Ward wins CTU retiree vice president election decisively by a two-to-one margin over Reilly

James Ward was elected Chicago Teachers Union Retiree Functional Vice President by a decisive margin in the runoff for the post against incumbent Mary Sharon Reilly. The final vote certified by the CTU Rules Elections Committee was 1,377 votes for Ward and 611 votes for Reilly. (Full disclosure: this reporter is a member of the Rules-Elections Committee and was part of the counting).

Ward was supported by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) in the runoff; Mary Sharon Reilly was supported by the United Progressive Caucus (UPC). Ward has a strong base among retired teachers because of his long work with the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago (RTAC) and the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF). Both Ward and Reilly are currently trustees of the CTPF, representing retired teachers. The fund has three retired teacher members, all of whom are up for re-election in October 2011. The third representative of retired teachers is former Principal Walter Pilditch.

The count was organized and supervised by Ellen Damitsch, chair of the committee, and Kristine Mayle, CTU financial secretary. The CTU retiree group, which is scattered across the USA, votes by mail ballot in these elections, so the count requires that two envelopes be opened, the outer envelope, in which the ballot is mailed, and an inner envelope marked SECRET BALLOT, which is separated from the outer envelope so that the confidentiality of the votes is maintained. In addition to this reporter, Damisch, and Mayle, other members of the committee who helped with the vote counting were David Gregg, Pam Touras, and Leandres White. Several members of the committee were absent. The count was completed by 9:00 p.m.

Observers for Reilly were Gail Koffman and Marge Lebrecht, both long time members of the UPC. Observing for Ward were Ward himself and Arthur Keegan, another retired teacher. The CTU retiree group currently has 3,300 members. All the observers left early, the two UPC observers leaving when it became clear that the votes for Ward were considerably greater than those for Reilly, but before the final count was completed.


February 23, 2011 at 7:28 AM


retiree election

Congratulations to Mr. Ward on his victory.Mr. Ward's victory is a good example of the endorsement or non endorsement policy. There was no need for Mr. ward to obtain the CTU endorsement. His background in retiree issues is so complete that his victory was obvious. For the CTU to endorse a loosing candidate would have been politically foolish. I'm hoping that Mr. Ward will improve the monthly agenda so retirees will not spend $10.00 parking to just get a muffin.

February 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM

By: Jay Rehak

Congrats to Jim Ward

Congratulations to Jim Ward. I have worked with Jim over the years on a number of issues and in a number of contexts. Currently, I work with him on the Chicago Teachers Pension Board. His wisdom and institutional memory is highly valued. As a member of the Executive Board of the CTU, I know he'll work for the good of the Union.

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:

5 + 3 =