CTU retiree election results posted, with glaring contradictions still unresolved... Voters were told to vote for 33 candidates, while only 29 could legally be seated...Invention of 'alternate delegates'...

The numerical results of the controversial election for Chicago Teachers Union retiree delegates were finally posted on February 5, 2018. The results, which include a claim that the union was only electing 29 retiree delegates, because of what was called a "clerical error," failed to note that the members had been told to vote for a total of 33 candidates, and that the union leadership refused to do the election over when it was discovered that the voting members had been told to vote for too many candidates. According to the union's website (as of the morning of February 6), the four candidates who received the lowest number of votes after 29 candidates (the four includes this reporter) would be classified as "alternate delegates" and take office if and when those who received the most votes left office, either through resignation or for other reasons.

But the union's leadership continues to refuse to explain how the "clerical error" was made, when the Union's Constitution and By-Laws clearly state that retiree delegate elections are to be based on the number of retiree union members as of the December union meeting Financial Secretary's report. That report showed that the union had fewer than 30,000 members and therefore should have elected 29 (or possible 30, depending upon how the Constitution is interpreted) and not 33.

Although the latest missive from the CTU Financial Office claims that the four candidates who received the next lowest number of votes (after the 29 who are listed as "winners", see below) are "alternate delegates", there was no provision for electing so-called "alternate delegates" in the CTU's rule at the time of the voting for retiree delegates. Nor have there ever been such "alternate delegates" elected in the entire history of union House of Delegate delegate elections. The only time the union selects "alternate delegates" is during the elections for citywide office and for delegates to the national (American Federation of Teachers, AFT) and state (Illinois Federation of Teachers, IFT) conventions. The current election is for school and other delegates to the House of Delegates -- not for citywide offices and convention delegates. The elections for citywide officers and convention delegates will not be held until May 2019.

Confusion and mismanagement of the retiree election is not limited to the question of whether CTU retiree members knew we were electing "delegates" and "alternates." In the original mailing of the ballots to retiree members in December 2017, the union's Financial Secretary failed to tell the voters that it would cost more than one First Class stamp to mail in the ballot, which had to be mailed in an oversized envelope. That problem was partly corrected, long after the ballots had been mailed out (and many had already been mailed back in) with an email and post card from the Financial Secretary telling the voters of the problem. By that time, of course, many voters had already voted.

But at no time were the voters told that they were not only voting for "delegates" but also for "alternate delegates." The only number voters were ever told to vote for was 33, even though under the union's rules only 29 were to be elected.

The official vote count is as follows, according to

Retiree Delegate Election Results

Due to a clerical error 33 retiree delegate positions were reported for this current delegate election cycle. However, based on the total number of retiree members there are only 29 retiree delegate positions. On January 9, 2018 the Rules & Election Committee voted to seat the top 29 vote-getters. For the candidates who received vote totals in the 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd places, Rules & Election voted to seat those candidates as delegates in the order of their vote totals should positions become open during the course of the term.

Nominee (Total Votes) Mary Sharon Reilly (961) Winner

Patricia A. Knazze (909) Winner

Lois Nelson (855) Winner

Roberta Wilson (809) Winner

Howard L. Heath (800) Winner

John W. Lewis (798) Winner

Marybeth Foley (780) Winner

Beatrice S. Lumpkin (778) Winner

George E. Milkowski (778) Winner

Patricia A. Jones (774) Winner

Deborah A. Pope (771) Winner

James W. Stewart (769) Winner

Theresa D. Daniels (762) Winner

Margo T. Murray (750) Winner

Mary I. Edmonds (743) Winner

Jack Silver (735) Winner

Patricia A. Boughton (715) Winner

Helen M. Ramirez-Odell (707) Winner

Lawrence E. Milkowski (690) Winner

Leandres White (678) Winner

Cecelia D. Scott (674) Winner

Charlotte Brent (665) Winner

Jamilah M. Ali (661) Winner

Claire E. Falk (660) Winner

Stephen D. Livingston (659) Winner

Thomas Lalagos (651) Winner

Jean R. Schwab (643) Winner

Drunita Steward (619) Winner

Cathaline Gray Carter (610) Winner

Wiliam R. Lamme (608) Glory A. Margotte (597) George N. Schmidt (533) Maria J. Rodriguez (526)

Louis N. Pyster (507) John Keating (504) Rose Mary Finnegan (502) Robert F. Bures (472) Barbara J. Baker (434) Queen E. Jackson (406) Sarah E. Loftus (400) Susan E. Hickey (374) Barbara Ramsey (373) Ava C. Harston (363) Jerald A. Siegel (362) Jo-Anne Cairo (284) Carmen V. Collazo-Robinson (267) Christine C. Etapa (259)


February 8, 2018 at 10:10 AM

By: Jo-Anne Cairo

Retiree Election

How many retiree's voted?

What was the total number of ballots counted?

Where there any poll watchers allowed to observe the counting of the ballots?

Maria Mereno stated at the HOD meeting that the CTU staff worked several days and long hours counting the ballots.

This election has major questions, on how it was conducted and handled.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

4 + 1 =