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Chicago Teachers Union to hold House of Delegates meeting August 11 at Local 399 center

The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates will be meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2010, at the usual location, the center of Local 399 of the International Union of Operating Engineers on Grove St. in Chicago. The meeting, which has been announced to all CTU delegates, will begin at 4:00 p.m. The unusual summer meeting will come less than six weeks after Karen Lewis, a former King High School chemistry teacher, took office on July 1, 2010, at the union's headquarters in Chicago's Merchandise Mart.

Lewis's election victory in the hotly contested 2010 CTU elections (a May 21 vote in a five-way race, followed by a runoff on June 11) was greeted by the leaders of Chicago's public schools with an unprecedented attack on the city's public schools and unionized teachers. Attorneys for the Board of Education, who had been meeting in virtual secrecy with Lewis's predecessor, Marilyn Stewart, informed the CTU that the Board was implementing massive teacher layoffs. The new leadership of the union, which was brought into office by CORE (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators) responded by agreeing to meeting with CPS attorneys, but only as long as a rank-and-file team was present for all the meetings.

Two meetings (which union leaders were careful not to describe as "negotiations") were held, on July 23 and July 30, while CPS officials provided the CTU with thousands of pages of documents they claimed proved that CPS had to break the union's contractual protections for tenured teachers because of what CPS officials had claimed since January 2010 was an unprecedented budget "deficit."

During July and early August, in addition to representing the Chicago Teachers Union at the national convention of the American Federation of Teachers in Seattle, the new leaders of the CTU began establishing their presence in charge of the union, hosting numerous events (including a "Summit" for community organizations), and filing a major lawsuit in federal court.

The August 11 House of Delegates meeting's agenda is expected to be set to inform the delegates about what has taken place during the two months since the June 11 runoff victory of Lewis and her slate and the weeks before the regular school year opens. In addition to Karen Lewis, the other elected officers of the CTU are Jesse Sharkey (Vice President), Michael Brunson (Recording Secretary), and Kristine Mayle (Financial Secretary).

The last time the Chicago Teachers Union had a special meeting of the House of Delegates was in August 2007, during negotiations between Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus leadership and the Board of Education on what became the highly controversial five-year contract that is currently in effect. Stewart called a House of Delegates meeting in early August to warn the delegates it might be necessary to strike, then called a meeting for August 31, 2007, and orchestrated a quickie vote count in favor of the contract she had negotiated (ignoring the "No" votes in the House by refusing to count them before going to a media event at which she insisted the "Yes" votes had carried.

As soon as the 2007 - 2012 contract was approved, Stewart began limiting democracy in the union. She cancelled the October 2007 House of Delegates meetings, moved the House to a new location, and orchestrated several purges of the union leadership, including the termination of Vice President Ted Dallas and the elimination of the office of Treasurer (which had been occupied by Linda Porter).

The August 11, 2010, House of Delegates meeting will hear reports on the activities of the union leadership since July 1 and entertain proposals for action. 



Comments:

August 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM

By: Retired Principal

What's The Full Address?

George, what's the full address for the CTU meeting?

August 10, 2010 at 1:08 PM

By: Danny

Street address

2260 S. Grove St

August 10, 2010 at 2:56 PM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Should H.o.D. meetings start in August?

With a third of CPS schools now "Track E" will regular House of Delegates meeting now start in August?

Perhaps a representative of our new CTU can answer this, as it's really a question for them. Would it require a constitutional amendment?

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