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Illinois Republicans aim to further cripple Chicago Teachers Union

The Chicago Board of Education is trying to get legislation (HB 5596) introduced by Illinois State Republican House representatives to allow the school board to to reopen the Chicago Teachers Union contract without the agreement of the union.

The bill seeks to prohibit any educational employee from going on strike during the time when the contract would be opened by the school board because it does not want to fulfill the contractual agreement for salary increases. In addition to the prohibition on striking when the employer breaks the contract for not wanting to pay the negotiated pay raises, there would be significant penalties for striking: the exclusive bargaining agent shall be removed and declared ineligible for representation for 2 years; employer cannot deduct dues for the exclusive bargaining agent for 2 years; fines may be imposed on the bargaining rep and officers.

The pending legislation is even more of an attack on the Chicago Teachers Union than was the Amendatory Act of 1995, which gave Mayor Richard M. Daley dictatorial control over Chicago's schools and barred the Chicago Teachers Union and the Cook County College Teachers Union from several traditional rights. The 1995 legislation was supported by Daley, a large number of Democrats and most Republicans, including then governor Jim Edgar. After it was signed into law, the myth was created that Daley had courageously offered to take over the failing Chicago school system, when in fact that provisions of the 1995 law, including the abolition of the Chicago School Finance Authority and the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional money to Chicago's schools, made Daley's first years in power over the schools a walk in the park, when compared with the tight-fisted approach to the schools during the previous 15 years (following the school financial crisis of 1979 - 1982).

HB5562 was filled on February 8, 2010 by Illinois House Republican Leader, Tom Cross, of the 84th congressional District in Plainfield, Illinois. Representative Michael W. Tryon (R), of the 64th District from Crystal Lake, Illinois, was the Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill.

Then after maneuvering between House Rules committees and Executive committees on March 22, 2010, the bill's Chief Sponsor changed to Representative Suzanne Bassi (R) from the 54th District in Palatine, Illinois. Then for some reason the bill, which is clearly an education bill, was passed to the Environmental Health Committee. There, it lost a vote and was re-referred back to the Rules Committee on March 26, 2010. None of the sponsoring representatives live in Chicago or represent Chicago public school employees, parents or students. In fact two of the sponsoring representatives — including the original sponsor the House Republican leader — have districts in different counties outside of Chicago.

In looking at the purpose of the bill which is to allow the Board of Education of the City of Chicago to break the contract unilaterally specifically for the 2011 fiscal year (which begins July 1, 2010) and to punish the union (including banning it from representing Chicago teachers for two years if the union were to go on strike because the Board was not paying the salary increases in the contract). The bill is so specific that it excludes all other school districts except those of a city having a population in excess of 500,00 and in Illinois. There is only one such city — Chicago — and only one district is in Chicago which is District 299, run by Mayor Richard M. Daley and his CEO of Schools Ron Huberman.

On February 25, 2010 Mr. Huberman announced a projected 'shortfall' of as much as $1 Billion shortfall for the 2010 - 2011 school year and raised the possibility that teachers should forgo contractual pay raises and also face mass layoffs of teachers.

HB5562 is not a stand alone bill but an amendment to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act: the law that governs the public educational employees in Illinois and their labor rights including collective bargaining rights. What the bill wants to change is the right of the union to go one strike if the Chicago Board of Education does not pay the salary increases that are in the contract and if the union does go on strike the law would bar the organization, Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1, from representing Chicago teachers for two years, in essence stripping Chicago teachers of their union protect unilaterally by the Board breaking the contract for the fiscal year 2011. All representatives and the Board of Education were contacted at the time of writing to this story with no response.

The additions to 115 ILCS 5/1 The Illinois Education Labor Relation Act that pertain to pay salary increases, strike prohibition and penalties are as follows:

(a-10) For collective bargaining agreements that are reopened for negotiations because of a determination by the employer that it is unable to fund salary increases for the] 2011 fiscal year, if a dispute exists between an employer whose territorial boundaries are coterminous with those of a city having a population in excess of 500,000 and the exclusive bargaining representative of its employees....

(a-5) Educational employees must not engage in a strike at any time during the mediation or fact-finding procedures set forth in Section 12 of this Act. If a strike occurs in violation of this Section, the employer may initiate in the circuit court of the county in which such strike occurs an action for an injunction and other relief, and the circuit court shall impose at least one or more of the following penalties on the exclusive bargaining representative in addition to ordering other appropriate relief:

(1) Revoke the designation of the exclusive bargaining representative as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees involved in the dispute and declare the exclusive bargaining representative to be ineligible for such designation for a period of 2 years.

