CTU BUDGET REVIEWS I... As union delegates take a close look at the CTU's proposed budget, questions about double dipping and other problems with the current leadership grow... Does the CTU need a retired teacher as a 'manager of managers' at nearly $100,000 per year?...

In a return to times when the Chicago Teachers Union was a crony patronage operation the current CORE leadership led by Karen Lewis and Jesse Sharkey is back to its old habits of double dipping and crony hiring. Due to the recent proclamations by the CTU that is it broke, despite having a $4 million-dollar reserve, Substance News will be analyzing current personnel and budgetary practices to the current leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union. The proposed budget for the CTU was presented to the union's House of Delegates at the May HOD meeting and is to be debated at the June meeting.

In an ongoing two-year investigation of executive salaries, possible ghost employees, double dipping, benefits fraud, possible theft of union funds and questionable political spending, Substance News will be releasing findings of diversion of funds, hiring practices and even unfair labor practices that are ongoing and continuing at the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation. Because the CTU Foundation is a separate legal entity, the union's leadership is claiming that Foundation budgets are not subject to the annual CTU budget review process of oversight by the House of Delegates. Although this claim is being challenged by some delegates, as of this report the finances of the "CTU Foundation" are virtually all secret from the union's members and delegates.

Documents and evidence are being supplied from reliable sources inside the union. Many union staff are currently afraid of being fired or being retaliated against by the current leadership. [This reporter worked as a consultant doing budget research at the CTU until he was purged by the current officers following disagreements about how the union should present its critique of CPS budgets and finances].

Current union workers also believe what the Union is doing is wrong and are providing information as whistleblowers on possible corruptive practices of the Chicago Teachers Union and the CTU Foundation. There have been CTU employees fired or suspended for questioning the leadership of the CTU. Stories about undemocratic attacks on CTU staff by the current leadership will also be told in the coming months.

In the first of this series is the "double dipper" Carol Caref. Carol holds a made-up position which is classified as "management." Yet she is retired from the Chicago Public Schools, where she worked as a math teacher. At no time in recent history of the CTU, until now, has a retiree held a management position at the union, sitting in on daily decision meetings with elected officers and giving directives to CTU staff. The staff Ms. Caref manages is Jennifer Johnson (who is also classified as a manger), Sarah Rothschild and Pavyln Jankov, two researchers.

So according to the current CTU leadership, Ms. Caref manages a manager that manages two people. In a recent reshuffling of the responsibilities (possibly to cover-up a bloated middle management at the CTU), Ms. Johnson now works as an "Education Issues Manager" while Carol Caref is the "Education Policy Director." The two researchers are now named Education Policy Analysts.

Imagine a director who manages a manager who manages two people! If CPS were doing that the Union would be all over it, publicizing it in the news for malfeasance and waste of money by creating fake position titles and management positions. Problem is this is not in CPS it is in the CTU.

Now to the crony part of the story. Ms. Caref is being called a "double dipper" by some at the CTU -- meaning that she holds a full-time job in a public sector related position and gets a full other salary. In this case she receives a full public-sector pension. According to Chicago Teacher Pension Fund Records, Caref receives a $6521.74 per month pension. The Chicago Teachers Union also is paying her a salary with benefits of over $90,000 per year. If you add the two up, that is over $170,000 per year as a retired teacher/director of three people.

The ethical and political issues that arise from this alleged patronage fleecing of the CTU coffers is two parts.

One is that the teacher’s union leadership says its broke and needs to get concessions, including layoffs, from unionized workers that staff the CTU. Those who work at the CTU are represented by two locals of the Teamsters Union. Clerical workers are in one local, and field reps in another. Both are being asked to take cuts as the current budget looms.

But CTU workers feel that the leadership is speaking with a forked tongue, when they ask for staff cuts or even cuts for CPS teachers, yet are also creating fake patronage jobs that waste dues dollars.

The second is the fact that if retired teachers make too much money substitute teaching in CPS, while getting a CTPF pension they are penalized by the Pension Board. In many cases pension checks are garnished thousands of dollars. Yet a crony director can work full-time sometimes even inside of CPS schools without reproach and laughing all the way to the bank with CTU dues money. Not caring about how it would look to pensioners who get penalized by the Pension Board.

Is it legal? Probably

Is it fair to the thousands of teachers that work hard every day fighting for what little they get? No.

Is this why Karen Lewis was elected? No

Is this why CORE was elected? No

Should it stop? Yes

When? Immediately

[Documents and evidence are being supplied from sources inside the union afraid of being fired and being retaliated against. They also believe what the Union is doing is wrong and are providing this information as whistleblowers on possible corruptive practices of the Chicago Teachers Union. There have been CTU employees fired for questioning the leadership of the CTU. They were forced to sign NDAs to settle their cases in lieu of long court battles that could last years. Those stories will also be told in the coming months.]


May 29, 2018 at 9:18 PM

By: Jim Vail

Good report

Would love to see report on all the double dippers. Our school engineer also draws full pension and full salary working for outsourced company. Asked if he'll ever enjoy it.

June 7, 2018 at 10:36 AM

By: Jo-Anne Cairo

CTU Budget 2018

June 2018, the CTU budget was passed, there were 36 new delegates at this meeting, that never received any delegate training, matter a fact there is about 400 plus new delegates that have probably never been trained. But they voted YES on the CTU contract. Of course the Core committee people where at the mic's, being the programed robots they our. When others asked for more time to review the audit that came out the day before, the response from Jessie was the merry go round.

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