CTU Court Victory in Jeopardy

It was hailed as a victory to all the tenured teachers who lost their jobs this past summer due to alleged budgetary reasons when a district court judge ruled earlier this month that the Board of Education must “rescind those discharges” and sit down with the Chicago Teachers Union to negotiate a set of recall rules.

However, the current CTU contract with the board does not allow for recall which would allow the tenured teachers who were unfairly dismissed to be automatically returned to their classrooms.

Instead, the union wanted to make sure the Board follows the correct procedure, with the laid off teachers being allowed to at least be put into a teacher reserve pool in which they would continue to receive their regular salary for 10 months while looking for another job. If the displaced teacher cannot find a job after 10 months, he or she would be terminated.

But CPS struck back in the legal struggle when the court this week paused the 30-day timeline because of CPS’s appeal of the court decision. The Judge in the CTU case, David H. Core, gave CPS its request.

“This court order does not impact the court’s decision that the Board has violated the constitutional rights of illegally fired teachers,” said CTU lawyer Tom Geoghegan of Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan, according to the CTU website.

“The board should work with the Chicago Teachers Union to reinstate qualified laid off teachers, nearly all of whom have excellent or superior evaluations,” said CTU President Karen Lewis on the website. “Instead, the board continues to ignore students, teachers and apparently U.S. legislators by refusing to return all illegally fired teachers by using all of the Education Jobs Act Funds given it for that very purpose.”

While the corporate media continue to applaud schools chief Ron Huberman’s decision to bypass the CTU contract and lay off “unsatisfactory” rated teachers, the vast majority of the teachers laid off were excellent, superior — or even national board certified — meaning they are among the best in the country.

CPS seems determined to win their case in the courts, and Huberman has stated that the union did not ask for any of the teachers to be reinstated, but rather to be given due process, a process he believes the city is correctly following.

According to a union official who asked to remain anonymous, CPS seems to want to only follow its policies, while ignoring the Illinois School Code governed under state law, as well as federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

The current union leadership is represented by CORE, which won the recent CTU elections against the incumbent UPC. The June 11 runoff victory came after Debbie Lynch and her caucus (PACT) won a restraining order in March that allowed CORE, PACT and all other teacher caucuses who ran in the recent election to campaign in the schools to campaign in the schools. The court's March order, issued by Judge Amy St. Eve, reversed Huberman’s memo that stated no campaigning in the schools was allowed.

While court victories come and go, those with the money and power can still bypass the judicial system when a ruling is not in their favor.

In one case, a little economics professor who invented the game Anti-Monopoly was allowed to continue to produce his game after a lengthy court battle against General Mills, which owned the Monopoly trademark. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled he had no trademark violation since the name is generic, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

So what did the giant corporation do next? It went to the US Congress and had them pass the Anti-Monopoly amendment, which gave it back its trademark. 


October 25, 2010 at 11:12 PM

By: Ron looses again! He MUST resign now!

Cost taxpayers more money

October 26, 2010 at 3:13 AM

By: Honesty

Be Real

Many educators and principals are enduring unfair labor practices. I believe the Board of Education members are abusing their powers because they know they have president Obama and powerful education leaders that are pushing for the Race To The Top and charters as a way to fix the education system. In addition, they have the powerful news channels on their side. Thus, the Board members believe they could do anything they want even if it is violating contracts and laws. Just because there is an economic crisis people should not be able to violate contracts and laws. If I would violate contracts I have with my bank and violate the laws of this country, I would have severe consequences. This should apply to the rich and powerful as it applies to the weak, poor, and less powerful.

