CTU WATCH: Leaders of Chicago Teachers Union calling for more 'actions' while failing to explain how they could have agreed to two years of a new contract with no raises... and now because of furloughs a two percent pay cut...

On the eve of the first of four furlough days forced on all Chicago Public Schools workers by the Chicago Board of Education, a growing number of union members are demanding to know why CTU President Karen Lewis and Vice President Jesse Sharkey pushed through the sellout contract now in place hours before a strike was to begin in October 2016. Some now are asking whether the November national election had something to do with the leadership's decision to force through the worst contract in the 50-year history of CTU collective bargaining. The four furlough days amount to a two percent pay cut on top of the pay freeze agreed to in the first two years of the current four year contract. The failure of the CTU leadership to gain additional bargaining rights despite expensive lobbying in Springfield is also an issue that will be escalating in the coming months...The officers of the Chicago Teachers Union are expected to spend a good part of February 1, 2017 rehearsing their lines to present to an increasingly angry group of local school delegates prior to the union's February 1, 2017 House of Delegates meeting. In addition to questions about why the union's officers (the "Table Team" at the recent bargaining for the new contract, which will go until June 30, 2019) pulled a last minute deal before the "Big Bargaining Team" a few hours before a strike deadline, questions are now growing as to whether the union has any response to the attacks on its members beyond the usual protests. The union's leadership has gone all out to build a planned "grade in" at Chicago's City Hall for February 3, 2017 (the day of the first of four "furlough days"), but has so far failed to file a union grievance against the furlough days, leading some union members to suspect that the negotiating record, some of which still remains secret) will reveal that the union's four officers knew that the Board of Education would have the power to implement furlough days and additional de-factor pay cuts when they brought the deal to the "Big Bargaining Team," the House of Delegates, and finally the members.


February 2, 2017 at 11:47 AM

By: George Cruz

Lewis Hides

I'm totally disgusted with how the CTU leadership has damaged its own members . This wasn't a mistake , the union leadership accepted contract language allowing the implementation of furlough days. They knew the board would pull the trigger and institute the furlough days . The CTU only hoped that a budget deal be reached by now , something that never materialized. After all who signs a contract if it's totally dependent upon help from politicians especially between Madigan vs Rauner.

Everyone was warned not to vote on this contract just because it could be reopen and violated once that $215 million never cane thru . Now CPS is paying the pension pickup up front but are getting reimbursed from teachers thru furlough days. On top of that there's word that spring break will be furloughed as well .

A line has to be drawn in the sand by the CTU and made clear to the board . First a resolution calling upon a walkout will be implemented if any more furlough days are rammed down teachers throats. If the CTU does nothing , the board will continue to do what it wants and violate the contract over and over . What's going to happen next year and the year after that ? Is furlough days now a way of life? All raises have been eliminated and Lewis hasn't even shown her face to explain this catastrophic disaster of a contract that leaves so many members vulnerable. Special ed, case managers , clinicians , teachers pay , REACH evaluations , so many things left behind , abandoned all because Lewis is tragically ill and doesn't have the strength to fight for her members. Grievance, law suit, walk out, wildcat strike ...whatever it takes to show educators lives are not to be toyed with. But a grading paper demonstration , or a worthless resolution calling for turning in lesson plans late along with grades is a total joke and shows how out of touch with reality the union leadership is with how serious this tragic situation is caused by the CTU leadership

February 2, 2017 at 12:22 PM

By: Ed Hershey

George's Concerns

Coming out of Delegates, I would say there's some will to strike if further furlough action is taken.

They also said CPS does not have the scope to furlough our Spring Vacation -- that is in the contract and would be subject of a ULP similar to if they had unilaterally revoked the Pension Pickup or otherwise openly defied the contract.

I agree that we need a response proportional to what CPS is doing -- and a "Grade-In" or "1 week delay in grades" ain't it.

February 3, 2017 at 5:30 AM

By: JoAnne Cairo

Doubletalk from CTU's 'Tele Townhall'

Downhill phone call 2/2/17

Tonight's Tele Town Hall from the CTU was downhill from the start, but fascinating. The first two questions were in reference to WHY didn't we GO ON Strike in October when we should have? The answers were evasive. And since when did Jackson Potter become the person to go to for answers that should have been given by officers. Teachers should be angry. What's the real purpose of the actions at City Hall on Friday, February 3? Does the union leadership really believe that this should be done because teachers and others have the "day off" and they don't have anything else to do? CTU Leadership needs to wake up. But they pushed through a contract that the Board could play games with. Now the Board can get away with what they wanted.

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