Surviving The Last Week Of School

The day after the strike vote authorization process began, today's news is about how it went and all the behind the scenes jockeying over the process.  But what's really going on in most teachers' and administrators' and parents' minds is just making it through the week.  Right?

As teachers cast votes, CPS wants access to ballots Catalyst:  A spokeswoman for the labor board said both the Chicago Teachers Union and CPS had filed documents with the board in recent days, but she declined to make them available without a Freedom of Information Act request. Law firms for the parties involved did not respond to requests to release additional documents.

Chicago schools CEO says union asking for too much STLtoday: Seeking more pay and smaller class sizes, members of the Chicago Teachers Union began voting Wednesday on whether to authorize a strike in the event negotiations with the city's school district fall apart.

CTU President Karen Lewis unpacks the strike authorization vote WBEZ: The Chicago Teachers Union holds a strike authorization vote Wednesday. If 75 percent of members vote yes, the union could potentially move forward with an actual strike later this year.

Teacher on CPS : like a ‘marriage going through a rough patch’ Sun Times: Katrina Nichols just wants to teach. “I love the kids. I love opening their eyes to new ideas,” the veteran math teacher said. But on Wednesday, students in her class at Curie High School had questions about something other than algebra.

Chicago teachers begin strike authorization vote BusinessWeek:  Seeking more pay and smaller class sizes, members of the Chicago Teachers Union began voting Wednesday on whether to authorize a strike in the event negotiations with the city's school district fall apart.

After Wisconsin's Recall, Rahm Emanuel's Labor Battle Daily Beast: Indeed, Emanuel was running a city council meeting Wednesday as members of the 25000-member Chicago teachers union began voting on whether to give their leaders the right to call a strike in coming months.

Entrepreneurs give tips to teens Sun Times: Two of the teenage finalists in a citywide entrepreneurial competition crafted a goat’s milk soap. Another pair dreamed up a tutoring app, and a high school senior pitched a custom skateboard business.

Newly Unionized Chicago Charter School Stays Open For Now Progress Illinois: CPS told Catalyst Chicago yesterday that they reserve the right to close YCCS schools that do not meet performance targets. With their school still open, YCLA teachers and the charter school union will move forward with their complaint filed with the ...

My First [And Only] Year of Teaching KatieO: Despite having been in classrooms overseas for many years and working with children with disabilities in a hospital setting for quite some time before entering my own classroom, I simply was not ready for what I encountered in my neighborhood Chicago Public Elementary School..


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  • CONGRATULATION to the Chicago Teachers Union for getting over 75% of their 25,000 members to vote YES for a strike authorization! Mayor Rahm Emanuel, what are you going to do now? P.S.- CEO JC Brizard go somewhere and sit down and shut up!

  • Vote Count and Integrity

    CEO Brizard,

    I am one of the teachers, clinicians and PSRPs in CPS that you have so much respect for. I am also a CTU delegate and district supervisor. One of my responsibilities as a district supervisor is to count ballots in the strike authorization vote. All district supervisors are CTU members that work in the schools. Again the teachers, clinicians and PSRPs that you have so much respect for.

    I find your comment, “We want to make sure there is integrity in the process,” quite insulting. Those of us that counted votes last night took on these leadership roles in our union because we believe in CTU and believe that we are the ones who must hold our union and its leadership accountable to the membership. We do have integrity.

    My fellow district supervisors and I are some of the most active and vocal members in CTU. We have supported our leadership but we have also challenged our leadership to remember that CTU is about its members not just four officers.

    The vote count last night, observed by several members of the clergy of Chicago, was a clean count. I counted about 1000 votes myself and only 19 of them were no votes. For you to insinuate that we would not report true results by saying the process lacks integrity is disrespectful and insulting to all of us.

    Our membership, the teachers, clinicians and PSRPs are sending you a very clear message. We are tired of being disrespected and not being treated as professionals. You should have some integrity and realize the situation for what it really is.

  • Hmmm. Do you think Brizard came up with questioning "integrity' by himself or his handlers?

