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CTU endorses primary candidates after exhausting reviews and some heated debates.... Union also highlights new legislation that will help public schools of Chicago

The Chicago Teachers Union voted overwhelmingly on February 1, 2012 at its monthly House of Delegates meeting to endorse 52 candidates for local and state office in the upcoming elections. The endorsement came after extensive reviews of the candidates by the union's Political Action and Legislative committees, and equally extensive discussion and debate by the members of the union's 700-member House of Delegates. (Full disclosure: this reporter is a delegate who was present at the meeting and who spoke in favor of some of the recommendations, including the recommendation to endorse Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan despite reservations expressed by some delegates).

Above, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (right, at podium) announces the award to State Senator Esther Golar (left) while CTU Political Action chief Stacey Davis-Gates looks on. The above photo was taken during the October 28, 2011, CTU LEAD (Legislators Educators Appreciation Dinner) dinner at the Plumbers Union hall in Chicago. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.The union also took notice of legislation now moving through the Illinois General Assembly that will impact Chicago. In a separate press release about legislation on February 2, the union reported as follows:

CTU applauds pro-teacher legislation; calls lawmakers ‘courageous’ for stance on school closings, class size, and fiscal responsibility

CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) applauds state lawmakers who, this week, introduced critical pieces of legislation that will benefit thousands of educators, students and taxpayers if turned into law. The proposals could put a halt to the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) plan to shut down, consolidate or turnaround several neighborhood schools; increase fiscal accountability within the district; and, would significantly reduce swelling class sizes in many elementary and high school classrooms.

“The 30,000 CTU members commend the work of Illinois Representatives Cynthia Soto (4th ), Marlow Colvin (IL-33rd) and Luis Arroyo (IL-3rd) for joining the fight for education justice in our Chicago,” said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “All of our students deserve access to high-quality neighborhood schools that offer them a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum. These courageous lawmakers are standing up for the families and communities of more than 400,000 public school students in our district.

“These bills come at a time when teachers, paraprofessionals and school leaders are under tremendous assault by anti-public education and anti-labor forces that have used the law and media to attack our profession, our pensions and our schools,” Lewis said. “We implore the General Assembly to do what is in the best interest of Illinois taxpayers and act judiciously to ensure these bills become law and the moratorium on school actions is enforced.”

TEACHERS AND SPRINGFIELD

Above, Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez (right) thanks the CTU crowd for the award she and State Rep. Cynthia Soto received at the October 28, 2011, LEAD dinner while CTU President Karen Lewis looks on. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.CTU Political Director Stacy Davis-Gates explained that the Union’s efforts in Springfield are designed to illustrate through policy our commitment to sound, research-based educational practices that impact students and educators. “Too many times policy is created without the benefit of the practical classroom knowledge of teachers and those who work in our schools,” she said. “Our policy, this session, will emphasize the small “r” reforms that often go unheralded but have sound success in promoting student achievement. These initiatives will go a long way in narrowing the achievement gap, boosting the graduation rate, and keeping the District accountable to taxpayers. These are reforms that work.”

Teachers across the nation have increasingly become more active as the coordinated national assault on their unions, benefits, and profession escalate. In Chicago, more than 400 CTU delegates voted to support a slate of “pro teacher/pro public education candidates” seeking office in Illinois’ upcoming primary election. Thousands vowed to increase their lobbying efforts in order to educate lawmakers about their fight for education justice.

“This year could bring one of the greatest assaults on teacher unions in recent times with Chicago serving as the testing ground,” said Lewis. “We’ve already seen aggressive moves from the Board of Education and the Emanuel administration on our collective bargaining rights and our benefits. A teacher’s pension or 4 percent cost of living increase is not the reason why a school is under resourced or doesn’t have a library or air conditioning. When the district will not reason, we need laws that protect students from more of their harmful, failed policies that have stymied public education in Chicago for years.”

