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Chicago Teachers Union sets rules for May 21, 2010 election... It looks like Marilyn Stewart will face five opponents in a race that requires a majority to win

By four o'clock in the afternoon of January 13, 2010, more than 40 people were lined up to leaflet the monthly meeting of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates, held at the offices of Local 399 of the Operating Engineers Union on the shores of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canel on Grove St. just north of Connie's Pizza in a gritty section of Chicago's South Side. Above, approximately 20 of the people distributing leaflets, circulating petitions, or selling Substance posed (in some cases) for the Substance camera. In view above are two potential candidates for the union's presidency and members of at least four of the six caucuses (political parties) in the CTU (one of which is Marilyn Stewart's "United Progressive Caucus"). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.With five potential opponents sitting in the audience facing her, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Marilyn Stewart chaired the union's first House of Delegates meeting of 2010 and watched as the delegates, after considerable debate and some confusion caused by some members of Stewart's own leadership team, voted to approve the rules that will govern what will be one of the most important elections in the union's 75-year history.

By a large majority, the union's delegates voted to approve rules submitted by the CTU Rules-Elections Committee which leave most of the key procedures the same as they have been in recent CTU elections. The 14-page set of rules were posted on the CTU Website (www.ctunet.com) by the night of the meeting, although other material (including the union's plan for fighting against all school closings and turnarounds this winter) was not included. The rules are available at:

http://www.ctunet.com/assets/January2010Housepacket.pdf

In order to get to the election rules from the URL above, the reader will have to scroll down to the fifth page of the meeting Agenda, where the rules begin. Summary:

ELECTION DAY: The election will be held on Friday, May 21, 2010.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE: All individuals who wish to run in the election must be CTU members (with three years' continuous membership to run for citywide offices, including the presidency) who submit nominating petitions to the union offices at the Merchandise Mart by March 23, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. Nominating petitions can be picked up at the CTU offices beginning on February 19, 2010. Because different offices have different eligibility requirements, it's easiest to separate them according to the nominating requirments.

OFFICERS: For the first time in CTU history, the union will be electing four officers. These are President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Financial Secretary. Candidates for all offices must have the signatures of five percent of the eligible voters for that office on their nominating petitions by the deadline for nominations (March 23, 2010). Currently, the CTU has precisely 30,000 members (see the "Membership Report" in the packet on the PDF above), so that would mean that five percent would require 1,500 signatures. However, of those 30,000 members, 3,000 are retired members who are not permitted to vote in the citywide elections. If past practice is followed, that means the number of signatures for citywide nominations will be 1,350 (five percent of 27,000) — not 1,500 (five percent of 30,000).

So it's probably safe to say that in order to be on the ballot for the May election, all candidates for these offices will have to have at least 1,360 signatures on nominating petitions.

TRUSTEES: The union will also be electing six trustees on a citywide basis. These must be nominated by 1,360 signatures (or 1,500 signatures if the total membership is used to calculate the requirement).

AREA VICE PRESIDENTS: The union will also be electing three so-called "Area Vice Presidents" on a citywide basis. These must be nominated by 1,360 signatures.

FUNCTIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS: In addition to citywide offices, CTU members also vote by "functional group" to elect "functional vice presidents" for each of the major groups within the union. The major groups that are electing functional vice presidents are listed in the rules. Functional vice presidents serve on the CTU Executive Board and are nominated by the same procedures outline above for citywide offices, except that the number of signatures required to get on the ballot is five percent of the voters for that group. The four largest groups are:

Elementary Teachers: As of January 2010, there are 14,189 elementary teachers who are members of the CTU. That would give the elementary functional group 14 "functional vice presidents". Each candidate would have to get at least 700 plus signatures on their nominating petitions.

High School Teachers: As of January 2010, there are 6,092 high school teachers who are members of the CTU. That would give the high school functional group six "functional vice presidents". Each candidate would have to get at least 700 plus signatures from members of that functional group on their nominating petitions.

