convictions about our union and the direction it may be headed. She is concerned just as so many of us are that we are taking a left turn and are going in the wrong direction. You state that Ms. Burke is always praising Marilyn Stewart and you are correct. Ms. Stewart has many admirers. She is a very knowledgeable lady about all things union.On top of that she has admirably been in charge of one of the largest teachers unions in the United States. Ms. Stewart has endured the slings and arrows of many but still continues to have a good sense of humor in spite of it all! If you ever got to know Marilyn, you might be pleasantly surprised. She is a real genuine human being with a lot on her shoulders right now. AND one more thing I bet you didn't know about Marilyn...she is an accomplished artist.

    As for your derogatory comment about Marilyn Stewart, I really cannot comment as I have no idea as to your reference.

  • Well, I think the comparison is pretty clear. I'm sick of getting to my mailbox and seeing a stack of completely fabricated lies about myself and my colleagues.

    Critical dissent and blatant slander are not the same thing.

  • United we stand, divided we fall couldn't ring any truer than at this moment in our union's history.
    The vote you cast on Friday could have a profound impact on the future of our union.
    I implore all of our C.T.U. members to regard the vote you cast on Friday with as much thoughtful consideration and contemplation as you would for any of the important decisions you have ever made in your life.
    Yes it really is that important.

  • You've got to remember--Karen Lewis went to Dartmouth. That's Ivy League. You know what kind of people go to Ivy League schools? Nerds. Lewis is a nerd. She has surrounded herself with other nerds. I will not see this union turned over to nerds.

  • It goes without saying that we are all in agreement for the need of a strong democratic union. The other caucuses may not have the desire but if we are to survive the Daley bombardment we all must stand firm together as a united front against the forces that appear to be determined to destroy us.
    Besides, don't you thinkthe use of the term dictatorship is a bit harsh?

  • Maybe it's unfair, but if someone is pro-turnaround--one of the main nuclear options to destroy dedicated teaching careers and communities, I don't think we are going to vote the same way.

    You are right, Stewart is a compromiser and that compromising has left us with worse teaching conditions and left students with worse learning conditions.

    The fact that you refer to students as "customers" tells me all I need to know. It's "customers" and "human capital" thinking that destroyed our nations economy and I'm sorry, our children are too important to subject them to the same.

    xian from CORE

  • Well, we are descending into internet battle. Let's pull it back.

    I believe entirely in compromise, but when that compromise is the laying off of hundreds of highly qualified teachers without cause, then I don't agree with it. You may disagree with me--and that's fine--but it's not really a position to debate within in a union. We must support each other.

    To address your other point, it's not the use of a single word that I have a gripe with. It's that the word and the surrounding paragraph are indicative of the line of thinking that students are "customers" to be competed for.

    We should all break ourselves to improve our schools. But the "students as consumers" model ignores the fact that some students are simply not going to be "profitable" to educate well.

    Therefore, under any business competition models, it is the students and the educators who care about them who will suffer.

  • I suspect that Mister Swift is doing a form of performance art. It's kind of like Borat, but blog style.

  • We all can agree that emotions too often have run high at our meetings. No one can deny we are passionate about our beliefs.
    Has anyone actually ever been arrested?
    With regard to microphones being turned off I believe that practice has been discontinued.
    As for bringing in non teachers to run the union exactly who are you referring to?

  • Social justice nerds!

  • Yeah, what's with light skinned black people anyway? If you're going to be black then be black. What is Lewis hiding anyway?

  • You are a complete liar. I was there and saw Karen go up the stage without any help. You are a liar and scum! You should be ashamed of yourself. Go back to the sewer that you crawled from and look for the brain that you lost and the compassion that you lack!