BILL SUMMARIES

Stop CPS School Actions -HB4487 (Rep. Soto): Amends the Chicago School District Article of the Illinois School Code. Provides that there shall be a moratorium on school closings, consolidations, and phase-outs in the school district in the 2012-2013 school year. Provides that any of these actions that are subsequently appropriate must be carried out no sooner than the end of the 2013-2014 school year, subject to any new set of requirements adopted by the General Assembly.

During this moratorium period, the bill requires the district to establish polices that address and remedy the academic performance of schools in which Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) scores reflect students performing at or below 75%. Requires these policies to establish clear criteria, or processes for establishing criteria, for making school facility decisions and include clear criteria for setting priorities with respect to school openings, school closings, school consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions, including the encouragement of multiple community uses for school space. Effective immediately.

Smaller Class Sizes - HB4455 (Rep. Colvin): Amends the Chicago School District Article of the Illinois School Code. Provides that each year, on or before the September fall enrollment count, (1) the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher who is teaching courses in public school classrooms for prekindergarten through grade 3 may not exceed 18 students; (2) the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher who is teaching courses in public school classrooms for grades 4 through 8 may not exceed 22 students; and the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher who is teaching courses in public school classrooms for grades 9 through 12 may not exceed 25 students, which maximums must be maintained after the September fall enrollment count. Sets forth exceptions. Requires the State Board of Education to annually calculate class size measures based upon the September fall enrollment count.

Greater CPS Accountability -HB3871 (Rep. Arroyo): Amends the Illinois School Code. Provides that any school district receiving a block grant under the provision concerning block grant funding for districts with more than 500,000 inhabitants shall be required to testify every year before the General Assembly regarding their overall annual budget and their budget request to the General Assembly for the following fiscal year. Provides that the testimony shall include plans to build or repair schools and to close or consolidate schools.

The union's press release, issued following the vote, follows: CTU ENDORSES  FIFTY-­‐TWO  CANDIDATES  IN  

   

CHICAGO  ␣  Fifty-­‐two  candidates  who  pledged  to  work  with  teachers,  parents  and  school  leaders  to  provide  students  with  the   high-­‐quality  education  they  deserve  have  been  endorsed  by  the  Chicago  Teachers  Union  (CTU) The union's endorsement  was   made  official  Wednesday  following  an  overwhelming  vote  of  its  House  of  Delegates.  

"We need strong legislators who support our vision for public education, those that will work with teachers, paraprofessionals, parents and community members to make sure every neighborhood school offers our children the education they deserve," said  CTU  President  Karen  GJ  Lewis.

 

Added Stacey Davis Gates, CTU's political director: "Our  delegates  carefully  considered  the  options  and  made  each   endorsement  in  a  democratic  way.    This  primary  season  we  reduced  the  number  of  races  we  would  focus  on  to  ensure  we   would  be  able  to  provide  our  endorsed  candidates  with  targeted  assistance  and  resources.    We  want  our  endorsed  candidates   to  fully  benefit  from  our  30,000  members' support.

Candidates endorse for the Illinois  Senate in the upcoming primary:  

Part of the crowd at the October 28, 2011 LEAD dinner during the keynote speech by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (on stage at podium) Union organizers are planning to double the crowd's size for the October 2012 LEAD dinner and are becoming worried about whether the present venue (the Plumbers Union Hall) will be able to hold the crowd as the union's political strength increase again in Illinois. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.1. Antonio  Munoz  (D)   2. William  Delgado  (D)   3. Mattie  Hunter  (D)   4. Kimberly  Lightford  (D)   5. Annazette  Collins  (D)   6. John  Cullerton  (D)   8 Ira  Silverstein  (D)  