Teacher Assistants: As of January 2010, there are 2,256 various teacher assistants in the CTU. That would give the group two functional vice presidents. Each candidate would have to get at least about 210 plus signatures from members of that functional group on their nominating petitions.

School Clerks: As of January 2010, there are 1,170 clarks in the CTU. That would give the group one functional vice president. That candidate would have to get at least about 55 signatures from members of that functional group on their nominating petitions.

The other functional groups (school nurses; vision and screening people; school community reps) all have fewer than 1,000 people in the group in the union.

DELEGATES TO NATIONAL AND STATE CONVENTIONS: But the complexity of the nominating process doesn't stop with the functional groups. The rules also provide that each caucus can nominate up to 150 delegates to the national and state union conventions and 45 alternate delegates. The delegates participate in the convention of the American Federation of Teachers every two years, and at the Illinois Federation of Teachers every two years. The union pays all expenses for the delegates.



Comments:

January 14, 2010 at 6:41 AM

By: Albert Korach

retired teacher

It looks like what I was most afraid of is going to happen.Five CTU caucuses are about to divide the membership's vote and try to unseat President Stewart's UPC control of the union. I wish them good luck. I hope they realize that no incumbent group will fight harder to keep their seats than one that is protecting their high salary, great insurance, great pensions, and generous car allowances. All of this helped by support from a large caucus election fund.

It still amazes me that these separate caucuses could not come together and form one unified slate. Was it ego or who knows what? There is still time to whittle down the pack before the nominating petitions are handed in and the ballots go to press.

January 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM

By: zeta

Solidarity

If the other caucuses running against Marilyn, really care about teachers, they will come together and unite during this crucial time in the history. REN 2010 education reform has little to do with schools and education.

It is about gentrifying communities and sending minorities back where they came from.(where ever that ma be) It's also a corporate business plan to take back urban America and use public assets to accomplish that goal.

If these caucuses allow this because of personal vendetta's and egos then so be it.

We will not have a union anymore and Marilyn will go down in history as the person who destroyed one of the most powerful unions in America the CTU.

If this happens, all other unions will be vulnerable.

Unfortunately when people are selfish , like Lynch and PACT, they are only interested in getting the job back in spite of the fact the the membership doesn't want them. Of course, it's not about the members with DEbbie, it's about revenge.

Debbie and PACT had their chance and did a horrible job and the membership has spoken. However, she has a few loyalist who will help her beat the dead horse until they totally destroy everyone.

CSDU , I have no idea what their platform is

and no one has heard much about you. To me it seems like a caucus rooted in revenge since you were all with Marilyn and obviously

share much of the same philosophy.

SEA Caucus, Where have you been ? Another group of Marilyn loyalist pissed off because

something you don't like about Marilyn.

Let's get real, this election is about the members who are suffering while Marilyn whines dines at the finest restaurants and and runs around getting pats on the back from Mayor Daley who if he could, would tell Huberman to close her school and fire her in a minute. Have you looked in the mirror Marilyn? My my, you like just like the 3000 African American teachers that were just fired from CPS and you're over 50. Where do you think you would be today if you were still teaching. HELLO!

No Marilyn doesn't get it, and all the other caucuses that have been formed who were once on her team, like CSDU and the SEA Caucus need to take their lazy butts back to the classroom or retire.

Isn't that what all of them have been saying to the membership? Just retire!

I want everyone to know that I am not a spokes person for CORE and don't even know if they appreciate of even like what I am writing on this blog, but in my opinion, CORE is the only Caucus with the integrity, sincerity and humility to represent the membership.

If the caucuses unite, they must unite with a similar philosophy if we are going to save the union.

January 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

By: Karen Lewis

Citywide Offices

According to Mark Ochoa, current Financial Secretary there will be 6 or 7 High school (he wasn't sure), 17 Elementary and the city-wide were mixed, but he wasn't clear as to how many. He claimed citywide VPs were included in the total number, but was unable to make the distinction. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult task as he has been the Financial Secretary for 6 years and his primary responsibility is membership. I also do not understand why Stewart and Ochoa cannot answer the questions of how much the union charges to mail letters to delegates.

