One “new and improved” tentative contract line that needs to be appreciated far and wide before HOD and membership voting... Fine print in 'Tentative Agreement' gives up many rights for all CTU members and the public schools...

As a growing number of members of the Chicago Teachers Union look ever more closely at the actual wording of the "Tentative Agreement" (the deal that headed off the strike that was supposed to begin October 11, 2016), a lot of the fine print in the deal is being scrutinized by the rank and file. Part of the reason for the close attention to the proposed deal for 2015 - 2019 (a four year contract) is that many union members learned the hard way that the things that were unsaid at the time we voted to end the picket lines in the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 came back to hurt us all -- and the public schools.

The Chicago Board of Education's chief outside attorney for labor union negotiations, James Franczek (above right) arrives for the start of negotiations with the newly elected Chicago Teachers Union leadership in August 2012. Behind Franczek are Board attorneys Cheryl Coulson and James Moriartiy (partly obscured behind Franczek) Although the CTU leadership claimed the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 resulted in a major victory, later events showed that the union had major losses, except on public relations among "progressive". The 2016 "Tentative Agreement" being present to the CTU House of Delegates on October 19, 2016, indicates that Franczek once again has earned the millions of dollars he is paid by again outsmarting the CTU leadership. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.I simply wish to point out one new line that has been added in the tentative contract proposal between the Board of Education of the City of Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Union Local 1 American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

This would be in reference to the agreed-upon language accepted in the last deadline minutes by CTU leadership and its Big Bargaining Team that averted a strike set for CTU membership on October 11, 2016.

The tentative contract was thusly pushed by leadership into the stage of being voted up or down by the House of Delegates (HOD), which will vote on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. If the HOD votes “yes,” the tentative contract will be pushed to the next stage, going to the full membership for an up or down vote. Only after the members vote does the contract become the union's legal stand.


Here is the one line everyone should consider very carefully before voting:

47-[NEW]. Nothing in this agreement shall impair or diminish the BOARD’s right to implement unpaid furlough or shutdown days for employees.  

That’s all.

Have a nice day, CTU members. No, have nice years ahead until June of 2019, the end of this contract agreement, for which, if it is voted “up,” your salary is going “down” and the salaries of our new brothers and sisters (hired after January 1, 2017) will be even worse.


October 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

Clinicians are angry but scared

There are so many things to say about this last disaster otherwise called the tentative agreement. The one brought up here- allowing CPS to set furlough days- is one of them. Let' just say that Springfield does not come up with the money promised. Guess what, folks- you don't come to work! The 'longer school year' gave Rahm and his minions 10 days that they can use as CPS will still have the necessary days without it to stay compliant with the number of days schools need to be in session.

I was on the big bargaining team until the beginning of September and was there when CTU leadership tried to bully us to accept the January offer. Jesse was so rude to me that he had to apologize! I am known to be a very strong advocate for clinicians that I was able to stay on the bargaining team all last school year even though I had retired in June 2015. I was told by Jesse when I was taken off it was because I was retired! Why was it okay all of last year but suddenly it was not!

On the Columbus Day meeting of CTU/CPS. the bargaining team, including Maria Moreno- formerly a speech pathologist- voted not to continue to fight the Board on workload/caseload caps for clinicians. This will drive more to leave CPS and give CPS the excuse to privatize us even more. CTU is allowing CPS to go to private companies to privatize OTs, PTs, Speech pathologists, Health Service Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses. They will not fight for us!

There is so much more to say but I will wait until the vote tomorrow at the House of Delegates. I hope they have quorum as they made it very difficult for delegates to come to the meeting. It is being held at the Holiday Inn at the Mart and you must pay $20 parking!

October 18, 2016 at 9:05 PM

By: Jo-Anne Cairo


Debbie Pope stated at the Core meeting October 17, 2016, that teachers should file grievances if there are any problems at there schools, How many filled grievances have been rejected by the CTU? So situation in schools have not been felt with by the CTU.

October 20, 2016 at 5:44 AM

By: Amy Gooden

CTU Tentative Agreement

I don't know why I am not surprised by the results of the HOD voting to back the Tentative Agreement recently signed by Karen Lewis. Wss this tentative agreement signed because parties were weary from negotiations or capitulation by the CTU?

When I read the media reports about the smiling faces of those with the CPS team coming out after a strike had been averted, I knew something was up.

What thinking person would sign a deal with no strong specifics ironed out in the tentative agreement? Why would Karen Lewis "assume" the money will be there?

In my opinion, the signing of SB7, dues paying members money being spent on social causes, incessant marches, not addressing the issues that CTU members repeatedly have asked to be addressed in the new contract are just a few of the reasons why CTU members should be raising hell. This feels like a classic, 13 pieces of silver, sellout.

My predictions are that within three years if the Almighty does not intervene, CPS will be a thing of the past. So, who needs a multiyear contract?

Charter schools won't have to proliferate - that is all that will be available.

There will be more layoffs, more school closings, more co-locations and severely underenrolled schools will become charter schools.

The 1500 teachers needed for the so-called retirement offer of the tentative agreement to work, more than likely are the last of the 18-20+ year veterans left in the system. Knowledge, experience and age are not valued. Greed and power control the school system.

For those administrators that are SOOO willing to play the game (aka R.E.A.C.H.) with CPS, BE WARNED. You will be next. While some administrators are very busy digging a grave for some teachers professional careers, they better dig a grave for themselves.

For those parents who do little to nothing for their kids but use the public schools as a daycare/drop-in center, those days are numbered. Your child will attend a charter school, if a private school is not affordable. I guarantee that if your child is out-of-order, the charter schools will not tolerate what the gladiator academies of CPS have taken for years. Private investors will not fund nonsense and rightly so. Resorative justice will consist of your errant child being expelled. There will be no peace circles.

Teachers are responsibe for teaching literacy skills. Is critical thing being used with the negotiations for the oontract?

Teachers - inform yourselves about what is going on. Read or listen to WBEZ News - CPS Screeing Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates. The article is dated October 7, 2016. This was reported by none other than one of my favorite investigative reporters - Sarah Karp. The EEOC is all over this like a cheap suit.

In negotiations, no entity is going to get everything they want. There is always going to be give and take. However, CTU, please stop giving up everything!

CTU - you don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Get lawyered up like CPS and take care of business.

October 20, 2016 at 6:07 PM

By: Retiree(04) Judy Dever

the Zupan article

Thank God for the 2 Susans and other responders to this Substance article. Do not vote yes on this furlough/shutdown language. Wake up and don't sign any contract that doesn't restore your full bargaining rights lost in 1995. NO LONG TERM CONTRACT!

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 =