9.    Daniel  Biss  (D)   10.    John  Mulroe  (D)   11.    Martin  Sandoval  (D)   12.    Steve  Landek  (D)   13.    Kwame  Raoul  (D)   15.    Napoleon  Harris  (D)   16.    Jacqueline  Collins  (D) 17.    Donne  Trotter  (D)   18.    Bill  Cunningham  (D)   20.    Iris  Martinez  (D)   28.    Dan  Kotowski  (D)   39.    Don  Harmon  (D)

Primary  Election  Endorsements Illinois  House  of   Representatives: 

   

1. Daniel  Burke  (D)   3.        Luis  Arroyo  (D)   4.        Cynthia  Soto  (D)   5.        Kenneth  Dunkin  (D)   6.        Esther  Golar  (D)   8.        LaShawn  Ford  (D)   9.        Arthur  Turner  (D)   10.    Derrick  Smith  (D)   11.    Ann  Williams  (D)   12.    Sara  Feigenholtz  (D)   13.    Gregory  Harris  (D)  16.    Lou  Lang  (D)   17.    Laura  Fine  (D)   18.    Robyn  Gabel  (D)   19.    Robert  Martwick  (D)   21.    Rudy  Lozano  (D)   22.    Michael  Madigan  (D)   24.    Lisa  Hernandez  (D)   25.    Barbara  Currie  (D)   26.    Kenny  Johnson  (D)   27.    Monique  Davis  (D)   29.    Thaddeus  Jones  (D)   30.    Will  Davis  (D)   31.    Mary  Flowers  (D)   33.    Marlow  Colvin  (D)   34.    Elgie  Sims  (D)   35.    Frances  Ann  Hurley  (D)   38.    Al  Riley  (D)   39.    Will  Guzzardi  (D)   78.    Camille  Lilly  (D)  

Judicial   1st  Supreme  (Fitzgerald)  Joy  Virginia  Cunningham  (D)   Cook  County  Circuit  Court Deidre  Baumann  



Comments:

February 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM

By: Bob Busch

This endorsement list is crazy

Criteria. Well the House has spoken we endorsed our candidates for the Illinois General Assembly. Surprise surprise all of them are Democrats. The courage we showed in endorsing our friends and punishing our enemies showed the world our complete lack of backbone. Every incumbent we endorsed for both chambers voted YES for SB7 except Silverstein and Collins who didn’t bother to vote at all. We sent a real message to those folks, and the public.

I haven’t quite figured out just what the message is except in the case of Mister Speaker.

Perhaps nobody saw the video about how the legislative Branch of our State government works but just Google Jonah Edelman for a refresher course in Political Science 101 Illinois style. Rather than supporting the same people who are bent on destroying the CTU why not endorse some new blood like we did when Obama ran for the US Senate that has worked out well for us .

It would be nice to read what the criterion was to get our endorsement but we never will. Just vote to reform our pension, destroy our bargaining position, and take away our rights and get a lollypop.

February 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

By: Sarah Loftus

Full Disclosure

I am back in the House as a retiree delegate and a bit rusty; it will probably take a few meetings to get my timing back. That said, the HOD voted overwhelmingly to accept the Pac/Leg endorsements after a proper debate. President Lewis had moved on to the next item on the Agenda when Howard Heath moved to endorse Madigan, the motion was out of order, as it should have been made during the debate on the endorsements.

The President did not call it out of order, nor did the parliamentarian but they should have.

Arguments in favor of endorsing Madigan went from the ridiculous ' if we don't endorse him then Tom Cross will become Speaker' - really - to the more ridiculous as if Madigan has any chance of NOT being reelected. I tried to get to a microphone but George moved to close debate. since no one had spoken against it yet, Ray Wohl was given the opportunity and spoke well as to why Madigan doesn't need out endorsement and that we shouldn't endorse someone with such a destructive record against us; then debate was closed and the House voted to endorse him. Which is what the leadership wanted.

There are a few things really bother me about all of this.

One, that paid staffers are manipulating the meeting, something Substance had consistently criticized during UPC regimes. Paid staffers, delegates or not, who constantly call the question to keep discussion to a minimum, pack the mics, move to adjourn are serving the leadership but not necessarily the membership.

