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CPS ordered to release scab list from the CTU one-day so-called 'strike' of April Fool's Day...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires that school districts provide the public with a list of all those who worked on any particular day. The October 2017 ruling by the Attorney General means that Chicago Public Schools officials must provide Substance with a listing of all teachers who "worked" on April 1, 2016, the day of the one-day CTU April Fool's Day "strike."The Illinois Attorney General's office has ordered the Chicago Public Schools to release the list of all teachers who "worked" on April 1, 2016, the day of the one-day so-called "strike" called by the Chicago Teachers Union. Although the vote to do the strike was close in the union's House of Delegates, media coverage, especially in the Tribune, was off base, presuming that because many delegates voted against the one-day so-called "strike" that there would be many scabs. As Substance reported at the time, once a strike vote is taken, members of the Chicago Teachers Union are unified until that strike is over. Those who cross picket lines are scabs.

The delay in providing the list to the public came about because the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union joined with CPS officials in claiming that the list should not be available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The attempt by the leadership of the union to keep secret the names of scabs on the one-day "strike" was unprecedented and has never been explained by CTU officials. Prior to that one-day "strike", the CTU not only provided its members with the names of all scabs, but informed the scabs that they would be losing union rights because they had scabbed. The union traditionally held "scab trials" at which time the alleged scab was able to present evidence that there had been a mistake, or that there were mitigating circumstances (in one case, a teacher was ordered to "work" by a judge because he was paying child support payments to a previous spouse; usually scabs who attended the hearings claimed it was their "right" to scab). All of those who were found to have scabbed during a CTU strike were then listed as "SB" (for "Strike Breaker") on school membership lists provided to the school delegates every year.

CTU officers and other leaders have never explained why, for the first time in union history, they refused to treat scabs as scabs, and then joined with the boss in trying to cover up who scabbed.

In response to the initial request for the list of those who worked in the schools that day, CPS officials tried to provide a "list" with all the names redacted. After an appeal to the Attorney General's office by Substance reporter (and CTU rep) John Kugler, the following decision was forwarded to Substance and the Board of Education on October 23, 2017. CTU officials have never explained why they joined with CPS officials in trying to cover up the extent of the scabbing during their unprecedented one-day so-called "strike."

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S LETTER:

Lisa Madigan

ATTORNEY GENERAL

October 23, 2017

Via electronic mail

Dr. John Kugler, Reporter, Substance News, kuglerjohn@hotmail. com

Via electronic mail

Ms. Maria Castaneda, Chicago Public Schools — Law Department, One North Dearborn Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602, mccastanedal@cps. edu

RE: FOIA Request for Review — 2017 PAC 46310

Dear Dr. Kugler and Ms. Castaneda:

This determination letter is issued pursuant to section 9. 5( 1) of the Freedom of

Information Act ( FOIA) ( 5 ILCS 140/ 9. 5( 0 (West 2016)). For the reasons that follow, the

Public Access Bureau concludes that the Chicago Public Schools ( CPS) improperly redacted

public employees' names in response to Dr. John Kugler' s April 11, 2016, FOIA request.

On that date, Dr. Kugler, on behalf of Substance News, submitted a FOIA request

to CPS seeking a list of Chicago Teachers Union ( CTU) members who reported to work on April

1, 2016 — the day of a CTU strike. On February 2, 2017, CPS furnished Dr. Kugler with an

attendance spreadsheet but redacted the names of the listed individuals pursuant to section

7( 1)( c) of FOIA ( 5 ILCS 140/ 7( 1)( c) ( West 2016)).

On February 7, 2017, this office received Dr. Kugler' s Request for Review

disputing the redaction of the names. On February 15, 2017, this office forwarded a copy of the

Request for Review to CPS and asked it to provide an unredacted copy of the attendance

spreadsheet for this office' s confidential review, together with a detailed explanation of the legal

and factual basis for the asserted exemption. On March 7, 2017, CPS furnished the requested

materials. On March 14, 2017, this office forwarded a copy of CPS' s response to Dr. Kugler; he

replied that same day, maintaining that the public has the right to know the names of the

strikebreakers.