  • Nice job capitalizing his name for emphasis. I'm still not buying this not married thing. They've got the same last name for Pete's sake

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    I'm impressed. Did you learn the art of irony from your Uncle Jonathan? Then again, perhaps your name is... Oh, I'm so dopey. You named yourself after him. Heh.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    From Leslie Barron, CTU Trustee Chair

    In the event that CORE defeats UPC in the June 11, 2010 elections, a move to disaffiliate from the AFT and IFT would be less important than what I believe can happen. This opinion is based on rhetoric and positions taken by the main players, including but not limited to Karen Lewis, whose biggest supporters are activists within the socialist (formerly communist) party.

    CORE

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Mr. Horatio T. Swift, Overstuffed Club Chair

    In the event that UOC defeats CORE in the June 11, 2010 elections, I believe we will usher in a new golden age not only in the city of Chicago, but beyond. This opinion is based on rhetoric and positions taken by the main players, including but not limited to Marilyn Stewart, as well as my psychic friend Tina, and a conversation I had with a box of Count Chocula after eating some old turkey that I found in the back of my refrigerator.

    UPC

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    This should be must reading for any CTU teacher. My only problem is that they didn't work in anything about the melting polar ice cap causing massive flooding. Perhaps the body heat of a large protest could somehow put us over the top and produce a Day After Tomorrow situation--just a suggestion for future revisions. It's quite good.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    I'm especially impressed with Ms. Barron's psychic abilities:
    She knows that he knows that she opposes him so he wouldn't meet with her.

    I'm impressed.

  • But you would not be turned in to the Law Department as Marilyn's executive has done to people that wrote things against them. That is public record from the lawsuit filed by Lynch against the board. Mary (traitor)McGuire admitted at the HOD meeting in May that she has turned in people to the Law Department. Stewart, McGuire, Ostenburg are all traitors and should not be allowed into the union. CPS showed emails at the hearing as the reason to censor union candidates. This is well known by many members and one of the reasons not to vote for Stewart!

  • This posting was not intended for xian from CORE 8:05 p.m. comments.
    It was posted to jagi's reply to my comment about the myth that all of the members of SEA, PACT and CSDU are now going to submit themselves to CORE.It is ludicrous to believe that in the blink of an eye thousands of independent thinking union members see the CORE light now.
    Thank you Mr. Swift.I will heed your advice in the future.
    I will heed Mr.Swift's advice with being more aware of postings that could be misinterpreted.

  • Folds

    I am incensed at the comments directed to fat women. These full figured beauties
    Have folds that titillate and turn on real men. Runway models prancing look like
    skinny 14 year old boys, who just came from Andersonville Prison , not real
    Women.
    If whoever is bashing any candidate because of their size thinks it will hurt them
    Is wrong, abet entertaining.

  • Well put. Work on one thing and get 'er done as my favorite comedian Larry the Cable Guy likes to say. I wouldn't be surprised if this term Marilyn moves on to trying to accomplish a second thing now that she's pulled off a conference call. My guess is if we elect her for another term maybe she'll start working towards fighting school closings, which I'll get behind. I wish CORE would just run a positive issues oriented campaign like UPC does and stop with those deceptive statements that just get everybody all worked up and confused. All the information any union needs should be in their mailbox this week in our union magazine.

  • I have no doubt in my mind that the board wants a progressive educational system. Otherwise, why would Mayor Daley have appointed them? I to would like a progressive (not socialist) system created as soon as possible without me having to do anything. The reason I work this job is so I can afford my ATT U-Verse. It's pointless to have over 100 channels if I've got to be protesting and marching instead of enjoying them.

  • Except for the whole part about the fact that I am NOT a CORE member. Accusing me of lying is verbally abusive. My comments on first class were not abusive in any way. They were merely haughty and smarmy, but abusive? I think not.

  • I think it would be unwise to allow the opening of the contract. What is to keep CPS from getting the concession and then still cutting the teachers anyway.

    Yes, the economy is not helping CPS, just as it is hurting every other school district in the nation, as you mentioned. However, the other school districts are not also facing massive pension fund shortfalls due to doing the absolute minimum toward the funds when times were good (as if times would always be sunny). There, the fault is on CPS and CPS alone.

