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Wigler's latest distortions of reality... CPS spy against Chicago Teachers Union distributes email supporting Brizard's drive for a 'No' vote on strike authorization this week... Union faction shares views on authorization vote with Tribune editors

Marc Wigler — the former Chicago Teachers Union official (he worked at the CTU Quest Center during the presidency of Marilyn Stewart) who was expelled from the union after it was discovered that he had been spying for the bosses and reporting to them on union meetings via email — continued his work against the union in a Sunday, June 3, 2012, email to some CTU members urging them to vote "No" in this week's voting.

Marc Wigler, right, who was expelled from the Chicago Teachers Union for life after CTU officials discovered emails reporting on union meetings sent by Wigler to Rache Resnick, a CPS negotiator, was kicked out of the May 9, 2012, CTU House of Delegates meeting (above), after union officials told security (left above) that he was trespassing and not permitted to attend union meetings. Wigler was clutching his notebook across his chest to hide the words "United Progressive Caucus" on the front of the tee shirt he was wearing that afternoon. Substance photo by John Kugler. In a lengthy (28 lines) email to a distribution list of indeterminant length sent out at 9:38 p.m. from his email account (wigler@aol.com), the former union member stated:

"I am writing to you regarding the upcoming CTU Strike Authorization Vote (SAV).

"I am asking you to vote no for now and here's why:"

Wigler's email than rambles through a listing of talking points that are virtually identical to those being utilized this week by Jean-Claude Brizard and the CPS propaganda people, on the one hand, and the Astroturf groups supporting Brizard's position, on the other.

Ignoring the facts, including the narrow reality of the current "fact finding" activities, and distorting some of it (the independent person among the fact finders is not an "arbitrator" and this fact finding is not "arbitration") Wigler launches into various attacks on union president Karen Lewis and other distortions of what has been taking place for more than a year. Theology and heresies...

Marc Wigler a few minutes before he was escorted out of the May 9 CTU House of Delegates meeting, trying to sign in as a delegate, even though he knew he had been expelled from the union two weeks earlier for spying for the boss. The tee shirt Wigler was wearing at the time represented the "United Progressive Caucus", which has opposed most of the policies of current CTU president Karen Lewis and which was distributing a flyer outside the meeting at the time attacking the union leadership and union staff. Substance photo by John Kugler. One of the more delightful typographic errors (perhaps not) in Wigler's email comes in the following sentence:

"... right now the membership is being led blindly and being lied too [sic]. there [sic] has been NOTHING [sic, caps in original] given to us officially in writing from CPS or for that matter from CTU to truly review (not one single article in the Collective Bargaining Agreement) — everything has been heresy [sic, sic]..."

CTU officials familiar with Wigler's email style (for example, he hates to utilize capital letters, then reverts to ALL CAPS to make a point he considers important) told Substance that the email resembles others from Wigler that they have seen.

Wigler did not return a June 4, 2012, phone call from Substance asking him to confirm that the email was sent by him and offering an opportunity for him to comment.

Wigler also did not answer a June 5, 2012, email from Substance asking him to confirm that the email was sent by him and offering an opportunity for him to comment.

The CTU contract authorization referendum begins on June 6, 2012, some are saying in honor of other important dates in the struggle for justice, democracy and freedom. Results are expected to be announced by CTU President Karen Lewis on June 8, 2012. All active duty CTU members are eligible to vote, and because of the current Illinois law (SB&) that continues Illinois discrimination against Chicago teachers, the union has to reach a 75 percent vote of all active-duty union members to authorize a strike. Retiree members (including this reporter) are not eligible to vote on contracts and strikes. It is currently unclear whether the United Progressive Caucus, a faction within the CTU, is still supporting Wigler. As late as the May 9, 2012, CTU House of Delegates meeting, UPC members lined up to criticize Karen Lewis and the officers on the sidewalk outside the House meeting, issuing a leaflet that distorted many of the facts of recent CTU history. However, by June 4, 2012, the day after Wigler's email was circulated, most of the content of recent UPC attacks on the union leadership was taken down from the UPC website (upc4ctu,org). UPC members who asked to remain anonymous also told Substance that they were fully supporting a "Yes" vote in this week's strike authorization voting.