As to Mr. Korach's question as to why the caucuses couldn't come together to field a slate. Early in the process, CORE approached other caucus leaders and asked whether they would be willing to bring all their members to the table and submit to a vote of the entire membership in order to determine a slate. Unfortunately, that was unacceptable to the other caucuses and the lack of a democratic process was unacceptable to CORE. While Marilyn Stewart will fight to keep her job, there are others who will fight to wrest it from her.

January 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

By: Just a thought...

Re: Ochoa

Why did Ochoa call George Schmidt an asshole at last night's meeting?

January 16, 2010 at 1:57 PM

By: Carol Caref

teacher

It is not true that the existence of many caucuses will be to UPC's benefit. A caucus must get 50% of the vote to win. A runoff is the most likely scenario. The strongest position among union members is anti-UPC, although there is disagreement about who should replace them. This will be settled after the initial vote is held and it is clear who the top two choices are. Unlike the other caucuses, CORE does not have recent ties to UPC (as do CSDU and SEA) and has not misled the membership, as have PACT and UPC. CORE has fought CPS and will continue to do so, whatever the election results.

George, the number of signatures for hs functional vp should be reported as about 300, not 700.

January 16, 2010 at 2:43 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

Retired teacher/parent

I'm not so sure that having a run-off is something bad. It gives the teachers a real say in who the top two groups will be in the final election. My only concern is that Marilyn will do the same thing she did in her run-off with Debbie and that's steal the election. I wish the House of Delegates would step forward and make sure that the rules are such that Marilyn can't do that.

January 16, 2010 at 3:08 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

Retired teacher/parent

I'm not so sure that having a run-off is something bad. It gives the teachers a real say in who the top two groups will be in the final election. My only concern is that Marilyn will do the same thing she did in her run-off with Debbie and that's steal the election. I wish the House of Delegates would step forward and make sure that the rules are such that Marilyn can't do that.

January 17, 2010 at 8:59 PM

By: John Moran

Campaign Rebuttal

I want to respond to some recent comments made concerning the upcoming Chicago Teachers Union Officer Elections.

First, to Zeta,

I am confused when you state, “CSDU , I have no idea what their platform is and no one has heard much about you.”

The CSDU has visited more schools than the other caucus and met with those CTU members, we have passed out several pieces of literature with our platform and officer biographies to every school in the CPS, we have a web site where this information is also posted, we regularly send emails to those CTU members who have provided us with their personal email address, and I personally posted our platform and biographies on First Class last May when we announced our candidacy.

If in spite of all those attempts to communicate with you and every other CTU member you may not have received our information and if you truly want to learn more about the CSDU, then visit our web site (www.thecsdu.org) and use the “ Email Sign-up Form” to receive our future emails and read our Platform and Biographies. Also, you can use the “Comment” section to sign up your school for a visit by the CSDU Officer Candidates where we can answer any questions that you might have about our positions. We would enjoy the opportunity to come and talk with you, or any other school, and explain our platform.

Also, when you state, “... all the other caucuses that have been formed who were once on her team, like CSDU .... need to take their lazy butts back to the classroom or retire” I am confused by your attack. I have talked with CORE leaders several times where they have told me that they want to run an issues oriented campaign without personal attacks. I have read several posts on the 299 Blog where CORE leaders have been very offended when someone attacks them for their supposed political viewpoints. My question to you, Zeta, is why don’t the other Caucus deserve the same respect and consideration as CORE? Is this what you mean when you say, “...CORE is the only Caucus with the integrity, sincerity and humility to represent the membership.”?

Finally, to Karen Lewis.

I am confused when you state, “Early in the process, CORE approached other caucus leaders and asked whether they would be willing to bring all their members to the table and submit to a vote of the entire membership in order to determine a slate. Unfortunately, that was unacceptable to the other caucuses and the lack of a democratic process was unacceptable to CORE.”