(2) Prohibit the employer from deducting dues on behalf of the exclusive bargaining representative for a period of 2 years. (3) Impose fines on the exclusive bargaining representative or its officers or both.

Representative Tom Cross (R)

84th District House Republican Leader

http://www.tomcross.com/ tom@tomcross.com

Springfield Office:

316 Capitol Building

Springfield, IL 62706 (217) 782-1331

(217) 782-3234 FAX

District Office:

24047 W. Lockport St.Suite 213Plainfield, IL 60544 (815) 254-0000

(815) 609-3994 FAX

Kendall County

Representative Michael W. Tryon (R)

64th District

http://www.miketryon.com/

Mike@miketryon.com

Springfield Office:

201-N Stratton Office Building

Springfield, IL 62706 (217) 782-0432

(217) 782-3189 FAX

District Office:

1 N. Virginia St.

Crystal Lake, IL 60014 (815) 459-6453

(815) 455-8284 FAX

McHenry County

Representative Suzanne Bassi (R)

54th District

http://www.suziebassi.com/

suziebassi@gmail.com

Springfield Office:

211-N Stratton Office Building

Springfield, IL 62706 (217) 782-8026

(217) 782-5257 FAX

District Office:

331 W. Northwest Highway Suite 102

Palatine, IL 60067 Mailing Address

118 W. Northwest Highway Palatine, IL 60067

(847) 776-1880

(847) 776-1925 FAX

Cook County



Comments:

March 28, 2010 at 10:54 AM

By: Karen Lewis

Where Are "Our" Lobbyists???

The Chicago Teachers Union and the Illinois Federation of Teachers have paid lobbyists, but thanks to your research, this is the first time we've heard of this bill. Let's bring out our people in force to defeat this. perhaps the people in Springfield think we're all on spring break.

Kugler - thanks for being on top of all this.

March 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

By: Retired Principal

HB 5596

WOW!

March 28, 2010 at 1:21 PM

By: kugler

Tip & CTU Scab Lobbist

I did do the research and write up the story but the tip came from retired teacher arlene hirsch and CORE member.

Remember john ostenburg(now CTU chief of staff) was once a state legislator and still has many ties to state politics. It would not be beyond imagination, especially after the past weeks events, that this was a safety net for the union and cps so after all the posturing and media rhetoric they(CPS & CTU) would both declare the state state allows for a unilateral pay freeze and the union can not do anything about.

kinda of an ah shucks moment shrugging their shoulders and the laughing when nobody is looking.

The reason i make this conjecture is that the bill is very specific even down to the fiscal year and singling out CPS rather than other districts and other fiscal years inside of a state-wide Labor Act.

Plus the fact that we have Traci Scab Evans as out 100k per year lobbyist does not help.

and the last nail in our political muscle coffin is the last time I checked we had not one scab lobbyist but actually 4 lobbyist paid by CTU, so to say "we missed it." which is starting to be old news. we need to start looking at tactical legislation which will help protect the back-room deals between the CTU and CPS while they publicly pretend to be facing off with each other, especially now in an election year. CTU's favorite line is that it is the "law" we can not help you.

When teachers complained that veteran teachers were being layed off and new teachers were being hired in violation of our contract the CTU answer was "sorry we can not help you it's the law" (Dykas & Stewart, Connies Pizza, Displaced Teachers Meeting, Fall 2009)

March 28, 2010 at 1:42 PM

By: chgotchr

teacher

The one thing I don't understand (and I really don't) is why our "union leadership" is so intent on self destruction. What do they gain?

March 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

By: chgotchr

teachers are getting screwed by our own union

should have been the correct title

March 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Greed

ChgoTchr,

Our union leadership is motivated by selfish greed- they don't care if the ship goes down as long as they have collected a lot of money in salary and benefits in the meantime. It has been pointed out that Debbie Lynch is one of few Chicago union presidents to go back to her rank and file position as teacher after serving a union office. Usually they receive a patronage job from the city and collect even more money. Stewart's car allowance is even pensionable!

It's obscene, and this bill is obscene and these people need to be called out. Teachers also need to get off their "someone else will take care of it" duffs and start lifting some fingers. Personally, I'm tired of my supposed brother and sister teachers telling me "I'm with you in spirit".

