Major changes facing Chicago Teachers Union as House of Delegates meets to consider several amendments to the union Constitution...

Several major changes are being proposed by the union's leadership as the CTU House of Delegates meetings on November 1, 2017, with amendments to the union's Constitution and By-Laws the major items on the HOD agenda. Among the changes: describing the CTU as a "Social Justice Union"; making charter school teachers in Chicago CTU members; and creating a standing union committee for CTU retiree members. (This reporter is a retiree delegate to the union's House of Delegates).


November 4, 2017 at 5:46 AM

By: Patricia Ann Breckenridge

Proposal for amendment to CTU Constution and By-Laws

I am s 22 year veteran teachers,reading clinician and one of numerous teachers hurt by the 1995 Amendatory Reform Act that took away our legal right to tenure track as some principals abused their authority and never put myself and others on tenure track.

The CPS segregated school system has no idea of how to educate an underprivileged child to out-perform their privileged high-ses peer. Students are not paced through pleasure reading at a rate of 2 chapter books a week and never taught how to proactively use a readability graph to motivate and match sentences and syllables to determine their reading level and take ownership, and eventually master standards on reading level while the classroom. teacher can teach without differentiating instruction and being evaluated harshly like in draconian socIety.

DeVos’ idea of divesting and privatizing at the expense of the low ses community is unfounded and undemocratic and leds to more segregation, because true and legal Charters are research-based by Ray Budde and advocated by Al Shanker to be teacher led, not administrative-led and funded with traditional public school funding. I say illegal as ‘charters public schools” are NOT researched/-based to out-perform traditional public schools as “charter public schools and school policy” decimate entire households and school communities.

“Charters “ have NO place in our historically well-founded and legitimate CTU because they were research-based to be teacher-led and separated from students meeting standards and returned to the regular classroom after standards and benchmarks are met.

Hence, I suggest legitimate teachers be returned to the classrooms instructing legal charter appendages.


November 4, 2017 at 5:59 AM

By: Patricia Breckenridge

CTU Constitution and By-Laws amendment

Please comment if you feel Substitutes should be on the Executive committee and have a Functional Group as Substitutes today have the same credentials as regular teachers.

All for one and one for all.

November 5, 2017 at 12:30 AM

By: Patricia Ann Breckenridge

CTU gambles with “Charters”

CTUs gamble with “Charters” is risky business.

“Charters” are by nature private, but pursuing merger with our public union.

True charters were research based to be teacher-led, separate from the regular classroom to compliment and rationalize differentiated instruction, not administrative-led.

IMO “charter” Administration should be put back in the traditional public schools as teachers if they can’t secure a traditional public school appointment.

Private unions have been busted to the point of virtually non existence at 6% of the working class as public unions hold a steady 35% of the working class.

Our forefather is quoted as saying there are only 2 things you must do and that’s pay taxes and die.

Mixing apples with oranges doesn’t lead to a solution. It only complicates matters. We establish a fair tax code.

So, why gamble our public union with a “charters” vulnerable to privatization and busting. Also, these “charters” are temporary and lose their charter if they do not perform after 5 years, but have hit District 299 like a “Hurricane Segregation” in the Midwest,

November 5, 2017 at 7:10 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

No quorum = no business

Every legislative body (including the CTU House of Delegates) requires a quorum to begin or continue business during a legally called meeting. Simple: No quorum = no further business. It's one of those basics of democracy that any leadership proclaiming its love of the "rank and file" and "social justice" should be proud to uphold. But with a kind of messianic zealotry, some of my "friends" and former friends have proclaimed that they no longer need to listen to or follow the democratic will of the rank and file that put them into power.

The failure of the CTU leadership (which includes some of CORE, but not all of us) to sustain a quorum during the November 1 House of Delegates meeting simply shows that the "business" was flawed. More and more delegates are now skipping the HOD meetings or are showing up then leaving quickly. The reason is the same as it was under previous union leadership cliques: The delegates know that their needs are being ignored by the leadership clique and those on the floor of the HOD who are backing the leadership. We've seen this all the way back through the Tom Reece administration. It continued at the end of Debbie Lynch's one-term regime, and then became huge during Marilyn Stewart's second term (as the "New UPC"). So now during the second term of the Karen Lewis regime (with CORE as the "whip" caucus in the HOD) the same thing is taking place. Once delegates know that they are not being supported by the leadership (or worse, sold out to the Boss by the union's officers and many of the staff), the delegates' jobs become difficult and dangerous.

The cynical attempt by the current CTU leadership (which I used to be a part of; I was a founding member of CORE, also) to push through several major changes in the CTU Constitution and By-Laws by lumping all of them in one big huge large indisgestible lump of verbiage is just the latest example.

Why in hell should the delegates be forced to vote on the charter school amalgamation at the same time -- and in the same lump -- as declaring CTU a so-called "social justice union" and giving the President dictatorial powers (along with a dozen changes of lesser importance).

The most blatant example of disrespect to the HOD members (and the members at large -- the "rank and file" which is basically being told to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP) -- has come repeatedly during the past months. The union's officers have used the Union Teacher to propagandize for the charter vote ("Stronger Together" and all that stuff) while ignoring most of the other major items being pushed. A last question about "social justice" stuff? How much did the Social Justicey people pay for that full-page ad on the back page of the Union Teacher's latest issue.

We will be reporting more -- and in more detail -- about this stuff today and in the future.

November 7, 2017 at 4:28 PM

By: Kati Gilson


I applaud Susan for calling for a quorum. Why anyone would dispute a count is beyond me. A quorum is mandatory for ensuring accurate representation of all union members. If I were still a delegate I would call a meeting at my school to get feed back on changes to the constitution. I would note place a vote without all members input. To ask the delegates to make such a critical vote, without consulting the folks they represent is unfair to everyone. I would vote my schools majority vote rather than my personal opinion. During the last strike I a teacher asked me how they knew I would vote the school majority and not my personal opinion, which ironically was what they voted. I was insulted and told her so. I was elected to represent everyone, not my personal opinion.

November 9, 2017 at 10:20 AM

By: Patricia Breckenridge

CTU Constitution and By-Laws amendment

Please comment if you feel Substitutes should be on the Executive committee and have a Functional Group as Substitutes today have the same credentials as regular teachers.

All for one and one for all.

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