CTU (Probably) Has The Votes

There's no official announcement but the papers are all reporting variations on the theme that CTU has the votes and there's a CTU press conference at 1.  Plus some other stuff.  Read all about it below.  See also @district299 tweets from over the weekend (on the right, scroll down).

Reports: Chicago Teachers Union has enough votes to authorize strike Tribune: The Chicago Teachers Union is set to announce it has more than enough votes to authorize a teachers strike, according to local news reports.

Sources: Chicago Public Schools teachers authorize strike Sun Times: The action defies predictions of one force behind the law that created the new threshold. Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children bragged last year that “the union cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75 percent threshold needed to strike.’’

Teachers "overwhelmingly" authorize strike, media reports Catalyst:  Though union officials would not confirm, media sources, including the Chicago Sun Times, reported Sunday night that the union handily garnered enough votes. Union officials have said that they will announce the results of the vote early this week, perhaps Monday, and that they were feeling good. [CTU Press conference at 1]

Brizard speaks at church about teachers strike threat ABC7: Jean-Caude Brizard spoke at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side. He talked about the challenges the school district is facing. Teachers voted last week on whether to strike.

Chicago Public Schools claims record graduation numbers WBEZ: Harper High School students wearing bright red caps and gowns filed into the Third Baptist Church in Englewood Friday morning. They are just a fraction of the more than 18,500 students graduating from CPS this year.The district projects its graduation rate will hit 60.6 percent, the highest it...

Less adult education available on South and West Side, where need is greatestWBEZ: Chicago's highest literacy needs are on the far South and West side, but most literacy programs are located further north.

Rahm Emanuel celebrates a record graduation rate Sun Times (Emanuel commentary):  To all the naysayers who just write-off certain kids from ever graduating high school, I want them to come to a school like Christ the King and say that.


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  • CTU is now saying that it's surpassed the 75 percent of membership requirement -- more details at 1

  • Really? Emanuel attends Morgan Park HS's graduation (a neighborhood school that relatively few neighborhood students attend, by the way), but then goes on and on about the Jesuit school? Sigh. Great that CPS 5-year grad rates are going up for seniors (correct?). But what about the grad rate for all freshmen? That's the number I'm more interested in. Am I confused? Help me out.

  • 5 years? when did high get extended to five years? these guy are silly and an embarrassment to the city of Chicago. buzzard needs to be sent packing!

  • The Chicago Public Schools this year has tripled the amount of people working in the Office of Communications (most making over $100,000) to 19 people. CPS increased the amount of staff working in this office to spread the lies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel on education within CPS. The main spokesperson for CPS is Becky Carroll and here are some of her statements on the CTU strike authorization vote. "What we (CPS) have an issue with is they're not using an independent monitor to oversee this process that is going to have a huge impact on the city, to at least ensure there's integrity. There's a history of voter fraud allegations. Considering there has been a history of allegations of fraud and tampering it would be in the best interest of all of our students and their families to have peace of mind that this vote is being done by the book and can be defended. It's left to the sole discretion of the union president to decide how to run the vote, how to count the vote, how to count the ballots. It's a matter of whether or not, given the history of voting in these types of elections, is it worth giving parents, students and the public peace of mind that everything is being done by the book. Parents haven't gone through this in a while. Once it starts to sink in, thinking about child care, having to adjust your work schedule, making sure your kids are in safe place. Most kids in system get two meals a day, sometimes their only meals are here, it's very serious." Remenber, the Chicago Public Schools motto is "Children First".

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    Yup. A dorm. That is the what CPS even thinks of its self. A place to eat and rest.

  • Brizard issues a pre-CTU press release statement saying the vote is a shame & he's disappointed @chipubschools http://ow.ly/bvarf

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    The parrot Brizard just issued a pre-CTU press release written and approved by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

  • STOP THE PRESSES, 91.55% of all CTU members voted in the strike authorization vote, 89.73% voted yes to strike, 1.28% voted no to strike. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, now run and tell that!

  • Over 98% of CTU voters authorized a strike!! Yes, 98% of all who voted!!

    While Emanuel won the election in 2011 with 55% of ballots cast, he only garnered around 25% of all registered voters. In 2011 only 45% of eligible voters turned out in Chicago. Given Emanuel's anti-democratic perspective he himself should never have become mayor.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, true! However remember SB7, if you don't vote it is considered a no vote. Therefore the less than 9% of CTU membership who didn't vote would be considered a NO vote. The CTU needed 75% of the total CTU membership to vote yes for a strike and received 89.73%. Congratulations to ALL CTU members. I am proud of you! Thanking you in advance.

