Lawsuit: Union Loses Case, Loses Face

ScreenHunter_04 Mar. 30 10.50Fighters often raise their hands in victory after even the most lopsided bout and that’s what’s happening in the latest court decision. But it’s a victory for the CTU in only the narrowest sense, and a hit on their credibility that they’re making such a big deal out of a decision that doesn’t get anyone’s job back.  Do they think we’re idiots? I guess they do. Read all about it  here.


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  • Alex, why would you re-post this and re-frame it in such a derogatory way? The headline on your first posting today was already slanted. It had, however, engendered an interesting conversation that made clear CTU has had significant success retaining valuable rights for teachers. I can only surmise that CPS is really angry and is pushing you to come out harder against CTU.

  • In reply to Adele:

    no one's pushing -- i call it like i see it, and welcome any and all disagreements. did anyone get their jobs back, or get back pay like they are going to get in DC? no.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    The Trib's own headline was the fair. Why not run that, Alex?

  • Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 03/30/2011
    Obama bashes his own education policies
    By Valerie Strauss


    This was written by educator Anthony Cody, who taught science for 18 years in inner-city Oakland and now works with a team of science teacher-coaches that supports novice teachers. He is a National Board-certified teacher and an active member of the Teacher Leaders Network. This post appeared on his Education Week Teacher blog, Living in Dialogue.

    By Anthony Cody

    If only the Department of Education could hear this guy Obama, boy, they would have to rethink their approach!

    In a town hall meeting hosted by Univision, President Obama was asked by a student named Luis Ayala if there could be a way to reduce the number of tests that students must take.

    His answer was superficially reassuring, but underneath, rather alarming.

    He replied:

  • i've been doing this for a long time and have poked and offended pretty much everyone out there - city hall, the board, the funders, teachers, principals, reporters. and again, is anyone getting their jobs back or getting back pay? no.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I agree with Alex's contention or concern over what did CTU win exactly. As the union press release reads, CPS is to develop a recall policy. Does that mean those fired by Hubey are going back to work? It doesn't seem like it. I read Rod's blog too and am still unclear to what CTU exactly won by this ruling.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    To me, here are the highlights of the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit: 1. "While we agree that the Board should promulgate the regulations, there is nothing in Section 34-18(31) that requires cooperation with the Union. We therefore direct the court to modify the injunction to make it conform to this opinion." 2. "WE AFFIRM the district court's finding that tenured, laidoff teachers have a residual property right in the event of an economic layoff. We also direct the court to redraft its injunction to conform with this opinion." 3. MANION, Circuit Judge- There are two other components to the court's finding that the teachers have a right to recall procedures: first, its analysis of the Illinois case law interpreting the statute; and second, the declaration that teachers have a right to a permanent appointment, with some residual interest after termination. Under the first, the court concludes its examination of Land I and Land II by noting: Neither the 1995 amendments nor the Illinois cases construing them suggest that tenured teachers are NOT entitled to an opportunity to show that they are qualified for vacancies after an economic layoff." 4. MANION, Circuit Judge, "Under the court's direction, the layoffs are recinded, yet the teachers do not get back pay or get placed back on the payroll; they are not contractual employees who enjoy salaries and benefits."

  • that's actually very funny -- thanks.

  • I, too, disagree with Alexander's headline for this thread.

    Let me also say that I am grateful to the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union for fighting in federal court. A year ago, Marilyn Stewart's Union met the challenge of unprecedented layoffs by holding resume-writing workshops. Even CPS did that much for the laid-off teachers (and without using union dues money).

    Whether it was a win, loss, or draw, I am proud that the Union took action and brought this suit to court.

    Having said that, the results actually look like a "draw" to me. Yes, the decision does read that the judges find in favor of the Union plaintiffs, but what it is they have won seems so...small. I can certainly understand why the Board is also claiming victory.

    Someone with little understanding of the decision wrote: "this ruling lasts forever and will protect all teachers laid off now and in the future from being replaced by TFA's and new staff off the street. cps will have to prove why a 1st year teacher should be hired over a laid off NBCT with 27 years in the system."

    No, it doesn't; and no, they will not.

    Principals may hire any qualified person they wish for a vacancy. A teaching certificate in the appropriate field (and Chicago residency) is all that is required for one to be qualified. The Board must have enact a policy whereby laid-off teachers have an opportunity to prove their qualifications (and the Board may craft this policy with no input from the Union), but this in no way obligates a principal to hire that person over any other qualified applicant.

    Some of those laid-off will be hired for other positions. But as we've seen, that was already happening before the decision was announced.

    Still, the Board has been ordered to implement a policy, and then follow it. That's better than what happened last summer, and it does give those of us still working more protection than we had last summer.

    Again, thanks to the Lewis administration for taking on this fight.

  • wbez version of the story, cites "different interpretations" of ruling

  • edweek item:
    Court: Laid-Off Chicago Teachers Have Recall Rights
    from The School Law Blog by Mark Walsh

    A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that tenured Chicago teachers who were laid off last year for economic reasons have a due-process right to show they are qualified for vacancies in the school district.

    A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, voted 2-1 to mostly uphold a federal district court injunction backing the claims of the nearly 1,300 laid-off teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union.

    "The teachers contend that they are entitled to a recall procedure," says the majority opinion by Judge Ann Claire Williams, in Chicago Teachers Union v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago. "We agree. The teachers should be given a meaningful opportunity to show that they are qualified for new vacancies for a reasonable period of time."

    The opinion didn't define a "reasonable period of time." The court noted that more than 700 of the teachers have already been rehired to fill vacancies in the 409,000-student school system. But all the laid-off teachers have a property interest in their continued employment that is protected by the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment, the court said. Illinois statutory and case law limit the Chicago school board's discretion on whether it may make layoffs without a recall procedure, the court added.

    It wasn't enough that the school district offered laid-off teachers two job fairs, a resume-writing workshop, and a Web site listing vacancies, the court said. The appeals panel agreed with the district court that the school district should be allowed to develop its own recall procedure rather than have one imposed by the court. But it narrowed the injunction by removing a requirement that the district consult with the teachers' union on the procedure.

    "Although consultation with the union may expedite the process of promulgating the rules, there is nothing in [the relevant state law] that requires cooperation with the union, and we decline to impose such a requirement," Judge Williams said.

    Judge Daniel A. Manion dissented on the main issue of whether the teachers had recall rights.

    "Here, the teachers are all laid off," Judge Manion said. "In the board's words, they have been honorably discharged. The point is they no longer have a job, and the process they are owed under the Due Process Clause has been honored

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