Second, Substance supports endorsing Mike Madigan? since when? How many times over the years have we discussed this; likened this to battered women's syndrome? Madigan must be laughing all the way to Springfield, he probably wouldn't have even noticed if the HOD's legal endorsements didn't include him.

Third, it seems lately when someone disagrees with a Substance article, they are viciously attacked. I know this is not a blog, but to lash out at readers with such venom may result Substance being as stilted as the 'mainstream media' you regularly criticize.

And finally, why does the leadership want to have a ‘school leader’ workshop without having a delegate workshop first? And why were they so nasty to the delegate who moved for a delegate workshop? Wouldn’t it be best if we were all trained before inviting others?

Just sayin.

February 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

By: Jim Vail

Madigan Endorsement?

First - I am a member of the PAC committee and on the executive board (full disclosure for which I have been attacked in the past by those in the CTU leadership when penning past Substance articles). The Madigan endorsement never came up at the Executive Board, and it would have had a very hard time passing, or at least a lively debate would have taken place, before going to a vote.

Endorsing Sen. Cullerton is troubling, in that he has helped attack our pensions, when the Board asked for a one year pension holiday, this "defender" of teacher pensions gave 3! What did the Board of Ed do with our holiday pension money? - they gave it to the new schools dept. to further privatize our jobs! They're only too willing to please their masters, those with the big bucks.

Now Madigan. I was not at the HOD to represent my school. And quite frankly, I am shocked George Schmidt of all people would promote this sick endorsement since Substance has reported all the horrible things Madigan has done to us. Even Core proposed putting a rat in front of his office, cause he's a union buster .... who gets the CTU endorsement??

Let us ask the CTU leadership this question - how serious is it to fight school closings if they then endorse someone who has teamed up with Mayor Daley to kill the moratorium on school closings last year?

It's simply dishonest and very troubling when the country is looking for resistance in Chicago, for this new "reform" leadership to suddenly go the usual sell-out way of AFT and other pathetic corporate unions and endorse the very politicians destroying its members way of life.

Oh yes, if we don't endorse him, it'll be worse. That was the same crap logic to elect Obama. Does anyone in this country outside the 1% feel better with Mr. Obama and the democrats running things? One of the funny things was AFT prez whats her face stating Obama wants to tax the rich. He does? Like hell he does, with his party in control, the country falling apart, total population behind him on this populist measure, he didn't do. It's called lip service - political deception 101. He knows who is masters are, so does Madigan, Cullerton and their ilk.

Ok, great we endorse Madigan. The one who is working to destroy our pensions this very minute. The one who helped Stand for Children get a foot in the door of Illinois - to destroy our union.

Boy oh Boy! Isn't that great. Why don't we go further and endorse Mr. Emanuel and his assault on us. Because, according to those who spoke in favor of Madigan, it could be so worse with a Bernie Epton look-a-like, God forbide Repub. who would issue vouchers.

EEEEeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 8, 2012 at 10:51 PM

By: Danny Van Over

Madigan Unites Us

Mike Madigan really is a uniter, not a divider. You should have seen the way the UPC stalwarts and CORE leadership united in securing a union endorsement for him last week.

Personally I’ve never contributed to the PAC fund, nor has any union endorsement ever mattered to me when I cast my ballot. Because of that I neither participate nor vote when the HOD discusses its political endorsements. In fact, at the February meeting, I sat marking papers during that part of the meeting—fortuitously finishing up about the time the vote on the slate was taken.

Then Howard Heath made his motion for a Madigan endorsement and, to my horror—because I had no more papers to mark and thinking how silly it would look for a man my age to hold his hands over his ears—I was forced to listen to the newfound harmony between UPC and CORE. And what a sordid cacophony it was. Stunned, I listened to people who had derided Mike Madigan for years for being a false-friend to us and our interests now say that we must face political reality and pay tribute to our vanquishing conqueror and overlord—or even worse things might happen to us.