    However, using teachers as pawns in a game of class envy is nothing new. Check out the behavior of CPS during the depression. They paid teachers in script which was not accepted by all merchants and seldom accepted at face value and when the teachers complained, the management claimed they were being greedy. So plus

  • Thank you for being the voice of reason Observer. Nothing irritates me more than when people mock other people for simply stating their true beliefs denigrating other people about things there going to do in the future. I got a similar response to my manifesto about President Obama's plans to put us all in forced work camps by 2014 so I know exactly how Ms. Baron feels.

  • Ms. Barron is correct. Remember Bush's plan for Iraq? We go in with full force--but we have no idea what to do afterward. That is Ms. Lewis' plan for taking the CTU on strike.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    Ms. Lewis can't take anyone on strike. 30,000 Union members decide whether or not to strike.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    As a fellow UPC supporter I'll cut you some slack, but don't go badmouthing one of our greatest Presidents. One of the big reasons that I'm a huge supporter of Marilyn Stewart is because her speeches remind me very much of our beloved W's. Just like it was true when Bush was running in 2004, when you're in a time of trouble you don't change leaders. I've been dying to see Ms. Lewis's secret strike plans, but she's too clever and keeps denything that we're ready for a strike in public.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    I agree with you jagi.If elected,Karen Lewis' well intentioned but naive actions WILL bring down the union. And that will be that.
    Please if you are reading this blog and have not fully decided on who you will entrust your vote to, reread Ms. Barron's comments. She IS in the know.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Of course she's in the know. That's why she's running under the UPC banner.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz...
    All this yapping and it still won't change the fact that 2/3 of CTU is going with CORE tomorrow. Chill out and get a good night's sleep. Life IS good!

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    We will know soon enough. In the meantime,I'm going to assume that some of our PACT, SEA and CSDU brothers and sisters have starting thinking--wait a minute! I'm not hitching my star to this pipe dream called CORE.I never dreamed the CORE dream. I have to look out for what makes the most sense for me. And the next thing you know they are voting for Marilyn Stewart because after all she is the sensible choice. Sweet dreams.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    A lot of caucuses who have been in power for 6 years, would have been tempted to phone in this election and run on their track record of accomplishments. I'm sure the UPC has some amazing accomplishments that they could have run on if they chose. However, I admire the way that through this election we haven't missed a chance to attack CORE for things they didn't say, for Karen Lewis's weight and skin color, and accuse them of trying to destroy the union.

    All CORE offers are plans for the future of the union. Isn't that awfully presumptuous of a caucus to make plans before they've even won an election?

    The choice tomorrow is simple. It's a question of hope vs. fear. If you're like me and you hate new things and fear constructive ideas vote for UPC. If you are like me and don't want to see the restaurant kitchen make your food for fear that you'll be disgusted by how they do it, then join me in voting for UPC. Together we can build a union that isn't too substantially worse than the one we have right now.

    Vote UPC!

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Fear

    For the last month I have tried to read everything I could about tomorrows election.
    The UPC literature both official, mailings, and unofficial, bloggers all have several
    ideas in common. CORE leaders are commies, and the UPC has saved the world.
    In both cases fear is the underlying focus of UPC propaganda. In this day and age
    Commies are all driving BMW

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Go Core? Go where? Out on the picket lines? Okay so now we're out on the streets with our pickets and His Honor ISN'T HAVING IT. Now what? Then where will we go? What is the actual direction we will be headed? Will we actually get anywhere?

