Schools that didn't vote in the November 20 CTU referendum total more than 80 if CTU Web site is credible

A preliminary review of the PDF files showing the alleged vote totals for the November 20 referenda conducted by the Chicago Teachers Union shows the largest number of schools not voting in memory. According to CTU, 21 high schools and 63 elementary schools did not vote. As of the end of the day on December 1, 2009, CTU had no explanation for the missing votes. But several schools whose votes were not listed have reported that they did vote. What happened?

Fort Dearborn Elementary School (above, in a February 2007 photo) at 9025 S. Throop St., was one of 63 Chicago elementary schools, branches and Child Parent Centers (CPCs) for which no votes were reported in the November 20, 2009, CTU referenda. The upside down American flag in the above photograph was never explained. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Do you wonder what the vote count will be when we find the missing votes from 21 high schools are included? Here is the list of the missing high schools:

Air Force Academy High School

Austin Polytechnical

Big Picture HS (Back of Yards)

Chicago Voc. Achievement Academy

Clark, Michelle Magnet High School

Collins Academy High School

DuSable Campus

Englewood Achievement Academy

Englewood High School (Team Englewood)

Where were the votes on November 20 from Farragut Career Academy High School (above), one of the largest high schools in Chicago? Since the Chicago Teachers Union Web site contains no information about the members of the union's Rules-Elections Committee, there is no one to ask. Since Marilyn Stewart purged the union's committees as part of her consolidation of power beginning in 2004, the union's Web site has specialized in promoting Stewart's cult of personality, denigrating any opposition, and ignoring most of the union's members and the union's history. With one hundredth the budget of the Chicago Union Teacher, Substance Web site contains more information about recent union history than, which has even refused to PDF back issues of the Chicago Union Teacher (so as to black out the years when Deborah Lynch was CTU President). As a growing number of critics are now noting in December 2009, the centralization of power in one set of hands at CTU has been the overall problem, with the recent election debacle just one symptom of the problem. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Farragut Career Academy High School

Hancock High School

DOC Healy North

DOC Healy So Altr High School

Another large high school which decided not to vote on November 20, if CTU records are to be believed, is Lindblom (now "Lindblom Math and Science Academy, although the sign over the main entrance will always point out to the public that Lindblom was always the Lane Tech of the South Side, despite recent claims that it is a "Renaissance 2010" school). Substance photo by George N.
Lindblom Math & Science Academy

New Orr Academy High School

Rickover Naval Academy (Senn)

Robeson High School

School of Tech (So.Sh.H.S)

School of the Arts (So.Sh.HS)

TEAM Englewood

VOISE Academy H.S.

A total of 63 elementary schools were not included in the vote totals reported on the CTU Web site.

Agassiz Elem School

Anthony Elem School

Bethune Elem School

Bouchet Middle School

Bradwell Elem School

Brown, W. Elem School

Burnham Elem School

Canter Middle School

Cockrell C.P.C./Ross

Coles Elem School

Copernicus Elem School

Cregier Multiplex

Davis Development Ctr

Decatur Classical School

Dickens C P C/King Elem

Disney Comm. Arts Ctr.

Disney II

Doolittle East Elem School

Earhart Elem School

Emmet Elem School

Evergreen Academy

Ferguson C P C/Manierre

Fort Dearborn Elem School

Foundations Elem Sch (Cregier)

Fuller Elem School

Fulton Elem School

Gillespie Elem School

Grissom Elem School

Hamline Br. Early Chld. Ctr.

Hansberry C P C/Webster

Scott Joplin Elementary School (above, at 7931 S. Honore) is one of more than 60 elementary schools, many of them with very large union staffs, which supposedly didn't vote in the November 20 CTU referenda. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Joplin Elem School

Joyner C P C/Smyth, J.

Kellman Corporate Comm. School

Mann Elem School

May Community Academy

Mays Academy

McCorkle Elem School

McNair Academic Ctr.

Melody Elem School

Metcalfe Magnet School

Miller C P C/Jensen

Mt. Vernon Elem School

Nia Middle School (Cregier)

Nicholson Elem School

North River Elem. School

Olive C.P.C./Henson

One of the schools that built the Chicago Teachers Union over the past 50 years and helped lead every strike during the union's most militant days, Penn Elementary School (at 1616 S. Avers) didn't bother to vote in the November 20, 2009 referenda, if information published on November 30 on the CTU Web site is accurate. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Penn Elem School

Powell Elem. Branch School

Reavis Elem School

Rosenwald Elem Branch of Carroll Elementary

Ryerson Elem School

Sabin Magnet School

Salazar Blng Ed Ctr

Schneider Elem School

Shoesmith Elem School

Smyser Elem School

South Shore Sch. of Fine Arts

Suder Campus Montessori

Talman Comm. Elem. School

Till Primary/I&U School

West Pullman Elem School

Williams Middle School

Yale Elem School 


December 2, 2009 at 4:27 AM

By: Al Korach

Retired Delegate (former VP teachers pension fund)

What is missing is an honest election by mail ballot not controlled by the CTU's Election Committee. What is needed is some backbone in the dues paying membership that year after year allows this. Who is right? A mail ballot by an outside agency will settle that question once and for all. Let's get this done before the May election.

