CTU Retiree luncheon highlights issues facing the union and union retirees... but union officers don't take questions about major changes they are proposing to the CTU Constitution and By-Laws...

The annual retiree holiday luncheon was held Tuesday, December 5th at the CTU headquarters at 1901 W. Carroll Street. There were no new contract books available for retiree members as there has been an edict from the CTU leadership that retirees cannot have any (even if they are delegates or were on the bargaining team, as I was).

There was little in the way of ‘news’ from CTU officers, three of whom (all but President Karen Lewis) spoke at one point or another. They were just letting us know how diligent they are in protecting our pensions (even though CTU has a two-tiered retirement system now).

Recording Secretary Michael Brunson welcomed the attendees, then retiree John Keating did the invocation.

Vice President Jesse Sharkey showed a video from the CTU Foundation about giving donations to help out students and their families with basic needs such as food, school uniforms and school supplies. Once called the "Eyeglasses Fund" the fund is now called the Student Assistance Fund. The video ended with the website address to get more information about the ongoing project.

After that, Sharkey talked scantily about how the CTU helps its members with work related issues. His voice was calm but then he got very excited when he started to talk about "building power." He became animated when talking about how CTU is fighting for revenue, building our membership and -- briefly -- on the charter school union merger which is currently being hotly debated in the ranks. Despite the fact that the leadership is proposing more than a half dozen major changes to the union's Constitution and By-Laws, there was scant information given about the changes to the bye-laws and constitution. The proposals will be discussed again at the December 13 House of Delegates meeting, and then, if approved, by voted on in a membership-wide referendum.

No questions were taken, and the luncheon proceeded to lunch.

Around 1:30, Financial Secretary Maria Moreno started the process of nominations for retiree delegates. The rules say that a person being nominated did not have to be there, but the person that was nominating had to voice their presence when the nomination was announced. What is interesting is that if you are an independent person, you have little chance of being elected as you must provide campaign literature for mailing in which you must pay for it.

This is the announcement of how the nomination process works that I copied from the CTU website:

Retiree Delegates: (33 vacancies)

Nominations for Retiree Delegates will be taken at the Retiree Luncheon at the Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll Avenue on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. Paper nominations will be taken to ensure accuracy and to move nominations in a timely manner. Members who cannot attend the luncheon may have someone else in the Retiree group make a nomination for them. Nominees need not be present to be nominated. Each nominator will be required to complete a nomination form in order to nominate a candidate. Forms will be available at the nomination meeting and at Nominators must be a member of the functional group for which they are nominating. Those who second nominations may only do so for members of their own functional group.

Retiree Delegate ballots will be mailed on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 to members’ home addresses. Completed ballots must be returned to CTU with a postmark date no later than Wednesday, January 17, 2018 or dropped off in person to the CTU office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2018. Retiree Delegate ballots will be counted at the CTU offices on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Retiree Delegate candidates wishing to mail campaign literature to retiree members may provide stamped and stuffed literature to CTU no later than Friday, December 15, 2017 in order for it to be labeled, processed and mailed to members.

New delegates will be seated on February 1, 2018.


December 30, 2017 at 2:14 AM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

Retiree luncheon error in nomination procedure

In the first paragraph of the procedures for nomination at the end of this article, it is stated that "Nominators must be a member of the functional group for which they are nominating. Those who second nominations may only do so for members of their own functional group." The error here is that we were all in the retiree functional group, except for guests who could not nominate. This directive would only apply--say in the house of delegates--when many different functional groups are nomination, such as elementary teachers, secondary teachers, clinicians, etc.

December 30, 2017 at 4:42 AM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

Screw up in retiree mailing

When I received my ballot for the retiree delegates, I noticed that the return envelop was large and to be safe I put 3 forever stamps on it. I know it was 'overkill' but I wanted it to get to the CTU Office.

Was this done on purpose so that any independent nominee would stand less of a chance to get elected? The day before the ballot, I received CORE's mailing with their 'recommended' nominees. (they have money that those of us who are independent don't have!)

This was on the CTU website:

Retiree Delegate Ballot Postage Notice

by Maria Moreno, CTU Financial Secretary | 12/29/2017

CTU recently mailed a ballot to retiree members for a delegate election. The postage amount for the return envelope is 98 cents (two 49-cent stamps). Without proper postage the US Postal Service may not deliver a return ballot.

Please note that some envelopes with only one stamp have been received. If you are not sure whether your envelope was delivered by the USPS, please call Norma Albor at 312-329-6215.

Ballots returned by mail to CTU must be postmarked by Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Ballots returned in person must be dropped off at CTU by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2018.

December 31, 2017 at 1:27 PM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW


Members of the Rules and Election Committee received a text this morning. It said: 'The latest retiree election process has turned into quite a mess. I believe we need an emergency meeting of R & E to address a course of action....declaring an invalid election should be on the table & how/why did this happen?' with a chance to vote on it.

Only a new election should happen. Is this a power play by CORE to only get their 'anointed' members elected?

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