The CSDU has repeatedly tried to work with the other caucus in reforming the CTU. We invited the CORE leaders to attend the CSDU October, November and December 2008 Steering Committee Meetings. At these meetings, we discussed with the CORE Leaders motions that both Caucuses could support. Later, we worked with CORE at the House Meeting to change the Rules for the division of the delegates when we vote on motions. Also, during this time, we repeatedly discussed with the CORE Leadership on how we could work together as a coalition and run a unified slate in the upcoming elections. As recently as the Fall of 2009, we continued to offer CORE an opportunity to run with us on a single slate as a unified coalition. The CSDU has repeatedly tried to find common ground with CORE so that we could run a single slate.

Lastly, contrary to your statement, the CSDU has no problem with the democratic process. Our slate was nominated and elected by our Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was fully involved in the nomination process. CSDU Members who have wanted to work in the campaign have joined the 
Steering Committee. Just because the CSDU did not follow the same process as CORE, does not mean that it did not have a democratic process.

Jack Moran

CSDU Vice Presidential Candidate

January 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM

By: Zeta

Campaign Rebuttal/Rebuttal

Dear John,

Thanks for your response. Let me just say that I am not an official spokesperson for CORE. However, I do know you , Ted and Linda Porter.As far as personalities, You all seem to be very nice and well informed. I know that you sincerely believe in your platform.

However, I sincerely believe that CORE is the caucus that can best save our union. I believe this because CORE believes in the membership and will fight for the members.

We have to have a union that is going to fight to save jobs. We can't afford another ambiguous caucus with undefined goals.

I am not saying that CSDU has undefined goals but we know that UPC does. I am concerned because CSDU candidates have shared a similar philosophy as Marilyn because you were once on her team. Isn't that true ?

We have tried other caucuses such as PACT, heaven only knows about the SEA caucus. However, I remain unconvinced that any other caucus can or will represent the members and protect their rights and fight for our jobs like the CORE caucus.

I believe that CORE has members that are true visionaries and have the talent to lead us at this point and time in history. They are proven warriors for the cause.

As far as the comment about LAZY BUTTS, I apologize if it doesn't apply to you, I must have been thinking about some of the field reps or maybe even the "lazy butt sitting contest" I witnessed at the AREA offices.

January 24, 2010 at 10:51 PM

By: John Moran

Solidarity With All Caucuses

TO: Delegates and Members of Various Caucuses

Interested in Reforming the CTU

FROM: Linda Porter for the CSDU

Those of us who are interested in reforming the CTU have some serious decisions to make if we want to make this a reality. We have all explored the possibility of coalescing to form one slate. It's is unfortunate that we have not been able to make this a reality. All of us know that this would be the best way to assure a positive outcome for the May 21st election.

It's imperative that all parties understand the extreme difficulty in unseating an incumbent administration. A perfect example was the 560 votes that put the UPC in office after the runoff in 2004. It's incumbent on all to assure that Stewart doesn't get the 50% + 1 votes necessary to allow her to remain office. If so, any chance for reforming and returning the CTU to the democratic union that is spelled out in our Constitution will be lost.

Since a coalition does not seem to be an option, the CSDU would like to propose an alternative, one that we think will work to achieve this common goal: We must all work against Stewart and not against each other during this election and then, whichever caucus receives enough votes to be in the runoff, we must pull together to help that caucus win. If this becomes a reality, we would hope that the new leaders include members of other caucuses for input and positions in the new administration.

We ask you to please take this suggestion seriously. The CSDU has committed itself to this proposal and hope you will join us in our common effort. In the meantime, good luck to all.

In true solidarity,

for the CSDU

January 25, 2010 at 11:37 PM

By: Jack Moran

CSDU Meeting

CSDU Candidate Slating Meeting

Slating / General Meeting

January 26, 2010 4:30 p.m.

Pulaski Park 1419 West Blackhawk Street

All CTU Members welcome to be considered for slating.

Now is the time to become involved in shaping the future direction of the CTU.

Join us for free Pizza and Pop.

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