Members First group recommends vote of NO for both CTU constitutional change ballots...

The January 16, 2018 meeting of Members First at Connie’s Pizza had 15-20 attendees (of which this reporter was one) stuffing envelopes with flyers recommending a vote of NO for both of the upcoming Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) constitutional change ballot questions (bottom). The envelopes are being mailed out to each school in the hope of reaching the delegate and/or someone in each school who can at a minimum post the flyer for all CTU members to view.

Despite more than three months of almost continuous propaganda in favor of the major changes in the union's constitution and by-laws, the union's officers are still worried about the chances that their proposals will be rejected. And as the Members First group has been noting, a growing number of CTU rank and file members are noting that the leadership seems more interested in promoting a so-called "social justice" agenda than in organizing and winning contracts that improve the lives and work of those who pay dues to the Chicago Teachers Union. Many are noting that the last two contracts, both negotiated by the current leadership, contain the worst pay packages in CTU contract history (three years of zero raises out of the last nine years of contracts). Members are also noting that the union often seems more interested in promoting a so-called "organizing" agenda (marches and rallies) than in focusing on the nitty gritty of contract enforcement and union power on behalf of those members currently working in the city's real public schools.

The following is the content of the Members First flyer:

Let’s Not Get Fooled Again!

On January 25, 2018, you will be asked to approve amendments to 25 of the 30 Articles in the Constitution and By-Laws. In addition, an entirely new Article XII brings Charter School employees into our Union. Leadership has conveniently lumped the numerous vaguely described changes into two Yes or No votes, and an authorization to “make other changes.” All these changes in two Yes or No votes? Where’s the Transparency?

Problem: Article II authorizes CTU membership for charter school employees who work in charters outside of the City of Chicago.

Problem: Articles V and XI give charter members greater voting rights/power than our current members have.

Problem: Preamble No. 6 expands our mission beyond our traditional role of serving the families and children of Chicago. Who are these “other Chicago-area-educators” that may join our union? Why are we considering the interests of employees outside our system when our own members’ concerns are not being adequately served?

Problem: Preamble No. 7 “to promote racial, economic and social justice in order to achieve educational justice and build coalitions to achieve that objective.” Members agree there is need for racial, economic and social justice and CTU should continue to work to improve the conditions for our members and the children we serve. However, members are entitled to a transparent accounting of all funds and other commitments being made to any special interest or advocacy groups to which we align ourselves.

Leadership has left many unanswered Questions and has failed to provide adequate justification for these amendments. Until we have a firm and clear understanding of how these changes are in the best interests of our membership, please vote NO!

Think back to the ratification vote for our current Contract Agreement. Changes were presented without a full consideration of the adverse effects on salary, benefits and working conditions. Let’s not get fooled again!


Do you approve amending the CTU Constitution and By-Laws to allow unionized charter school teachers, PSRPs and other staff to join the CTU, to have representation and membership rights within CTU, to establish a comparable dues structure (?), to create a Charter School Division within CTU, and make other changes regarding charters (?) as published in the January Chicago Union Teacher magazine?

X No

Do you approve amending the CTU Constitution and By-Laws to improve the structure and governance of our union by creating a functional group for clinicians represented by a functional vice president, allowing schools with fewer than 20 members a voting delegate, lowering part-time and substitute dues, setting retiree dues at $50/year, creating a Retirees Standing Committee, adding language that recognizes our commitment to racial, social and economic justice, and make other changes (?) as published in the January Chicago Union Teacher magazine?

X No


January 18, 2018 at 9:46 PM

By: Jo-Anne Cairo

No to CTU

Gee ,what happened this evening, at the CTU Town hall meeting? I received an email saying there was a glitch, it seems their reminder phone calls, that I have received there were no glitches. So what is the next date for this town hall phone call, is it going to be Monday nite during the Core meeting? Why not, there's no calendars, only electrical devices. That don't seem to work.

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