THE HOME STRETCH: CORE speaks to Steinmetz on May 18

Jesse Sharkey, CORE candidate for vice president, and Howard Heath, former CTU vice president, now on the CORE slate as a delegate to the AFT, spoke to a handful of high school teachers at Steinmetz Academic Centre, 3030 N. Mobile, after school on Tuesday.

Sharkey said CORE would create a “fighting union.” He laid out CORE’s plan to rebuild power in the CTU:

• Create a step-by-step plan

• Continue to work with other groups in the community

• Mobilize against budget cuts and other scare tactics by the Board of Education

• Win back public perception of the CTU

• Develop a legal and political strategy

• Improve internal communications

• Do a better job training school delegates and all union members on contract enforcement

“There is nothing automatic about understanding unions,” Sharkey said. He explained that the CTU has to do a better job explaining unionism to members.

Sharkey spoke of the Board’s denigration of the craft of teaching through turnarounds and school closings. Teachers in the meeting voiced concerns about lay-offs, class size issues, threats to raises and health-care changes in the contract coming in November.

CORE representatives have visited over 100 schools and distributed literature to over 500 schools, Sharkey said.

Former Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Howard Heath (above left) and CORE vice presidential candidate Jesse Sharkey at Steinmetz High School on May 18, 2010. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.Steinmetz is one of the city's remaining general high schools, and faces many issues pertaining to the union election and contract. The school, which has long been a strong union school, has more than 150 union members eligible to vote in the May 21, 2010 CTU election. 


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