  • I know about SB7, that was my point. If you look solely at those who voted, which is how it is usually done in the good 'ol USA, the strike was authorized by 98%. You couldn't get 98% to agree that kittens are cute or that cookies are delicious. Heck, I'll bet less than 98% would even say they like weekends.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, true. We are both saying the same thing. People who watch the news should try to understand the two numbers, 89.73% voted yes out of total membership and 98% of membership who voted. There were 24,262 ballots casted and 494 spoiled ballots. Thanking you in advance.

  • Thank you. Your posts are always quality. I'm even considering baking you some cookies... unless you are one of those who would vote 'no' on delicious treats.

  • That's a pretty clear mandate. If the union's House of Delegates votes to strike, regardless of what's in the fact finder's report or compromise plan, there are few teachers that can say they disagreed or say they wouldn't have agreed if they had known what was in the plan. It's a rare thing to see that kind of unity anywhere. It will be the teachers' strike, not a strike of fringe union activists.

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    In reply to Paul:

    Heah Paul...

    I can't beleive I keep taking your bait - so congratulations for soliciting another response from me....

    Do you honestly think that the HOD/teachers will strike BEFORE seeing the fact finding report?

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    I would also suggest that Paul has not really read SB7 as he claimed he has. Because if he had he would have realized the CTU can not legally go on strike until 30 days after the fact-finding report has been made public (115 ILCS 5/13 (b) 2.5).

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The decision to strike is made first by the members of the union through a strike authorization vote. That's what just happened today. Then, the union's House of Delegates must set a strike date, which can't be until 30 days after the fact-finding report has been made public. Is that correct Rodestvan and M Wesoloskie?

    Or, is there a second strike authorization vote that the members of the union must take before a strike occurs?

  • In reply to Paul:

    Yes, Paul, you have the gist of it. The CTU Constitution and Bylaws do not require a second vote. Further, the House of Delegates does not meet again in regular session until September (although special meetings can be called by either the leadership or a petition of 10% or more of the HOD membership).

    It seems to me that 'Skie and Estvan are putting words in your mouth, as it were. Of course, in light of the fact that Estvan has been writing here for a year saying that it was improbable that we could pull off a strike vote that met the 75% threshhold, his counsel on this matter seems rather dubious.

  • Well, Mr. Estvan, I know you had your doubts, but I'm glad to say we met the challenge and overwhelmed even the CTU's expectations.

    Now, after this battle is done, what is the likelyhood that the Rahm machine makes it illegal for the CTU to strike?

  • I'm curious about Rahm's next move. On the one hand, I can see him increasing his battle against the union, daring the union to strike in order to build public support against them, and even trying to make striking illegal. On the other hand, I could see him compromising to get through these contract talks and (perhaps more important politically) to get through this year's Presidential election.

  • I see several questions here. First it seems clear that the exact date of the release of the fact-finding panel report can't be pedicted so the actual House of Delegates authorizing a strike date would likely have to take place at the earliest on the day the panel report is released. In theory the HD could vote before that point authorizting a strike to begin the first school day that beyond the legal requirement. But why do that? I am not sure it would give leverage to the union, more than likely it would hurt PR efforts.

    In relation to the strike authorization vote, I did think it would be a long shot. The CTU delegates did an impressive job turning out the vote which was a critical factor in getting just under 90% of the membership to vote in favor. CTU members have something to be proud of in relation to that achievement, I doubt there are many other big city public sector unions that could have pulled this off. In fact I suspect President Lewis and members of her team if this all turns out reasonably well will become hot items on the union lecture curcuit.

    Paul raises the issue of our Mayor's next card to play. I would hope he would make a deal that is budget wise realistic, letting all sides save face. If that does happen it is going to be difficult for President Lewis to sell that deal as the best deal that could be gotten short of a strike to some of the rank and file teachers because of distrust of the Mayor. That would be a great test for her own leadership skills.

    If the Mayor decides to go for the CTU jugular veins and take a strike it will be based after some type of internal polling analysis has been done. It would go without saying that the Mayor would frame the strike in the most radical terms and would claim very early on it is a clear and present danger to the safety to Chicago's children. SB7 discusses circuit court intervention in a strike situation using that language.

    Mayor Emanuel is a very smart politican any decision he makes will not be based on anger, it will be very well thought out. Hopefully the interests of children will figure into everyone's calculus, it should effectively be the "f prime" this politcal form of differential calculus .

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Given Emmanuel’s escalating Chicago homicide rate, circuit court intervention is the likely strategy.

  • To all CTU members, congratulations for a job well done. You make me proud to know that you did the right thing!

  • STOP responding to Paul. He's from Stand for Children. We have the vote!! Stop whining!!

  • If Paul is from Stand for Children, tell Josh that Karen Lewis said Josh received a F on his homework.

  • I'm not with Stand for Children. I'm the father of two CPS kids.

    It has got to be one of the highest strike votes in history. The more I think about it, the more impressed I am. It couldn't have been more decisive.