And the majority went along with that line of thinking. Simply stunning. And much thanks to Bob, Sarah, and Jim for saying so.

Let me also pursue a touchy little subject that Sarah brought up. Although I tend to disagree with him on many issues, I’ve always admired George’s courage, frankness, and dedication to free speech. A font of encyclopedic knowledge on the history of labor and the schools, he is an institution unto himself.

And yet I find it more than a little annoying that he very often “calls the question” on motions even when there hasn’t even been a speaker for both sides. It is very UNdemocratic. George Schmidt has become the new Gail Koffman.

February 9, 2012 at 8:35 AM

By: Anton Antoszek

HOD Endorsement

It is bad enough that the HOD votes to endorse union-busting, pension destroying piles of bile like madigan, trotter or any of SB7 yea voters or architects.

But to enrage members who think for themselves and spurn all appeals to work with these scum is the perfect example of live my way or die.

Why don't you ask trotter about using the term "White Boy" within earshot of me outside 160 N LaSalle on January 10, 2012?

This occured after the commerce commission approved an odious and undeserved rate increase for peoples gasbags. He was taking to a gentleman named Winbush.

If he would have said that to my face, we would have had some business to discuss.

So now, not only do we have a house slave, among many, for charters, busting teacher unions, and destroying defined benefit pensions in the senate, But a cowardly bigot as well.

Would he have called daley a "White Boy" within earshot if he disagreed with the policies of that house slave for the 1%?

I don't think so. This is the truth and any who to challenge me on this or call me a liar, Bring it on. Better yet, why not call out the previous or current president for their well documented prevarications, tergiversations or outright lies?

Why not call out emanulie and denounce him for the 1% toadyism that comes as naturally to him as breathing?

Because he is punk who hides behind bought off security personnel to punish the people who oppose and expose bullies, liars, and thieves.

February 10, 2012 at 12:39 AM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Madigan Endorsement Underhanded

Regrettably I was unable to make that H.o.D. Howard's motion is underhanded. It was never discussed within the caucus and as Vail says, did not come before the E-Board.

Clarification on SB 7. One cannot really hold it against a legislator for voting "Yes" on SB 7 as it was a "negotiated bill". There was no debate on the floor after the back room deal was negotiated w/Senator Lightford. Let the record stand, however, that The Executive Board, and then the House of Delegates passed a motion that CTU withdraw from these secret negotiations once we learned about them. SB 7 was completely undemocratic and could have been avoided. The membership was kept in the dark.

I, too, have noticed that George has become infamous for racing to mics to call questions w/o proper discussion.

February 10, 2012 at 6:49 AM

By: Rodestvan

Endorsing the Speaker Understandable

It is completely understandable why the CTU House moved to endorse Speaker Madigan. The general analysis among lobbyists for both the IFT and IEA in Springfield is that SB7 passed because the unions had stopped giving PAC money to the Speaker following the changes made in a pension bill one year earlier and he got back at them to send a message. (I am a registered lobbyist, and I am in Springfield regularly so I am not making this up.)

This is a flawed analysis; SB7 was passed not so much in retribution for a failure to pay up, but as a cost control measure for school districts, particularly CPS. Stand for Children simply provided a mechanism via SB7 for cost control to the Democratic Party leadership.

As we shall see this session and in sessions to come, the General Assembly will pass on to local school districts, not just CPS by the way, more and more additional costs. This is being done because there is a deep fiscal crisis in Illinois that is very real. While pension costs and Medicaid payments are focused on in the media, the real elephant in the room is our state’s flat income tax and the provision that retirement income — even for the wealthiest residents of Illinois — is not taxed. There are also issues relating to state level corporate taxes that are also built into our state’s constitution. Given this context the passing on to local school districts of additional costs would inevitably result in higher property taxes, unless costs for school districts can be reduced. The greatest costs for school districts are employees and SB7 especially in Chicago will allow for the forcing of concessions.

