CTU delegates urge members to vote yes on strike authorization

In hopes for a strong "yes" vote on Sept. 24 - Sept. 26, I sent the following email to the union members, following our afterschool meeting on Sept. 11.

CTU Brothers and Sisters,
. . .


CTU delegate Gina Szulkowski (left) on the picket line in 2012 at Steinmetz High School.

Climate crisis awareness strike on Friday, Sept. 20, protest rally begins at 11 a.m. in Grant Park

Joining an international school strike to raise awareness of the climate crisis, Chicago students will be rallying at Grant Park at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Columbus Dr. and Roosevelt Rd., then marching to . . .


Facebook graphic from Loyola University student Violet Gomez' page. She is gathering a small group at Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan, at 10 a.m., prior to joining the larger Grant Park rally at 11.
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Strike authorization vote set at September meeting of the CTU House of Delegates

While many topics were addressed at the Sept. 4, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates meeting, the strike authorization vote was most important. In his report, President Jesse Sharkey stressed the need for a . . .


CTU officers, active members and retirees rallied at an Aug. 20 meeting. Photo by Howard Heath

Parents 4 Teachers expresses solidarity with CTU in contract fight

I spoke at the CTU members meeting and rally on August 20 on behalf of ParentsFor Teachers to express solidarity with teachers in their contract fight. Here is what I said:

My name is . . .


Julie Dworkin speaks at the Aug. 20, 2019, CTU meeting. Community organizer Jay Travis and CTU Recording Secretary Christl Hayes also spoke at the meeting.

Media Watch: Uncool PR-style puff piece by Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times ignored the facts of an unnecessary, $100 million building – that furthers segregation on the northwest side of Chicago, and will cause additional damage in lost enrollment to several existing schools, purportedly . . .


How the Chicago Sun-Times handles CPS inequity, racism and its ever increasing capital spending debt added to by an unnecessary building.

Songs about working class and unions

[The following piece by George Schmidt was originally published on Labor Day, 2011.]

Thanks to The Nation magazine and YouTube, there is now a chance to get a complete medley of some of . . .


Woody Guthrie

A 'Labor Day' reminder... from 'The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd'-- 'some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen...'

[Published on Labor Day, 2014.]

I wasn't able to make the Labor Day activities in Chicago's historic Pullman district on Labor Day 2014. But throughout the day while doing other things (including the last . . .


WBEZ News: 5 Things To Know About Chicago Public Schools’ Budget

The following piece was published on August 19, 2019. The link is here: https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/5-things-to-know-about-chicago-public-schools-budget/fd25a073-d929-4529-9419-614021b60d7b

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson heralded the new mayor’s first proposed budget for the school . . .


Stories about Substance editor George N. Schmidt on Oct. 2018 Substance homepage

Dozens of stories about editor George N. Schmidt, who died on Sept. 17, 2018, are published on the October 2018 Substance News homepage. Stories about George’s personal life appear on the left column of . . .



Getting the last laugh on impeachment

From the time he gave his second grade music teacher a black eye to “make his opinion known,” to lying about his academic standing at the University of Pennsylvania, to overall campaign outrage and Oval . . .


Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States

A shorter, sexier Mueller Report: Review of Susan Ohanian's 'Trump, Trump, Trump: The March of Folly'

On the heels of the Mueller Report, the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump is a hot topic. But Vermont author Susan Ohanian has been banging that drum longer than most. At a Charlotte town . . .


Susan Ohanian's new book available at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Substance staffer shows work in the Oak Park Art League's "The Aesthetic of our National Identity"

Retired teacher Jo-Anne Cairo is among several artists showing work at the Oak Park Art League's exhibition "The Aesthetic of our National Identity," which opened July 7 and runs through August 3 at 720 Chicago . . .


Put TIF windfall where it belongs: in public school communities

Lightfoot must end previous mayor’s pattern of sweeping promises that failed to deliver, by embedding verbal commitment for improved staffing in collective bargaining agreement.

In wake of news that the city has amassed hundreds . . .


Time for mayor to put promises into action in enforceable contract

Dear CTU Members: By now you may have heard—or even received an email from CPS—about Mayor Lightfoot’s July 30 promise to improve staffing in our public schools. Let’s be clear. Chicagoans voted for a candidate . . .


Job training needed in Chicago — interview with Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza (10), Chicago City Council

The following is a discussion with 10th Ward Alderwoman Sue Garza we had in February 2019 at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters. Jobs for students and other youth, as well as all adults in need . . .


Substance reporter Dr. John Kugler and Ald. Sue Garza in a photo at the CTU, Nov. 2014.

Newly appointed Chicago Board of Education fails first test

Although greeted with high hopes by CTU and community members who have been adversely affected by the horrors of mayoral controlled school policies since 1995, the new Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed board of education, which . . .


Newly appointed Chicago Board of Education president Miguel Del Valle at the June 26 meeting.

CTU press conference highlights needs in schools; former student testifies of help he received from social workers

A Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) press conference highlighted one of its contract demands of full staffing in the schools by social workers, school nurses, librarians, school psychologists, special education teachers and bilingual education teachers – . . .


Chandler Grove

'A crisis of trauma and not meeting students' mental health needs' addressed at Board of Education meeting (video links included)

Several speakers at the Chicago Board of Education meeting urged the board to do better with meeting the needs of students. Oriole Park teacher Erika Wozniak said that in Chicago public schools there is one . . .


Erika Wozniak marches in the CTU rally prior to the June 26 Board of Education meeting.

CTU plans rally and press conference at first meeting of the new Lightfoot board of education

Mayor Lightfoot’s new Board of Education has a lot of injustice to undo. From closures, staffing cuts and health care price gouging to overtesting and massive paperwork overload, CPS educators are fighting attack after attack. . . .


Board of Education president responds to Substance: "George Schmidt was a great man"

Like so many who spoke at the June 26 Board of Education meeting, I said I was hopeful because of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's newly appointed board. I had signed up to speak to offer two . . .


Substance editor Sharon Schmidt speaks at the June 26 Board of Education meeting.