March 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM

By: MCasey

where's the outrage?

with the legislature about to kill the the largest union in the State, where is the AFL-CIO, CFL, Teamsters, AFT,ACLU and all the others who should be mobilized to stop this?

The public has been brainwashed to believe that teachers are scum, hell, they think the way to improve a schools is to fire all the teachers and the President agrees. But CPS apparently wants teachers in classrooms, they don't want to pay them, but they don't want them to strike either. If they do strike then they'll lose their representation ( the currently dangerously ineffective CTU) thereby allowing CPS to do anything they want.

A suggestion on another thread indicated that the mayor wants to appoint the president of the union. this legislative may just do the trick.

when the government takes over labor and kill democracy,,,

March 29, 2010 at 9:16 AM

By: Bob

1

Three times seven in the month of may.

The last few posts were very reveling. The events of last week were just the start

of the final campaign to eliminate the only remaining organization standing in the way

Of the final digestion of the Chicago Public schools by the Mayor : The CTU.

We are also the last group still manning the ramparts of reason and

sanity who have the talent and courage to stand up for ourselves and our students.

All we have to find is the will to win.

A large measure of society reacted with glee to the astonishing shambles the state

Legislature made of our pension last week. One editorial praised the move and called for

“A victory lap “like someone just won the world series. I shutter to think what will come next.

All the vile editorials and talking head’s are not aware of the impact this teacher bashing has

on our day to day existence. Why should students respect teachers when we are made out to be the

cause of everything bad in society? According to these experts we caused the deficit, because our

pension is too large, we get paid too much, our day is too short, our year is too short and

according to one pundit we are a criminal street gang.

Our only hope is the 21st of May. On that day we can run our own victory lap.

Only two parties have a chance to oust the UPC , Core and Pact. This is a real hard one to

Decide since both have real teachers running. If the election were next week Pact

Would be my choice. When I do decide I will get off of my dead ass and actively campaign

for that party. Since I have been both a Democratic and Republican precinct captain

I know just what to do.

March 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Our Greatest Obstacle

Bob,

CORE or PACT, it'll be a runoff. What's important is to counter the propaganda that'll be coming out of the CTU mouth once they cut a deal to "save jobs". It's the ignorant and apathetic teachers right now who are our greatest obstacle.

March 29, 2010 at 11:07 AM

By: Danny

Something for Bob to think about

Bob writes: "Only two parties have a chance to oust the UPC , Core and Pact. This is a real hard one to Decide since both have real teachers running"

Let me help you.

On July 1st--when the new officers take over--Huberboy will be ready to negotiate (or "strong-arm") the new team.

Debbie Lynch and Maureen Callaghan have already negotiated a contract, and learned much from the process. The PACT team already has established relationships with lawyers and other specialists. With the experience and connections, PACT is ready to go head-to-head with the Board from Day One.

The other team of candidates are good people. They are energetic and promise to fight for the membership. Over the three-year term, I'm sure they would learn to be good leaders. But they won't be ready to go against the Board from Day One. Hubie will eat them alive.

Go with PACT. The team with experienced, proven leadership.

March 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM

By: Jay Rehak

The Membership will dictate the Power of the CTU

When the election is decided in May or more likely, June, (due to a run off) the Board of Education will know quite well what the mood of the membership is. (anger or fear) If CORE wins, it will be clear to the Board of Education and the rest of the CTU membership, that the Union is ready and able to confront the Board's policies head on. IF the UPC wins, (or either CSDU or SEA - which are both made up of UPC folks - win)it will indicate to the Board of Education that the Union leadership will cave in to the Board's demands, with the hope that such Board demands aren't "too harsh." A PACT victory will be viewed by the Board as a "compromise" among the membership. That is, if PACT wins, the Board will know that that the Union will talk tough but ultimately cave in. Only a CORE victory sends a clear message to the Board of Education that the attack on teachers and PSRPS will be met with a full response. The bottom line question is: What type of response does the membership want the Union to take? The first vote in May will provide a very clear indication of the mood of the CTU membership.

March 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

By: MCasey

forget a runnoff

Core hopes for a run off, I want a clean and stong messege to CPS. and Danny's right, we need experience immediately. their already running scared trying to get his bill passed. They helped Upc get rid of PACT 6 yrs ago and they don't want them back.Debbie will and has stood up to them and just beat them in FEDERAL COURT. My vote's for PACT.