Illinois as a state is under economic pressure from neighboring states, which are directly attempting to steal businesses by touting lower corporate and income taxes. Because the Speaker is a pragmatic Democrat regardless of PAC funds given to him and others in the Democratic Party in their majority they will be forced to turn against the interests of public sector unions because of the overall dynamics of the situation.

The problem is not the Speaker personally or Senator Trotter, it is the Democratic Party itself. But as I have stated before on the Substance site, having organized labor move to break its reliance on the Democratic Party is not a simple thing to do. But those that think having unions only endorse good Democrats will fix the problem are only deluding themselves.

Rod Estvan

February 10, 2012 at 7:45 AM

By: Bob Busch

Reality check about political action.

We Lost It years Ago

I am retired and not sure if I am even a union member anymore. But the longer I am away from the classroom the wiser I get. Not sure why but stepping back some things are becoming very clear to me:

For almost 40 years, save five, our union has been a company union. Every strike we called were for crumbs off the masters' plate. We never went on strike for anything, it always a gut reaction to alleged outrages committed on a system-wide level. Never was a job action called at one location for local conditions.

Supporting hostile politicians with PAC funds and human capitol has been a CTU trademark over the years — that is if they were Democrats while vivifying Republicans. That blunder has led to our being dependent on one party which has repaid our good efforts with SB7 pension deform and Mayor Rham. We have no Republican friends. anywhere.

Worst of all is the feeling of helplessness which our union has fostered within the rank and file. If the reports of the last House meeting are accurate, little has changed since the days of Bob Healey when I was a delegate.

February 12, 2012 at 2:25 AM

By: Jim Vail

Madigan Endorsement

First, I would like to clarify that I was in the "heat of the moment" when I raced to the computer screen to voice my dissent on endorsing Michael Madigan.

I, perhaps, was a bit hard on the leadership who is under incredible pressure from the ruling class to make huge concessions. Basically, what happened to the auto workers not too long ago (Rahm "Fuck the UAW"), with Rahm coming here to give it to the teachers union.

We are a dying breed, and either we all - our leadership and the union members with the support of the public, fight the fight of our lives, or it continues to slide downhill to oblivion.

With that said, I cannot get a clear picture on why Madigan was endorsed, which is troubling in itself. Again, we're back to backroom deals which have only resulted in the demise of the unions in this country.

Some say, and I would say it's a bit delusional, that Madigan is an enemy of Rahm, so we can play them off. Really? They both get their bread buttered by the same people.

I find Rod's analysis suspect in the beginning, writing in his first line it is completely "understandable" to endorse Madigan (I guess being an inside lobbyist guides his analysis) and then refutes it in the second paragraph.

The fact that states are luring away businesses by offering lower taxes shows how bankrupt our country is where our govern. is doing the bidding of corporations who do not want unions, period. I mean, even this goofy Obamacare mandates that the government cannot, I repeat, CANNOT negotiate lower drug prices! How's that for subservience 101 to the 1%!

And Rod, please don't take the corporate media consensus that labor costs and pension costs are too big - labor costs in relation to the CPS budget have actually decreased, while pensions can be fully funded if the focus wasn't on corporate control and privatization.

When you endorse Madigan, you endorse this. When do we get off this sliding scale into oblivion.

Rod says since we don't have an alternative, our union is forced to go with these "puppets" (my word, not his).

Our focus should be on building a fighting union! Not making the same pathetic deals to keep "friends" in Springfield that demoralizes your members who are informed on who the Madigans represent!

Somebody explain to me what kind of friend Mr. Madigan could possibly be?

And I'm not advocating endorsing only "good democrats." I'm delusional thinking any endorsements are worth anything beyond helping getting these puppets in office who then pay back their money backers, perhaps throwing a crumb or two our way for putting people on the streets to pass out flyers.