    The teachers agree to strike when its House of Delegates sets a strike date. Few were swayed by CPS arguments to wait until the fact-finder issues its report, or by others (like me) saying that 2% was a reasonable raise. Few teachers disagreed with its union leadership's call to authorize a strike at this point. If the negotiations break down, or if the union leadership doesn't accept the fact finders report. Then, they will reject the offer and vote to authorize a strike. And, the teachers support that. The message is loud and clear.

  • Agreed...loud and clear. 89% is a powerful nuclear option.

    Sell August covered call options to cover your nut and hope Europe doesn't implode after the cup...

    My kids are covered...the teacher is pissed.

  • Yes... it's me Mike. On board...but I can't picket or stand around a flaming barrel until the inevitable happens...I've spent 40 g's( all earned and banked) on two Master's degrees and "they" what wanna move the goal posts now?

  • Paul, the rank and file union
    membership took the lead on this. Delegates were well out in this struggle polling members as far back as January-February. We were not swayed nor persuaded to do anything. Contrary to what you and JCB (in today's press release) propagate, union members were not forced into any action. It worked very democratically, as our leadership responded to the voice of it's members. That is why JCB can't wrap his empty head around around the principle of leadership advocated for it's represented body. This is because he and his team (Sicat, call me Dr. Cheatham, et al.) believe in a top-down dictatorial style of management. He is desperate and completely out of touch with his representative body. If this thing called CPS were a democracy we would have recalled this bozo long ago.

  • I agree with you Maestro, that the teachers weren't forced into anything. They followed the union vs. CPS conflict. They heard, and I believe, understood the arguments both pro and con. They received letters and material from their union leadership and from CPS. And they voted to strike at a date determined by their House of Delegates (HOD). If the HOD votes to strike, the teachers are in favor. That's what the strike authorization vote means.

  • In reply to Paul:

    Paul--though they cannot speak it in the schools, if principals could have voted with CTU, they would have voted YES. The CTU vote results have given them something to smile about. CEO and the Board have only belittled principals as well.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    district299reader, I believe you're right. I think most principals would have voted for a strike authorization right along with their teachers.

  • In reply to Paul:

    I even hear a network chief is in favor of CTU!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    98% of Central Office is with CTU

  • In reply to district299reader:


  • In reply to district299reader:

    I hope we can hold this together through the violent hot summer this promises to be. You know Rahm will try align the violence and Michigan ave attacks on teachers.....it's just a matter of time. Let's remain unified...solidarity!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Are principals part of another union?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299readers, principals can be a part of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, but it's not a union. If you are a retired principal who was a teacher, you can join the Chicago Teachers Union as a retired teacher. However,you could not vote on the strike authorization vote or on any CTU contract (Agreement). I am currently a paid member of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, Chicago Teachers Union and Retired Teachers Association Of Chicago.

  • This new leadership of the CTU were all classroom teachers and paraprofessionals two years ago. We have the pulse of our members. We listened to what they had to say. And we made a plan using the tools and the resources we have. That’s what teachers do. We analyzed the data and adjusted our plans. But all along, we had the feedback of the members in our schools. While the chaos on Clark Street continues, our members, intent on being heard were loud, clear and serious.

    Many of the above comments are irrelevant since they are from people who currently do not teach in CPS and currently are not CTU members in effect useless jibber jabber.

  • Just when I start to think that maybe things will get better, a comment like yours comes out. Thank you for reminding me that you do not care what real parents in cps have to say. We are just jibber jabber. I keep getting suckered that the kids are even a part of the equation.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dude, why are you taking a comment personally. Parents don't need convincing of who is telling the truth. All they have to see is how Rahm and Brizard support or better said don't support their neighborhood schools. They see the neglect. Funny, how parents look at Brizards letter and look at the neglect by CPS of their school, in terms of art teachers, librarians and lack of libraries. You can't cover up the obvious. Brizard get a clue!

  • CTU MEMBERS OVERWHELMINGLY VOTE YES! Total Membership 26,502. Members Voting "Yes" 23,780 = 89.73%. Members Voting "No" 482 = 1.82%. Members Casting Votes 24,262 = 91.55%. Members Not Voting 2,240 = 8.45%. Chicago teachers vote overwhelming for strike authorization as contract negotiations continue. Union to use leverage to fight for smaller class sizes.

  • The Rahm/Brizard Side Show: Hedge Fund operators want to make big dollars off the public dole in Chicago and other big cities! These vultures think that Chicagoans are so stupid to believe that privatization works, so they can clean up on our tax dollars! We don't need carpet baggers from outside of Illinois to undermine CTU!

  • CEO JC (The Parrot) Brizard was on all of the morning TV news shows sprewing the lies of Mayor Rahm (The Emperor) Emanuel about being fair and wanting to reach an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union. The one thing that Brizard did say that was interesting was that the Chicago Public Schools wouldn't seek legislative help in trying to stop the CTU from striking. Yeah right.

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