We can't the time it takes for afford 2 elections, we must win on the first ballot. We must show CPS we mean business.

March 29, 2010 at 7:45 PM

By: Garth

The Alien Abduction Factor

MCasey,

I don't know about the board running scared. Covering their bases, sure. Don't forget that PACT did lose the last two elections. What do you think were the reasons she lost the last election?

Please don't forget the fact that CORE has been working for a member-driven union. In other words, organizing members to act, not just to vote. In my opinion, too many people think of Debbie as PACT. PACT=Debbie. No Debbie= No PACT. In more other words: Debbie promises to do the work of being the union. I have heard more than one person analyze that though Debbie was much better at informing union members during her term, she didn't do a lot to really organize them, to create better unionism.

Jay's right. If CORE is elected, the mood of the membership will be clear. It was CORE that organized against Ren 2010 while PACT was in hibernation. Bless Debbie, I like her, I like that she herself came out to the protests, and speak against the board and write editorials to the Two Big Newspapers.

Asking as a voter, can you tell me how she's organized the union compared to the work of CORE?

Also, can you explain the democratic organizational structure of PACT? Did they elect their slate? If I were to join PACT, what volunteer opportunities are available?

Also, the Big Organizational Question. If your leader was abducted by aliens, where would the rest of the organization be?

I can tell you that the aliens would have to abduct more than one CORE member if they intended to disable the organization.

As for the runnoff, the membership will obviously decide that. For what reasons do you think a particular caucus will obtain more than fifty percent of the vote in a five-way election?

March 29, 2010 at 9:34 PM

By: Danny

Experience? Or "Democratic" organizational structure?

Jay and Garth

Jay Rehak is usually brilliant, but we all have bad days, and today he is off the mark.

It may be that I spent much of the morning grading FRQs, but when I read his comments above, the convoluted argument just had me ROTFLMAO.

Come on, Jay, you know about Occam’s Razor. Let’s simplify things.

From Hubie & the Board’s perspective there are two outcomes for the upcoming election. One, the incumbents are re-elected meaning that the membership is content and wants things to continue just as they are; or, Two, the membership throws out the bums, signaling they want change.

Really, it’s that simple.

Garth

Alien abduction? That also had me ROTFLMAO. (Laughing *with* you, buddy, not *at* you.)

First, let me say that as a PACT member since its founding, I think of both Debbie AND Maureen as the heart and soul of the group. Granted, PACT is centered around the person of Debbie Lynch, but she is a remarkable person. Like most true leaders.

While Debbie is the organizational leader, she also tries to build consensus for group decisions. And I have seen her accept the will of the larger group when it overrode an action she favored.

Garth asserts several things I deem to be false. Rather, the Lynch administration in its 3-year term DID foster a member-driven union in which there were clear gains in the number of persons participating in union activities. PACT was NOT in hibernation and started fighting Ren10 from its inception—long before CORE was even founded.

And finally, that CORE democratically elected its slate. Picture me raising an eyebrow with a look of skepticism on my face. Potential candidates were not allowed to campaign for an office, according to what I have heard and read about the CORE process, but instead members voted for one of five slates. Further the organizational leaders (CORE co-chairs Karen Lewis and Jackson Potter) ended up being the President and Vice-President candidates. That’s really no more surprising that PACT chairman Debbie Lynch being named our Presidential candidate.

So, this is what it comes down to, Garth. I made the assertion above that PACT has the experience and connections needed to step into office against a hostile Board from Day One.

You have asserted that CORE’s strength is its “democratic” organizational structure.

We’ll have to let the membership decide which is more important in this election.

March 30, 2010 at 1:38 AM

By: Joe from CORE

To Danny

First, I assure you that candidates were allowed to campaign and did in fact campaign for the CORE slate. They did so very publicly through emails. You're actually telling a person (Jay) who campaigned against Karen for Presidential nominee that people weren't allowed to campaign against Karen for Presidential nominee.

I have a soft spot for PACT. I have a few friends and even 1 relative on the ballot, but just as Stewart and Dallas have a lot of past to overcome so does Ms. Lynch. After the contract that she not only championed, but went on television to praise--I don't think this union will ever trust her again. I give her credit for some of her accomplishments and shake my head at other things she did.

I believe the survival of this union is dependent on a CORE victory. CORE mobilizes. Stewart sends out letters saying prepare to fight and then does nothing.

