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SOLIDARITY FOREVER: Regular updates on the 'Salvation' caucus, er, The Coalition to Save Our Union

As the deadline approaches for candidates and caucuses to submit nominating petitions for the Chicago Teachers Union election, which will be held May 17, Substance will continue our decades' long community service of providing our readers with information on the various caucuses within the CTU that are vying for power (or, in the case of one, for returns on power). This feature, which began when Tom Reece was President of the CTU and praising the Amendatory Act and the cooperation between his leadership (the United Progressive Caucus, UPC, at the time) will continue until after the May 17 CTU election.

By 2004, the UPC "brand" had gotten damaged, so after three years of union leadership (and one disappointing contract) under the presidency of Deborah Lynch and the PACT caucus (that's Pro Active Chicago Teachers), the union's members were offered an ultimate choice between PACT (and Lynch) and the "New UPC" (whose presidential candidate was Marilyn Stewart). Stewart won after a bruising battle, and was re-elected in 2007 to a second three-year term. By the time she was defeated in 2010 by Karen Lewis and CORE (Caucus Of Rank and file Employees), Marilyn Stewart had worked the union into a multi-million dollar debt that required a loan of $3 million. (We'll take up how that happened later in "Solidarity Forever"). Within a year, CORE had paid off the loan and ended the Marilyn Stewart debt, expanded the union staff, and was on the verge of leading the first Chicago Teachers Strike in 25 years -- the action that became the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 from September 10 through September 18, 2012.

Now, instead of the "NEW NEWER UPC", CTU members are being treated to emails (which are apparently being facilitated by the Board of Eduction, since they are going through the Board's email system) from the "Coalition to Save Our Union." That group, which will try to be on the ballot against CORE on May 17, has been organizing for a few months, a combination of the remnants of the older UPC and NEW UPC and what's left of some of PACT.

And now they have a website, although most of it consists of news articles that ran in the Sun-Times and Tribune.

And an invitation to an "upcoming event" that took place three weeks ago!

This morning, we will just note the May 13 upcoming event that anyone can read about on the new caucus's website

UPCOMING EVENTS... Bowling Party: Bowling for a Better CTU, Thursday, February 21, 2013, 4:45-7:45 p.m. Diversey Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey

$25 Donation... Bowling, Shoes, All-you-can-eat Pizza!



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