I do understand that ineffective teachers need assistance to better their practices and a small number may even need to be removed, but The Board should not use the "Bad Teacher" philosophy to just get rid of all teachers because they want to save money or because these teachers were disliked by higher ups for a number of insignificant reasons. This year most of the teachers that were removed were satisfactory, excellent, and superior teachers. In addition, they were replaced by inexperience,under certified, unprepared teachers. I have a special education child, and I want her to be taught by a highly qualified teachers who are certified fully in special education. I don't want my child educated by a teachers who have short term special education certificates or type 12 who are learning on the job or who are substitutes. I don't care how young or enthusiastic they are they should be fully certified and experienced teachers, especially working with special needs students. I want the best for my children, but the board don't seem to agree.

They seem to want less qualified, inexperienced teachers because they are enthusiastic and cheaper. After all the movement is out to make the general public think it's the " Bad Teachers" and unions fault for all the problems in education. This is the rational to violate laws and contracts. The only problem is that the general public is not going to be fooled by such rubbish. From my knowledge this country is a democracy govern by the people not a dictatorship. Often some of the weak and average citizens win against the powerful people such as the board members because they are persistent,right, and they have God on their side. At that end good always prevails evil even though the fight seem impossible and difficult at times. "We will overcome."

October 26, 2010 at 3:33 AM

By: All Board Members Should Be Replaced

Reform the Board of Education

There are many ways to balance the budget in CPS. First of all, I would have only five lawyers working for CPS. Area officers would be eliminated because there would be only qualified teachers and principals, so there would be no need for Area officers. The rest of the departments would be managed by proven educators. CEOs and higher ups would not be allowed to make more than $100,000 a year.

Finally, experts in managing money not stealing money would be hired. These would be good starting actions, in my opinion.

October 27, 2010 at 7:44 PM

By: What we teach our children

Tell the Truth

I am currently reading a book called Positive discusses how teachers should teach their students about honesty, helping and learning from everyone in the classroom and in their school. As I read it, it occurs to me that the staff in several schools don't treat each other this way. I not only got displaced last June I also was given an unsatisfactory rating lowered from EXCELLENT in all of my previous evaluations. I have no cautionary notices, disciplinary actions or suspensions on my record. This was done to me by a principal who got fired from his previous school by the LSC. He obviously is very well connected and while myself and several others at this school informed the board and the union of all of his "doings" no one could help us,not the board, or Marilyn Stewart or our field rep. When this principal inherited all of us, there were 16 teachers there in 2008, of that 16 only 2 remain. He managed to get rid of most of us one way or another. It is not possible that 14 teachers could all be "bad teachers" at exactly the same time! You can either give someone an unsatisfactory or displace them, but you can't do both. This is breaking the contract, but no one seems to be able to do anything about it. The teachers at this school who experienced the same or worse treatment that I did are just the unfortunates of a dishonest, illegal and corrupt system, as well as the other 100's of teachers experiencing the same treatment from their own power hungry, highly connect to Huberman or Daley, ego-manic principals.

My point is, breaking the law is common practice for the board and the former people who ran the Union. It's not what you do or how hard you work, it's who you know PERIOD!!

My hope is that when the next contract comes up for negotiation the teachers take back their voice. Between the board and your administration at your school and the LSC's believing all the lies some principals tell them, where is our voice? If a principal can evaluate me, why can't I evaluate him? We need to have as much power in the process as everyone else.

Because one person didn't like me and several of my colleagues, I can't even get a job. I am sure there is something downtown telling potential principals not to hire me because after several GREAT interviews I continue to not have jobs offered to me.

Thank goodness for the new people running our union, hopefully they can and WILL help all of us.

October 28, 2010 at 10:30 PM

By: ask for reinstatement

board appeal

ok, the union should have insisted that the laid off teachers be made whole. Return to the positions they were laid off from, restore seniority, benefits, back pay, and any COBRA payments. Since the board is appealing I for one, hope the union reconsiders their compromise and demand that the teachers be made whole. Isn't that what recind means? When Franzeck suggested that the teachers with lay off notices for September would have them (the notices) "recinded" he said,"It's like it never happened, the lay offs have not been acted on yet." Ergo-recinding the lay offs should mean restored to previous status.

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