March 30, 2010 at 3:21 PM

By: c feeney

educator

HEY JAY CAME UP WITH THAT ALL BY YOURSELF ?? INTERSTING POINTS !!! MAYBE 2 GROUPS SHOULD JUST DROP OUT NOW THAT WOULD BE INTERSTING !!! MAYBE ALL GROUPS SHOULD THANK PACT FOR BEING ABLE TO CAMPAIGN JUST A THOUGHT ENJOY BREAK !!

March 31, 2010 at 12:07 AM

By: John Moran

CSDU Rebutal

To Jay, Danny, Garth and Joe

All of you have presented some very interesting ideas in your recent posts. These ideas, both stated and implied, need to clarified.

First, I want to clarify the idea that once you join a caucus, you are locked into that philosophy forever. Jay stated, “…. CSDU or …. which are both made up of UPC folks…” Yes, we have member that were previously members of the UPC. But when they saw the abuse of power by the UPC, they quit the UPC and formed a new caucus to address those abuses. Fact, Jay weren’t you a member of PACT during the Lynch Administration and also have a job at the Union Office during that time? Fact, doesn’t CORE have several prominent members that were previously strong supporters of Debbie Lynch and active PACT members? My question is, why is it OK for CORE members to change political direction and join or form a new caucus while it is not possible for ex UPC members to do the same? It seems that CORE has a double standard when it comes to caucus membership.

Second, I want to clarify the idea that PACT is the only caucus with experience in negotiating a contract and managing the union. Danny stated, “I made the assertion above that PACT has the experience and connections needed to step into office against a hostile Board from Day One.” Fact, Linda Porter, the Presidential Candidate of the CSDU, has as much experience negotiating a contract and more experience in managing the union than any other presidential candidate. Fact, the CSDU Slate of Officers has nearly 50 years of experience as active delegates. Because of the experience of being a delegate and participating in both the contract and union decisions over the years, the CSDU Officer Candidates are better prepared to lead the CTU during these difficult times. My question, is why doesn’t PACT acknowledge that they are not the only experienced slate running for office?

Third, I want to clarify the idea that there is only one “democratic organizational structure” that the caucuses should follow. Garth stated, “Also, can you explain the democratic organizational structure of PACT? Did they elect their slate? If I were to join PACT, what volunteer opportunities are available?” Also you stated, “I can tell you that the aliens would have to abduct more than one CORE member if they intended to disable the organization.” Fact, known CORE and PACT members regularly attend CSDU General Meetings and are encouraged to ask questions and state their opinions. Fact, the CSDU had over 50 CTU members voluntarily circulate our officer petitions. In fact, we had so many people circulate our petitions, that we were able to begin returning our petitions to the CTU Office one week before they were due. Fact, the CSDU had a lot of input from it’s members during the last year a it formed the final slate of officer. My question is, why doesn’t CORE respect the hard work and dedication of the other caucuses members? Why does everything have to be done the CORE way?

Forth, I want to clarify the idea of who is running on the CSDU Slate. Joe stated, “...just as ... and Dallas have a lot of past to overcome so does…” Fact, Ted Dallas was stripped of his CTU membership by the current president. This prevents him from running for office. Fact, Ted Dallas is not on our slate. He is not even allowed to run for AFT Delegate. My question is, why does CORE talk about someone who is not even on our slate?

Finally, I do agree with all four posters, that we need a huge vote on Friday May 21st. A election turnout of 25,000 or more will send a strong and powerful message to Daley and Huberman that they have awakened a sleeping giant and that their will be h___ to pay. It will signal the rebirth of the Chicago Teachers Union.

In true Solidarity,

Jack Moran

CSDU Vice President Candidate

March 31, 2010 at 12:46 AM

By: Jay Rehak

Good points, Jack

Jack,

Well said. You are right on many counts, including the fact that people should be allowed to change caucuses. I hope CSDU is made up of the better part of the UPC. I don't know Linda well enough to speak of her with any authority, but I have heard you speak and have been impressed with your integrity. The bottom line is this: I know it's time for change, I'm still convinced it's CORE, but if it's not us, I hope it's a group that isn't the UPC or in any way sympathetic to it.

March 31, 2010 at 2:28 AM

By: Danny

The CSDU Problem

Let me echo Jay's sentiments. I think there are good people in all the caucuses, and I would count Jack among that number.

There are, however, problems with some of Jack's "facts."

