CTU celebrates vote to merge charter schools into CTU, despite the fact that fewer than half the union's members voted in favor of the deal...

The Chicago Teachers Union and its allied "labor" supporters have been celebrating the vote to change the union's Constitution and By-Laws to allows charter school teachers to become CTU members. The controversies around the decision will continue, since the CTU leadership now faces the challenge of bringing all of the contracts to be negotiated by the union's leadership into line with a common expiration date and -- more difficult -- common salary schedules. The current union leadership has already negotiated some of the most controversial contracts in CTU contract history (which stretches back to 1968), including two contracts which, over a total of more than eight years, include zero raises in three of those years (the first was caused by giving back the final year raise of four percent negotiated by the current leadership's predecessor).

Since the referendum votes (major changes in the Constitution and By-Laws were also approved), the union's leadership has taken to issuing press releases outlining a more militant stand against boss tyranny at the local school level. But many rank and file union leaders have already gone out of their delegate positions as the direction of the leadership group has become more clear. There are also rumors that a faction in the CORE leadership is planning additional purges, or attempted purges. (More about this later).

CTU members who are not rewriting history to suit current fashions note that "stronger together" once meant that the Chicago Teachers Union was in an alliance with all the other unions of CPS workers, resulting in several strikes (during the 1980s) when the CTU struck as part of a general strike. In many ways in 2017, however, the CTU leadership has been standing alone, not only in contract matters, but also in controversial political actions and aside donations to favored politicians who have supported unions despite claims by some in the CTU leadership that such political leaders are "anti labor".



February 10, 2018 at 6:16 PM

By: Rich Gibson

Is this all about the money, again?

Bringing contract expiration dates in line seems impossible, which would mean that a mass strike of charter/non charter teachers would be nearly impossible. That would mean that aligning the salary schedules would be equally impossible. And, since the current CTU leadership appears to be more interested in creating the appearance of unionism (which has to be rooted in recognizing the contradictory interests of workers and bosses), it seems to me that this is indeed all about collecting dues--not solidarity.

February 11, 2018 at 6:28 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Dues collection versus worker solidarity...

Rich Gibson here is right on both points. First: The fact that much less than 50 percent of the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union voted in favor of the charter amalgamation -- after months of ceaseless propaganda from every union source in favor of "stronger together" -- speaks for itself. The leadership of the CTU has been preaching the need to recoup lost union dues through this method, rather than through organizing new members from Chicago's real public schools. Second: the current CTU leadership, despite the constant swooning over it from the "Left", has sold out the members in the real schools in several ways, from giving in to the fantasy of "Community Schools" (instead of demanding that every Chicago neighborhood have a real public school) to getting hundreds of thousands of dollars directly from the Boss (Chicago Public Schools) to the CTU Quest Center. And that's not even noting that last Friday's "Snow Day" was an unpaid day for teachers -- small, but yet another collective bargaining sellout from the current leadership.

February 26, 2018 at 3:06 PM

By: Miriam Socoloff

Charter merger

Charter schools were created to destroy public education. So far they have been quite effective. The only way to stop them is to organize charter teachers and merge into one Chicago Teachers Union.

February 26, 2018 at 3:45 PM

By: Edward F Hershey

Agree with Miriam

She put it Succinctly.

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