December 2, 2009 at 4:43 AM

By: kugler

overcoming fear

Al - the problem is there are thousands of teachers running scared afraid of the union and the board that they will loose their jobs if they speak against the corruption.

some misleading facts about that fear:

1. if you do not stand up for your rights you are actually weaker not safer from job loss or retaliation.

2. filing a formal complaint or advocating for your rights is actually something that can save your job in the long run or at least get you started on the documentation process for a legal case.

3. last why and how could anyone go to work everyday in fear of what might happen if they speak up? that is hazardous to your health. especially against the Union the very people we pay to protect us.

fighting back is refreshing and fun because the creeps will have no where to hide once all the lights are turned on!

John Kugler

Union Member

December 2, 2009 at 4:47 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Honest elections -- Deborah Lynch, CTPF both held honest elections. Stewart insists on dishonesty.

The four citywide votes that were taken while Deborah Lynch was President of the Chicago Teachers Union (the two contract referenda in late 2003 and the two election votes in May and June 2004) were conducted by the American Arbitration Association, which was hired by CTU to run the voting.

The recent (October, November 2009) elections for pension trustees (teachers, retired teachers) of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) were run by Election Services Corporation, which was hired by CTPF to make sure its elections were above reproach.

As readers here remember, Nancy Williams, one of Marilyn Stewart's candidates for CTPF trustee, challenged the election of Lois Ashford, who had won by a narrow margin with the support of CORE. On the recount, Ashford gained two votes. The election was that clean and precise, both times it was held.

As we've reported at Substance on the Web and in the pages of Substance (print edition), one of the first things Marilyn Stewart did when she took over the Chicago Teachers Union in August 2004 was purge every union committee of anyone who was not a member of the United Progressive Caucus. Since then, the committees have either been a bad joke (check out security and safety) or worse, a center for massive corruption (Rule-Elections today, now that this debacle is public).

Although I protested Stewart's removal of me from Rule-Elections (and other committees, including security and safety and delegate training), she also ruled that I was not even a union member (!) even though nine months earlier, in January 2004, I had been serving as the secretary of the Rules-Elections Committee. I have an interesting exchange of e-mails with Mark Ochoa (Marilyn's Financial Secretary) to commemorate that dubious moment in CTU history.

Stewart's purge of the union's standing committees (and her abolition of the ad hoc committees that had been established under Deborah Lynch) was part of the centralization of power in the hands of the person who now refers to herself as the "Chief Executive Officer" of the CTU. Once Stewart had established herself as "Chief Executive Officer" with a straight face (and the support of the executives on the so-called "Executive Board"), she then turned over the main powers in the CTU to her "Chief of Staff."

Ironically, some of the people who helped Stewart gather all that dictatorial power into her own hands have since been purged from the union by Stewart, who has been citing her "executive" powers as CTU president, on the one hand, and inventing powers that never before existed for her hand-picked Executive Board, on the other. Ted Dallas is just the most prominent of those people, but not the only one.

Stewart has basically been claiming that a labor union should be run like some Wall Street corporation, and so far she's been getting away with it. She has basically abolished the House of Delegates, simply claiming that she can do whatever she wants through the Executive Board (the ouster of Dallas), by her own whim (the establishment of Fresh Start and the merit pay fiasco), or through the Illinois Federation of Teachers (which as of November 2009 is sponsoring a charter school in Chicago without the idea ever having been proposed to the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegate!).

Until those underlying corporate models and practices are defeated, and the corporate ideology that makes the president of the union a so-called "Chief Executive Officer" (like the CTU were General Electric or Boeing!), these problems are going to grow. The arguments ("budget") for the recent Stewart positions on the referenda were just the latest silly expression of that kind of thinking. (Stewart has already wasted more than $1 million on lawyers in the past two years, most dramatically in the Dallas ouster and in fighting my wrongful termination lawsuit, which won, as we reported in Substance, in May 2008).

Meanwhile, if anybody can tell the CTU membership who the members of the Rules-Elections Committee are at the present time, it would be helpful. They should be held accountable, both in their own schools and citywide, for what just happened. At the same time, the referenda has to be held over -- under outside supervision -- before the dwindling Stewart administration has any chance at restoring the credibility it began giving up within a month after it took over the CTU in August 2004 and purged the committees one month later. Power is not the same as credibility. And in a union, credibility is more important than dictatorial power, however ludicrous it may at first appear while on parade, for the survival of the union itself.

December 2, 2009 at 8:51 AM

By: Margaret Wilson

Ex-committee chair

I was one of the members whose committee was dispanded under Stewart without any input from the members of the committee. I had worked hard to get a committee started which would allow members with disabilities to have input but even before dispanding the committee she made it harder for us to do our job. My committee considered it a meeting if we went as a group to the Disability Parade or to testify at a CTA meeting or various other places and Marilyn would only consider it a meeting if we went downtown and sat in the Union office. Shouldn't the Union and its committees be more pro-active?

Marilyn seems to think that the Union is hers instead of the members and that she can make decisions without consulting the members. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!!!!!!!! HOPEFULLY IT WILL WITH THE NEXT ELECTION!!!!

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