'Members First' grouping in Chicago Teachers Union continues to grow while CTU rank and file demand transparency from the 'rank and file' caucus -- CORE...

July 1, 2017 came and went, and despite the fact that the 27,000 members of the shrinking Chicago Teachers Union had entered the third year of the four-year contract railroaded by the union's leadership in conjunction with the Chicago Board of Education without a copy of the written contract a growing number of CTU members were organizing to express their anger at having been sold out by Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey and the CORE leaders currently running the CTU.

A new grouping within the union, not yet a caucus in the formal sense, is "Members First" (MF for short), which has been meeting since the beginning of 2017 and trying unsuccessfully for the most part to get straight answers instead of obfuscations and double-talk from the CTU officers. The tone of the most recent MF meeting was suggested in a recent comment by retired teacher Joanne Cairo in a comment to Substance:

"I went to the Members First meeting today [July 26, 2017]. It was such a positive experience to be in a room with other CTU members who would not stab you in the back. To learn that CTU has spent a lot of money, since they sold the Fewkes Tower -- but that CTU office records are in such disorder they can't find the information (or say they can't).

"We also learned that Carmen Curet from the "CTU Foundation" is separate from the CTU.

"We learned that the CTU has rented the 3rd and 2nd floors of the Carroll St. building, from the "CTU Foundation" -- but if the CTU screws up the CTU Foundation can kick them out on the street.

"We learned that the CTU gave the DuSable Museum a $250.000. donation.

"We learned that the Angela Davis fundraiser is not for the members but for corporate individuals — basically big money people.

"The nice thing about this meeting no one was up telling lies The things that were being said were the truth — and no one had a knife to stab you."


August 8, 2017 at 3:56 PM

By: Susan Zupan

Shrinking CTU membership

In one of the latest CTU emailings, leadership references 25,000 members.

I do not in any manner advocate for CTU members to vote for charter schools to join CTU with this or any other information.

August 8, 2017 at 4:38 PM

By: Ed Hershey

Unity = Strength

We will be stronger when we link more closely together with the Charter teachers.

August 12, 2017 at 6:59 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Charters should be opposed, not expanded or promoted...

While charter teachers deserve to have union representation, charter schools -- both as a concept and as a contemporary existential reality -- need to be opposed -- NOT SUPPORTED! Not a day goes by without another charter scandal being reported from some state that has expanded charters. Usually, those scandals involve financial greed and ripoffs. But the expansion of charter schools across the USA is another legacy of the Democratic Party leadership under Barack Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan. Both were products of corrupt Chicago Democratic administrations. Although we must (as I'm reporting) continue to organize against the predations of the Trump administration (and not only Betsy DeVos as Duncan's true successor), we also need to stop blinding ourselves, as the CTU leadership has been doing, about the facts of history. Chicago invented so many of the charter school scams (like "campuses") long before those bacteria became national policy under "Race to the Top" courtesy of the neoliberal leadership of the Democratic Party. As most of us who paid attention know, Trump and the Trumpsters didn't "win" the election -- a shameful candidate and a noisome neoliberal strategy lost it. And since then the same Democratic Party leadership has been plotting, with Rahm Emanuel in the forefront, to continue the anti-working class policies that got us into these later messes in the first second and third places...

August 17, 2017 at 12:24 PM

By: Edward F Hershey

Relevant quote for thread:

"charter teachers deserve to have union representation"

This needs to be emphasized and argued within both Members First and CORE. (At the last CORE meeting it was acknowledged that there was work to do in this respect).

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