  • This article on is fairly middle-of-the-road on the strike issue. I posted it over on cpsobsessed as well:

  • CPS Teacher Accused of Sexting With Student After Voting "Yes" On Proposed Strike - NBC

    [last part's a joke, obv]

  • CTU says the ILRB has rebuffed CTU's attempts to monitor the strike vote authorization process, sends me materials i haven't looked at yet.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    as UB40 sang "As always you were wrong again," here is the headline from CTU's website: Illinois Education Labor Relations Board rebuffs CPS’ attempt to interfere with CTU strike authorization vote.

    Oh, by the way, the song continues later on with, "Don't turn your back on desperate men, to us a little seems a lot."

    I guess you'll hate UB40 now too.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I'm pretty sure that was a typo on Alex's part

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    A tad rhetorical...and I did vote "yes"...but wasn't UB40 also the name of a British unemployment application form?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    UB40 - Code number of a form people in Britain have to fill out to receive public assistance or welfare. Known in the UK as a signing-off form when you get a job. Hence the title of their first album Signing Off.

  • I hope the ILRB hasn't rebuffed CTU's attempts to monitor the vote. That would add insult to injury! And I doubt CTU would mention it if that had happened.

  • In reply to Donald:

    I do not think that the Illinois Labor Relations Board has any jurisdiction in relation to this vote at all. The ILRB only has jurisdiction over unions recognized under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. All school employees and their unions are under Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act and the relevant body is the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). The level of this body's authority in relation to this vote mandated by SB7 is completely unclear because the IELRB has not put forward any administrative regulations in relation to this aspect of the SB7 legislation. Specifically "PART 1130 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND IMPASSE RESOLUTION" the section of the relevant administrative rules were not updated.

    As I was correctly quoted in the Tribune on June 6: "We have something that involves public education but the rules are so amorphous that it can be interpreted any which way." No matter how one examines this law, it is a mess. The presumption of the existing law is that teachers unions themselves control the strike voting process because they are private membership organizations subject to their own internal rules. CPS appears now to be arguing that because SB7 defined the vote percentage for a strike the entire process is subject to public review or at least to review by the employer. All of this should have been anticipated by the IELRB and appropriate rules should have been developed and subjected to the JCAR rules review process. The complete incompetence of the IELRB is manifest in relation to this issue, but there is a reason for this. This body is understaffed and if you go to the state audit you can see this for your self [].

    The Act (115 ILCS 5/5(f)) requires the IELRB to employ a minimum of 8 attorneys and 5 investigators. As of June 30, 2011 the Board employed 6 attorneys and 2 investigators.
    Board management stated to auditors that they lacked funding to employ the required number of attorneys and investigators.

    The Illinois General Assembly effectively passed a law and that same body refused to appropriately fund the agency required to implement it. From 2009 to 2011 the General Assembly has cut funding to the IELRB by 10.8%.

    Rod Estvan

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    In reply to Rodestvan:

    I can't speak to the educated detail you have. However, it seems that those who passed the law and those who have to oversee it thought it was the Titanic of labor laws - unsinkable.

    In other words, those who passed it and now oversee never thought it would get this far.

  • Chicago schools CEO says union asking for too much - BusinessWeek

  • The Illinois State Charter School Commission has hired Jeanne L. Nowaczewski as Executive Director.

  • Chicago Public Schools CEO takes your calls tonight at 7pm

  • CPS, CTU likely headed to the courts to settle contract dispute -

  • Political Diary: Rahmbo vs. the Teachers Union - from June 5th

  • iPods helping CPS students learn to read |

  • Mentally ill students in CPS: Big issue, especially at the end of the schoolyear!

  • Not really on topic but a Garfield Ridge Area school today sent home letter saying that the school hours unless anything changes will be 7:45 - 2:45. Wasn't it supposed to be 90 minutes extra for elementary schools? Not complaining , just trying to get some feedback.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I neglected to add that the school hours this year are 8am-1:45 for the above comment.

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