UPC plays hardball to the end of vote count… Members don’t get school-by-school election results because of partisan vote on 'canvassing committee'

By the final hours of the vote count at the American Arbitration Association (225 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago), there was no doubt about who was winning the June 11 Chicago Teachers Union runoff election. The only questions remaining were (a) the final vote counts for all contested spots and (b) how the complete report of the voting was going to be distributed to the 30,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union.

First Page of the AAA final report on the 2010 CTU runoff election. Instead of allowing all of the canvassers and observers to leave the AAA offices with complete digital records, the UPC voted to promise that the data would be published at (the Chicago Teachers Union's website). By June 13, everyone could see that the CTU website version did not give readers any information they were seeking.Despite what was needed, the members of the United Progressive Caucus (Marilyn Stewart's faction in the CTU) to the very end of the night refused to allow the information to get out to the union's members in a useful form.

Here is what happened during the final hours at the vote count at AAA. That last roll call vote of the canvassing committee is very very important. Based on the claim that the observers and canvassers were not entitled to take home a full copy of the results in spreadsheet form, the UPC members of the canvassing committee (along with two of their "at large" allies) brought about a tie vote. Supposedly, the union website ( was going to have all the school-by-school results up by the following morning. As everyone who followed the posting of the results of the May 21, 2010, voting knows, the CTU website was still not complete with the May 21 votes as of June 12. The PSRP totals have never been posted, school by school.

Ignoring that bit of negligence (or incompetence), the UPC voters on the canvassing committee in effect refused to allow any other groups within CTU to have the data, which were in the possession of AAA by that time. The results were clear to anyone who tired to read the data from the CTU website after it was supposedly published in full a few hours after the factional vote on the canvassing committee.

Results of the election for citywide officers and other positions from the June 11, 2010 CTU runoff election showed that all 13 CORE candidates defeated their UPC opponents decisively. By about 2:30 in the morning, officials at AAA had completed the count and the compilations. A total of 20,865 documents had been scanned, meaning that nearly 21, 000 voters (out of a possible 27,000) had voted. Basically, the UPC's last gasp was to deny everyone the school-by-school reports in digital form because they were going to be posted "on the CTU website", blah blah blah. Had we gotten it, I would already have given it to Howard for working, plus put everything up on the Substance site, while others brought it to CORE's web people.

The reason we didn't get those data when we walked about Saturday morbing was that AAA still had to follow official CTU orders. So it came to a vote of the canvassing committee some time after 2:00 a.m.They "won" a tie vote (which we then got a roll call on) by having brought in a ringer (a guy named Nathan Gardner, who showed up about 9:00 p.m. after being called by Mark Ochoa) and excluded three of our legitimate canvassers (they crossed off "canvasser" and wrote in "observer" for Toni Barnes, Tony Abboreno, and Pam Touras at the last minute; there was only so much screaming we could go before we just moved on and went on to other fun).

[1737]During the showdown, Karen Kreinik, who was supposed to keep her mouth shut just like Toni, Tony, Pam and I blurted out: "You can sue when you guys are in charge..." They they railroaded through their vote. The vote for transparency was as follows:

Pyster: Yes

Karen: Abstain

Gardner: No

Ellen: Yes

David: Yes

Wilfredo: Yes

Denise: Yes

Peter (Ardito): No

James (Reilly): No

Paulette: No

Tanya Sanders-Wolfe: No

[1738]Sanders Wolfe should not have been voting, but our canvassers let her get away with it on an earlier vote by failing to argue for Roberts Rules as opposed to UPC "precedent", so she simply voted on the final motion. Had she been forced not to vote as chair, we would have won, five to four, and you'd have the school by school results in a coherent form now. (Gardner was the last-minute ringer they called in; he was on the official list, but nobody had seen him until six hours before the count was over. He showed up telling the AAA receptionist he'd gotten a call from Mark Ochoa — Bob and I were sitting there when he walked in — and then tried to hang out with everybody until it came time to do his duty to Ochoa. Officially he was an "At Large" canvasser.)

Now the reader could see how that promise was as honest as they one they made May 24 when they said the same thing. As of June 16, readers still didn't have the complete school-by-school in the PSRPs, although UPC sweats they "won" four PSRP executive board seats on May 21.

The information was shared as part of my report. shortly after the voting.

Thanks for the hard work of the observers, the canvassers, and to the lawyers — and the Manny's planning meeting the night before,—we were in a much better position than following the May 21 vote. Even though we "lost" the final vote, everybody went out into the night at about three a.m. happy with a job well done. The victory overcame having to spend the night breathing the toxic air of UPC. (They were not pleasant, and didn't even pretend to be as the night wore on).

The prescience of the attempt to get the final results prior to leaving AAA on June 12 was quickly verified, when the official results were supposedly published on the CTU website and came up a mess. As late at June 16, nobody could get the complete results from the CTU website, either for the May 21 voting or for the June 11, 2010 runoff. The UPC had obstructed democracy, accountability and transparency to the bitter end. 


June 14, 2010 at 11:16 PM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Thank You George

I learn a lot from you.

June 14, 2010 at 11:41 PM

By: kugler

Field Staff Violated Work Agreement

These three people are paid CTU field staff and their contracts expressly forbid any political activity. on top of it wolffe is probationary(just hired poltical hack with no grievance work experience at all).

just imagine these people are suppose to protect our rights yet they violate their own contracts and are involved in partisan politics.

they should be terminated for cause ASAP.

Peter (Ardito): No

James (Reilly): No

Tanya Sanders-Wolfe: No

June 16, 2010 at 5:38 AM

By: Reality Education


Welcome back.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

2 + 1 =