DETERMINATION

All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be

open to inspection or copying." 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2016); see also Southern Illinoisan v.

Illinois Department ofPublic Health, 218 I11. 2d 390, 415 ( 2006). Any public body that redacts

a responsive record " has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence" that the

redacted information is exempt from disclosure. 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2016). The exemptions

from disclosure are to be narrowly construed. Lieber v. Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois

University, 176 Ill. 2d 401, 407 ( 1997).

Section 7( 1)( c) of FOIA

Section 7( 1)( c) permits a public body to withhold "[ p] ersonal information

contained within public records, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted

invasion of personal privacy." An " unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" is defined by

section 7( 1)( c) as the " disclosure of information that is highly personal or objectionable to a

reasonable person and in which the subject' s right to privacy outweighs any legitimate public

interest in obtaining the information. The disclosure of information that bears on the public

duties of public employees and officials shall not be considered an invasion of personal

privacy." ( Emphasis added.)

The Public Access Bureau has previously determined that records that detail a

public employee' s attendance are a matter of substantial public interest. Ill. Att'y Gen. PAC Req.

Rev. Ltr. 19343, issued October 30, 2012, at 3- 4. Specifically, this office determined that the

attendance records were not exempt from disclosure under section 7( 1)( c) because a public

employee' s attendance at work, and conversely absences from work, relate directly to the

employee' s public duties. I11. Att' y Gen. PAC Req. Rev. Ltr. 19343, issued October 30, 2012, at

3- 4; see also Ill. Att' y Gen. PAC Pre- Auth. d16137, issued August 24, 2010 ( teacher' s attendance records not exempt from disclosure under section 7( 1)( c)).

In its response to this office, CPS asserted that "[ t] he decision by an employee to

disregard their union' s directive is a private decision that has no bearing on how s/ he performs

their public duties or any alleged misdeed in the performance of their public duties."' CPS

further asserted that disclosure of the employees' names is " objectionable due to the negative

Letter from Jaculin Jerman Milovich, Senior Assistant General Counsel, Chicago Public Schools,

to Teresa Lim, Assistant Attorney General, Public Access Bureau, Office of the Attorney General, State of Illinois

March 7, 2017), at 1.

impact on the individual' s current employment status, standing at their job location as well as

future employment and advancement prospects due to retribution by co- workers and others

including Mr. Kugler[,]" analogizing this matter to previous guidance issued by this office ( Ill.

Att' y Gen. PAC Pre- Auth. a15196, issued July 29, 2010). 2 However, in that matter, this office

advised that section 7( 1)( c) permitted a public body to withhold employment applications for

persons who had not yet been hired; that matter is clearly distinguishable because it involves

different types of records and because non- public employees have privacy interests different

from public employees under the plain language of section 7( 1)( c).

A public employee' s attendance at work bears directly on the employee' s public

duties. The presence or absence of a teacher has a direct impact on the learning process for

students and on the administration of the school. While this office understands CPS' concern

about potential negative impacts on teachers under these circumstances, the prohibition in

section 7( 1)( c) on withholding information that bears on the public duties of public employees

must be given effect. Accordingly, this office concludes that CPS has not demonstrated by clear

and convincing evidence that the names in the spreadsheet in question are exempt from

disclosure under section 7( 1)( c).

In accordance with the conclusion expressed in this determination, this office

requests that CPS disclose to Dr. Kugler an unredacted copy of the spreadsheet of the teachers

who attended work on April 1, 2016. The Public Access Counselor has determined that

resolution of this matter does not require the issuance of a binding opinion. This letter shall

serve to close this matter. If you have any questions, please contact me at the Chicago address

listed on the first page of this letter.

Very truly yours,

TERESA LIM

Assistant Attorney General

Public Access Bureau



Comments:

November 7, 2017 at 4:30 PM

By: Kati Gilson

Scabs

I hope by now CTU has the list so that school delegates can make sure their staff knows which folks are scabs. Personally, I think scabs should be removed from the union or at least reprimanded. Their colleagues should all know who the scabs are. Scabs are untrustworthy and a detriment to the rest of the union members.

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