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Like all of UPC I believe that we do not need to strike. If we simply threaten to strike without a fund or even a phone tree that should be more than enough. The main reason that we don't need to do anything, but pay our dues though is because we have some wonderful friends like James Meeks who we continue to financially support. You know they will never turn their back on the teachers who keep sending them cash.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    the reader's ben joravsky does a helpful job overviewing the history of the union and the differences between stewart and lewis (who he seems to favor) http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/chicago-teachers-union-cps-chicago-public-schools/Content?oid=1955621&showFullText=true

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Bob,
    I cannot understand why you would want to replicate a shattering experience. Especially in the present day where the public would view a strike as an indulgent act and would have little,if any empathy for teachers'complaints about their plight.
    I walked the lines in 1987. At first I have to admit there was an air of excitement about protesting and fighting for our rights with my fellow union brothers and sisters. Then the reality set in.This wasn't so exhilarating any more.In fact,it was hard. After the second week, people had already grown weary of our fighting the good fight. At the end of almost three weeks I think I can safely say that no one wanted this out of body experience ever again.
    But time marches on and twenty three years later we have a new batch of strike wannabes eager to understand at a grassroots level what their union forefathers experienced. Only this time it's a little different or should I say a whole lot different. Because now you and your fellow workers are no longer enjoying the support of a more appreciative public that understands that teachers gotta eat too. Now you get to face a resentful crowd who really doesn't get what you are all whining about. A bunch of citizens that says hey buddy,at least you got a job with health insurance.Now you are facing a lot of folks who could not care less about your benefits and perks. And guess what? This time you won't get to have your three weeks of walking around aimlessly carrying your sign enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow man knowing this is for a good cause. Because this time the Mayor has had enough. He's older and crankier and no longer has the patience to deal with complainers. So now he issues an order to get your behinds back lickity split or brother,you are out of a job. Because now, unlike in times gone past when there were still teacher shortages,there are teachers galore in every nook and cranny just waiting to snap up a teaching job anywhere,anytime because they have families to feed too. And these laid off teachers don't have any complaints because they are so grateful to get back what they once had. So now, you can't gripe about anything that bugs you on the job. And because you have worked His Honor's last nerve and embarrassed him on the news,well now you have to go back with your tail between your legs with less than nothing.That's because now you are going to have to make some concessions because if you want your old job back it's payback time. Because now your boss, the mayor of Chicago knows full well that there is a displaced teacher right around the corner eager to have what you have. So now where do you go? Go CORE? I don't think so.
    I don't know how any union member can even remotely consider a strike as an option right now. It's called timing and my union brother, now is not the time!

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    What does CORE have to do with your discussion of a strike? CORE has stated publicly that the Union is completely unprepared and far too fractured for a strike.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I refuse to be resigned to the fact that the public is anti-teacher. If that's the reality in our town, we need a stronger union. We need a leadership that works the media more effectively--the public would like teachers if they had the reality...

  • Additionally, contrary to popular belief, Mayor Daley reads the papers. At least he has someone read them to him. Ms. Lewis has made no secret of her refusal to speak with Daley.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    When I first became aware of Ms. Lewis I made it my business to read as much as possible about her. Quite honestly I was not aware of her presence in the union. After having read so much about Karen Lewis and hearing her speak in many different venues, I am constantly struck by how naive Ms. Lewis is about practical issues.
    Perhaps at a different place in time, Ms. Lewis might have been the correct choice for our union. But now is not the time for us to take a chance on such an unknown entity. Are the CTU members really willing to risk all that the union has achieved for us ? I just cannot believe any member would be willing to take such a chance with all of our futures. Think of the consequences.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    As you were the one who uncovered her secret marriage to Keith Lewis, I give you a lot of credit for your thorough research on Ms. Lewis's past. Like you I think in another place or time Ms. Lewis could be a fine choice. I think like most UPCers on these boards that other than being fat, looking too white, and wanting us to donate our salaries to community groups while we work for free she is a fine woman.

    I have it on good authority that Daley reads the Sun-Times because of his love of the comic strip Love Is, which he frequently cuts out to display on his refrigerator.

  • In reply to jessicasmith:

    CORE's idea of full disclosure!

  • It's very simple. You just follow the rules.

    That's what Robert's Rules is for - to focus the debate on substance. A huge portion of the problems in the House right now result from the rules being ignored by the Chair/President.

