More than 23,000 Chicago Teachers Union members will be shocked to learn that CTU leaders have cut the union calendar date-book because their 'austerity' budget... Lewis aide suggests retirees forget the date book and get training on the use of their i-Phones to replace the traditional booklet...

The word has begun coming out slowly, as it did on Thursday June 8, 2017, at the monthly meeting of the retiree group of the Chicago Teachers Union. For the first time in union history, the CTU will not be providing its members with the annual calendar date-book! The budget cuts, ostensibly necessary because the union has lost members and therefore dues dollars, included not only other controversial cuts, but also the elimination of the popular pocket calendar.

It certainly wasn't made clear during the heated debate on the union budget at the June House of Delegates meeting. The item appears on the last page of the CTU tentative budget : CTU Budget revisions was divided into 3 sections, 1) Revenue Changes 2) Expense Reductions 3) Expense Increases.

Under the Expense Reductions #6 “Publications are reduced by $45,000 by eliminating the CTU calendar and datebook.”

At the Retiree Luncheon last month Lou Pysrer stated that the CTU was going to stop the calendars and datebooks. There was no discussion allowed at he HOD meeting about this.

That was a different story the next day at the CTU Retiree meeting. The majority of the Retirees were very upset and there was a discussion. Michael Brunson was at the meeting, he took the floor and was taking notes and listening to what the Retirees had to say about this.

Virtually all of the retirees (except one of those up front) were opposed to the termination of the important calendars. Many gave suggestion on how the CTU could get money for the datebooks, calendars. Someone asked do the companies that are in the books, are they paying for the space? I used the LEAD Dinner as an example -- to sell the advertisement for people who are in the books. There can be donations made for the calendars and datebooks to be continued.

Another thing this reporter and other retirees noted about these calendars is that they were student focused. The students' art work has been on the datebooks and the winning student would receive a prize, and sometime the runners up would receive recognition.

It use to be a positive involvement for teachers and students. The large calendars have gotten boring because all they do is use photos of students, why not use students art work for the monthly sections. Oh that would take too much time, to set something up, having teachers and students participate. It’s easier just to go through the computer and look at photo’s.

It’s obvious that CTU is trying to be corporate, and not focused on all the students.

Pat Knazze, whose title is "chairman of the retiree group" (a position created by Karen Lewis six years ago) stood up and stated that people could just use their phones. Knazze claimed that people don’t use paper calendars anymore. Many disagreed. So, a while later, she said that they would have a seminar for people who want to learn how to use their calendars on the phones and or IPods.

There was a response NO. to her suggestion.

There has been too many things that the CTU has scheduled, that if they would look at a calendar there wouldn’t have been over scheduling for things, events at the same time, same dates. Maybe because everybody looks at their own phones. This reporter (and many others) noted they wanted to give Michael Brunson a Thank You for listening to us.


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