February 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM

By: Rod Estvan

re: the Speaker and the Democratic Party

I think that Jim's comments were not in the least rash in relation to the endorsement of Speaker Madigan, I am sure Jim said what many others were also thinking, in particular the left wing of CORE. Public sector unions are trapped within a framework of laws that regulate their very existence as we have seen from Wisconsin. Where as of last week only 50% of all public sector workers have signed up on a voluntary basis to pay even reduced union dues according to a report on NPR.

The current strategy in Wisconsin is to vote out Walker and vote in a Democrat, but what if the Democrat that does get elected again allows dues check off yet puts in place a Wisconsin version of SB7 for teachers? Is that a victory? I am sure organized labor would say yes.

Clearly the Republicans do not want anything to do with public sector unions and even the IEA which historically endorsed a few Republicans for Governor can no longer do so because that party has moved so far to the right. Are there progressive Democrats, yes there are, but they are trapped inside a political party that is forcing austerity on national, state, and local levels. Clearly there needs to be a break with this party, but where to start?

I don't think you can start by running some type of independent labor party candidate against the Speaker, that is for sure. It has to start much lower than that maybe even at the level of local school councils, and very selected aldermanic races. This would be a very long process and take time to have any possibility of gaining momentum.

Right now the CTU lacks time, it is in a fight for its very survival. CTU's Political Director Stacy Davis-Gates is opening a political strategy to at least make the Speaker neutral on bills that the CTU would like to pass the General Assembly. But as you can see none of these bills introduced so far repeal the critical aspects of SB7, like limiting what can be bargained for in Chicago, or the vote to call a strike.

Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton will not allow at this time these critical aspects of SB7 to be addressed because ultimately they allow CPS to reduce their costs. Costs must be passed on to school districts because the current taxing system is set up to make tax increases very difficult because you can not just tax the rich, due to the flat income tax provisions of the state constitution. Do the 1% control this system, yes they do. Can a public sector union like the CTU take on the 1% and win right now? The answer is no.

We are seeing in Greece right now war in the streets with public sector and private sector unions, communists, and anarchists flinging fire bombs at riot police because about 1 out every 3 public sector workers in the nation will be laid off and the minimum wage for all workers will be cut by 20% if the Greek Government adopts bail out legislation. That is where we are headed for here, it won't happen over night, but it will happen.

Right now to use the word that bothered Jim, it is understandable why the union is endorsing Speaker Madigan. I don't think the major aspects of SB7 will be repealed no matter how much money is given to the Democrats.

The CTU will more than likely be thrown into contractual limbo with no agreement reachable and possibly no strike vote called because of real fear that it will fail given the SB7 rules. During the period of limbo CPS legally can enforce all of the work rule changes it wants on the union, but not cuts to wages and benefits. Very likely some type of deal will be cut after a while, and it won't be a good deal for the CTU. The future is not bright and I think Stacy Davis-Gates is promoting a strategy to create fewer enemies for the union which given the standard political paradigm is to be expected.

Rod Estvan

February 12, 2012 at 5:17 PM

By: Bob Busch

Two party system.

In 1995 I transferred from Simeon to Bogan.the Bogan principal did not like a teacher and i got the job.I retired last year with 41 years of service making a little over 80,000he person I replaced got a job in a suburban high school where after 28 years she makes 137,000.Yes those republican , suburban politicians hate teachers so much they make 50,000 more than the democratic city teachers. she is worth every penny she gets but how can anyone believe Republicans are our enemies? Have we ever reached out to the GOP? Perhaps if we did the democrats would not take us for granted.Are we really fused at the hip? During the Civil war my wife had an ancestor who was hung in Carolina on suspicion of being a Republican he was just strung up.It wasn\'t the Republications whocreated the most segregated school system in the country.If the democrats are our friends we don\'t need enemies.

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