Criticisms of proposed contract grow as teachers learn more about what's behind the highly publicized 'Tentative Agreement'...

Less than two months before a faction of the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union began touting a so-called "Tentative Agreement" (TA) for a new contract, the union's officers spoke forcefully at a meeting of more than 1,000 union members in bitter cold in Chicago's Grant Park. The union's members had just voted overwhelmingly earlier to authorize a strike if necessary to secure the contract. The members were later puzzled -- and outspoken -- when Karen Lewis, still CTU President, began saying that the union could accept the elimination of the so-called "pension pickup" and make other concession to the Board of Education. Catalyst photo.By the time the "special meeting" of CORE (the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, of which this reporter is a founding members and lifetime member) had ended late in the afternoon of January 31, 2016, it was clear that the attempt by a faction of the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union would not be able to "sell" the "Tentative Agreement" (TA) to the union's rank and file or the elected members of the 800-member House of Delegates. Perhaps by the time the House of Delegates meets on February 3, 2016 at the Operating Engineers Union Hall on South Grove St., there will be no story at all, because the "TA" will have been withdrawn, rather than its facing its inevitable defeat at the hands of the representatives of the union's members.

The House of Delegates is the first of two necessary steps to the actual approval of a contract by the 28,000-member union. The union's history and rules (the "Constitution and By Laws") require that the HOD review the entire contract before voting on whether to make a recommendation to the membership.

By the end of January 2016, it was becoming more and more clear that the faction of the union leadership that brought the so-called "Tentative Agreement" (TA) before the Big Bargaining Team (BBT) on Wednesday, January 27 might be unable to defend their deal when the terms were put in writing to the union's delegates and members by February 3, 2016, when the House of Delegates meets.

One part of the campaign to try and "sell the deal" took place on the afternoon of January 31, 2016, when the leadership of CORE called an emergency meeting about the issues. Despite questions about whether such a meeting could have any legitimacy under the rules of CORE (the caucus that has run the union since July 2010), the meeting took place.


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