On June 19, 2009, Marc Wigler (above left) was an official of the Chicago Teachers Union in charge of coordinating the union's collaborations with management in persecuting and terminating teachers. Wigler attended the June 19, 2009 breakfast of "Advance Illinois" that morning at Chicago's Regency Hyatt Hotel with Marilyn Stewart (above right, glasses) who was then President of the Chicago Teachers Union. Wigler and Stewart cheered the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during the breakfast, while Hyatt security officials threatened teachers picketing outside with arrest. At the time, Duncan announced that the Chicago Plan was going to become national policy, promising to close or "turn around" the "lowest performing schools" in the USA as he claimed he had done during the "Renaissance 2010" years in Chicago. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. UPC sources have neither confirmed nor denied whether Wigler is still a member of the UPC following his expulsion from the union. Caucus membership rules vary from caucus to caucus. During his time among the rank-and-file following Marilyn Stewart's defeat in June 2010, Wigler was an active member of the UPC.

For six years, under former CTU President Marilyn Stewart, Wigler worked for the union. His duties includes administering and coordinating programs then supported by the union that gave union support for the firing of teachers.

Members of the UPC have been attacking the current union leadership at every opportunity since Karen Lewis and the CORE team unseated Marilyn Stewart and her team in 2010. For most of that time, they have proudly distributed their monthly leaflets attacking the leadership (and many individuals on the union staff) before each union meeting. Later, during the meetings, they would also try to continue those attacks behind various motions during debates. Until recently (Substance does not visit the UPC website every day), the UPC posted each of their monthly leaflets attacking the leadership, Karen Lewis, and Jesse Sharkey at www.upc4ctu.com. Most of their materials disappeared within the past few days.

UPC members also wore their own caucus shirts during the May 23 rallies and march, although most members did not notice because the UPC shirts (such as the one Wigler is wearing in the photographs accompanying this article) just sort of disappeared into a sea of red shirts. They also tried a leaflet attacking the leadership and stating the same basic party line as Wigler's current leaflet but disappeared at some point before the Auditorium Theater rally. What was funny, in the eyes of many observers (including this reporter) was that the UPC version of reality (supported by at least some members of PACT) became the same tac taken by the Chicago Tribune in its May 24 editorial denouncing the strike vote — and is now the party line of "Democrats for Education Reform" (DFER) in a series of expensive radio ads that began running June 5. Substance has not been able to determine whether the Tribune's editors contacted other "teachers" who shared their views, but the only "teacher" quoted in the Tribune editorials (so far) has been the millionaire heiress Robin Steans. Steans currently heads the group called "Advance Illinois" which is co-chaired by former Governor Jim Edgar and former White House Chief of Staff Billy Daley. VERBATIM TEXT OF WIGLER'S JUNE 3 EMAIL BELOW HERE: dear fellow CTU members: i am writing to you regarding the upcoming CTU Strike Authorization Vote (SAV).

i am asking that you vote NO for now and here's why:

why can't CTU/Karen Lewis wait until the first day of school (Track R) to take a strike vote - that at least shows some potentially good faith on her part to review the Fact-Finders proposals AND allow the membership to see what is actually being proposed.

right now the membership is being led blindly and being lied too.

there has been NOTHING given to us officially in writing from CPS or for that matter from CTU to truly review (not one single article in the Collective Bargaining Agreement) - everything has been heresy.

it is my understanding with previous contracts that we have ALWAYS been given the opportunity to review what is being proposed and then make an informed decision on whether to accept it or reject it.

Although a tiny number of UPC factionalists wore their "UPC colors" (above, in center aisle in tee shirts with "Protecting members rights..." on the rear end) prior to the May 23 rallies and marches, they made little impact on the massive rallies and march. Experienced union teachers began betting as the voting began whether they would try and attack the leadership during the June 7 meeting of the union's House of Delegates, even though it would risk exposing how they had almost bankrupted the union when they were in power between 2004 and 2010. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.what the membership is going to do with this SAV is give the CTU Officers carte blanche to do what they want when they want with NO regard to showing the membership anything. i think that is unconscionable and disingenuous.

that is to much power to give anybody when we have seen NOTHING in writing.

i think by doing this SAV now - we will get nothing and we will piss CPS off.

we could still strike - it would just be a couple of weeks AFTER school starts, at least get the children in school and begin the process of getting them and the parents/community members on our side.

it would also allow us the opportunity to review what is being proposed in writing.

this is a very risky move...and this ploy of CTU's is very scary.

Karen Lewis is NOT telling everyone the truth.

how can educated people vote for a strike when they have not seen ANYTHING in writing.

Until you see the actual contract and/or Fact-Finding is made public (which is why BOTH parties agreed to an independent arbitrator to review the documents and analyze the situation) - ONLY then can an informed decision be made for you to vote for a potential strike.

I would never give the CTU that kind of power to call a strike without knowing all the facts.

a strike can be a devastating hardship for everyone involved and can NOT be taken lightly.

Just my 2 cents...

in unity,

marc



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