Let's start with #2--negotiating the contract. Both Ted Dallas and Linda Porter have stated that towards the end of negotiations, Marilyn Stewart dismissed her other officers and Union lawyers, joined only by Pam Massarsky at the table. It's at this point we are to believe Marilyn sold us out.

You can't have it both ways. Either Ted and Linda were not there at the end of negotiations, or they were and are just as responsible for the contract as Marilyn Stewart is.

While it may be a "fact" that Ted Dallas is not a member of the CTU and, thus, ineligible to run for any office, he is inextricably linked to the CSDU.

In addition to the court documents floating around the Internet from his own case against the CTU (which accused him of gross financial misconduct), there are the documents CPS made public just last week in our case against them (Lynch et al vs. Huberman et al).

Let me remind you: These include e-mails from Ted Dallas in his official capacity as Vice-President of the Chicago Teachers Union asking the Board to discipline dues-paying Union members for engaging in union-related activity.

This type of union politics doesn't go over very well with a broad swath of the union membership.

You may claim that Ted Dallas is not part of your slate, but he is part of your campaign. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of CSDU, including gathering signatures for the nominating petitions. Just last week, I saw your entire slate of officers including Ted Dallas at a meeting at La Villa restaurant.

This problem of association isn't just going to go away because you claim Ted Dallas isn't on your ticket.

March 31, 2010 at 6:37 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Policing Comments here at SubstanceNews

I'm about to delete two recent comments here and have now adjusted our policy.

If you wish to comment here, we appreciate the accountability that comes with your giving the people who read this both you first and last name, Those who wish to comment using other indicators will be cut from here if anything in their comments makes allegations of fact that they are just dropping along the way, like horse emissions on a street back in the day before internal combustion engines.

This is a news site, not a blog, and our comments are meant to add to the debate, not to be slabs of mud -- or brown stuff even more toxic -- thrown from behind the hedge at others.

If you want to continue to engage in the kind of childish stuff that Blogging encouraged for too long, I'm sure there are other sites that will be hospitable.

As you can see, the majority of the people commenting here are doing so in their own names, and that's the key to our actually being able to change things.

And please don't talk to us here at Substance about special reasons, because there are few (if any).

Every candidate for CTU office is now known to the UPC (er., the CTU) and possibly to the boss.

That's accountability, whether you agree with the people or not.

I was fired ten years ago and blacklisted by CPS for publishing the truth (the actual CASE tests) in Substance.

That's accountability.

Every time I read a comment here from someone who isn't using a real name, I puzzle over the "Why?"

Everyone who uses the Internet must know that once you fly into Cyberspace, your identity is know to anyone serious enough to want to find out. So what's the point, really, of handling those brown gooey things some of you are trying to toss around at others from behind the hedge? Anyone who wants to can track you down from the stink on your hands.

Comment with conviction, or find another place to chatter.

March 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM

By: Chicagoan

sub

It seems that there is a need for a space for debate for the CTU slates. I doubt that the comments section of Substance is the appropriate venue for that. Perhaps a Chicago Now contributor or Gapers Block can allow there to be a moderated debate around specific issues.

Also, those who gain information from Substance, please remember to subscribe or buy the paper from those at your school who are affiliated with it.

April 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM

By: Garth

..

Danny,

I appreciate your comments. I shouldn't say that PACT did nothing to organize a member driven union. I wasn't around, but have heard from many teachers that Debbie was very good about informing the membership and opening up committees, and so forth. I remember meeting Chicago teachers in Washington D.C. who'd taken a CTU sponsored bus to go to the anti-war protests during that time.

I also acknowledge that PACT did fight Ren 2010 and that if Lynch had been reelected we would not have faced the massacre of the last six years of school closings, turnarounds and charters.

But I have to tell you, I don't feel like PACT has organized members the same way CORE has during the last two years. I mean that as more of an observational statement than as a judgement against PACT. I'm glad to see that PACT people are organizing strongly around the election.

Some folks, like MCasey, RIP, were putting this discussion into a completely adversarial scenario. I think that whether it's PACT or CORE that's able to win, we're going to need to work together as much as possible to take back our union. This has been mentioned before. It's sink or swim.

Jack, with all due respect to the goodness that may remain in the some of the souls of CSDU members, I'm not with you on Ted Dallas. Was it not he who came out to the House of Delegates meeting and proclaimed the last contract the "best one we've ever seen?" And now with these court documents showing he colluded with management to discipline union members? I'm sorry, but I'm just not buying...

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