Noting that CTU members can't afford to bring in charter school teachers, the 'Members First' group inside the Chicago Teachers Union continues critical review of the CTU leadership's proposed changes in the union's Constitution and By-Laws...

While the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union continues to lobby for a large number of proposed amendments to the union's Constitution and By-Laws, a growing number of union members have been closely examining the claims of the union leadership -- and learning that the union will not be benefiting as claimed from the changes. Most notably, in the group of changes, is the claim that CTU will be "Stronger Together" when it brings in the city's unionized charter school teachers.

"Members First" had a meeting of more than fifty CTU members at Connie’s Pizza on December 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. to hear from experts discussing the impact of the charter school proposal on the CTU and its member. Shamus McGee from U.S. Department of Labor, and Bob Cane from the Legency Professionals and Accounting company were speakers. The third scheduled speaker, Keith Hill President of the CTA bus drivers union was a no show. Mr. Hill was unable to attend. But Theresa Boyle, who is coordinating Members First, explained what had happened when the CTA bus union merged with private bus unions.

The CTA did not have a choice when this happened they were told by the national union that they had to do it, Boyle said.

Theresa explained a situation with "Bus company A" union’s contract, got employees hourly salary up to $25.00 an hour. "Bus company A" was then sold to another parent company in the corporation; The "new" company came in and said that they did not have to honor the former contract. "Your new hourly salary will be $11.00 an hour," they insisted. Since the CTA is now their union representative, the CTA is responsible for assisting "Bus company A" with legal fees.

The problem with CTU wanting to amalgamate with the charter school union, Members First is saying, is that there are only 880 charter school union teachers. When they had their last vote on the issue about 20% of them did not want to go with the CTU. There are also ten different contracts involved -- not one. Again the charter schools are privately owned, and can be sold to other parent companies.

Charter school union dues did increase from $80 to $110 last year (this information can be Googled). Because they are a private company that have to file LM2’s (a federal reporting form required of almost all unions). The bottom line, according to those opposing the amalgamation, is that the CTU will suddenly be responsible for ten different charter school union contracts. They will also have to file LM2’s since they are working with a private companies. The legal fees for the CTU will not cover the funds collected by the charter schools.

Maria Rodriguez, who is now a trustee of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) added that several charter schools that were suppose to be paying into the CTPF have closed. Those schools never made pension payments for the charter school teachers, but the CTPF is still required to pay the charter school teachers' pensions when they retire.


December 8, 2017 at 7:31 AM

By: Jo-Anne Cairo

Memebers First

The charter schools dues collected was $80,000.00 and went up to $110,000.00 last year.

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