    If people want to yell and scream and disrupt in violation of the rules then obviously they must be removed. But mostly, you let people make fools of themselves and the House of Delegates will self enforce before long; every ruling is subject to a vote by the House.

    It is as simple as classroom management.

  • I too have researched this CORE group by reading every pamphlet and brochure that UPC has sent me and I am shocked to find out about their plans to destroy the union. I am very confident that we have now slung enough mud at CORE to change a lot of minds. In fact I am so confident I think we should count all the votes this time. I bet we still win.

  • In reply to MisterSwift:

    Mr. Swift you are a stitch!

  • I think that maybe Mister Swift's post above was not entirely made in all seriousness.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Are you sure?

  • I want to thank you for your thoughtful decision. The more you think about it, the more you realize that now is not the time to attempt to restructure our union. We are going to be presented with enough changes as it is.The political environment we find ourselves in warrants a strong union president who is on topic with practical solutions for it's members. Please talk to your fellow members who may be willing to listen. It's not too late for anyone to change their minds. We have to vote for the candidate who is the most realistic about the union's needs.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Dear U may be very surprised,

    I love surprises! Can't wait!

  • First, CORE officer candidates believe they should be paid according to the same collective bargaining agreement salary schedule as CTU members. So, officers will earn what they would have earned had they stayed in the classroom, prorated for a 52 week work year. CORE believes that every dollar saved on crazy CTU salaries is a dollar that can be spent directly serving the membership.

    Current Union UPC leaders are paid their exorbitant salaries, benefits, pension contributions, annuities, and unregulated expense accounts for a 53 week work year. (Yes, a 53 week work year.)

    Second, the CTU is not in the black and has outstanding debt. Our Union was forced to take out a loan for $3 million dollar and allow the AFT/IFT to take over our finances because the UPC couldn't account for $8 million dollars that went missing in their first four years in office.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Like you never put money in your pocket and forgot it was there. One of these days Marilyn is going to put on a winter coat and we're all going to get a great $8 million surprise when she reaches in the pocket.

  • Or the scenario goes something like this.. the well intentioned CORE group,so focused on the inclusion of parents,private citizens and community groups,finds out too late that they have been duped by their loyal associate members,for the price of $20.00 a head and discover all the non-teachers have actually been in collusion with The Mayor and Mr. Huberman from the get go.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I agree Union Girl that your scenario is most likely if CORE wins. But I just can't get this scenario out of my head either -----> All the parent, student, and community support they solicit will distract them. Insteading of fighting for education CORE will start releasing manifestos on support groups for parents who can't find babysitters, rename the CTU the CYU (Communist Youth Union), and start painting murals under viaducts in blighted neighborhoods.

    While CORE is busy with all of those things Ron Huberman and Mayor Daley will join CORE, rise through the ranks, be appointed CORE leaders and then take over the Union. It all makes perfect sense to me.

    We're doomed.

    At least we don't have to worry about CORE and CTU members being duped by local churches, too. CORErs are godless, communist heathens with no moral foundation.

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    I don't understand how this would work. How would a bunch of non-voting members who we owe nothing too--they have merely joined because they believe in the principles of the organization somehow be in collusion with Daley?

    This is like those people who think that President Obama built a time machine to make a fake birth certificate so he could run for president.

    Added to the fact that these "non-teachers" are not the people running the city, but the people who always come out to support teacher and student issues, and I'm not sure where you are getting these ideas. Oh, actually, come to think of it, I do have a decent idea.

  • In reply to xian:

    too=to (long week, sorry) :)

  • ofcourse she would

  • GOOD LUCK TO U.P.C.
    Here's to Victory for the United Progressive Caucus!!!!

  • In reply to UNIONGIRL:

    Let's do this U.P.C!!

    Let's pull this thing out for Marilyn. Remember if you're going to vote in place of any absent colleagues, do it someplace privately. The last thing we need is to get caught cheating again.

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