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Education Tue May 29 2012

Chicago Teachers Union President's Speech at Historic Rally

Last Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union held a rally in preparation for contract negotiations beginning later this summer. Karen GJ Lewis, who was elected president of the CTU in 2010 after a hard-fought, close election against the incumbent, mayor-friendly leadership, sums up the frustrations teachers feel as they've been made scapegoats by school-privatization special interests like Stand for Children.

Last year, Stand for Children and affiliated interest groups pushed through SB7, designed to restrict collective bargaining rights and weaken teachers' negotiating position. Part of that strategic attack on public school teachers was a requirement that 75 percent of union members vote to authorize a strike should contract talks fail.

Nearly 6,000 members of the approximately 25,000 member union showed up to the rally on Wednesday, and as the video below shows, they were fired up. That 30 percent of union members could be motivated to turn out, march, and rally to show their unity should have been a chilling image for the Mayor's contract bargaining team. If talks fail, the CTU may very well have the leadership in schools across the city to secure a strike authorization vote; and if 75 percent of teachers vote for a strike, that will be a resilient strike.

Watch the video:

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rtays / May 30, 2012 11:45 AM

It's a shame that Gapers Block is taking a Leftist stance on this. Was kind of hoping for some nonpartisan reporting. Oh well.

Jill / May 30, 2012 9:25 PM

I hardly think this is leftist.

I am a CPS parent, and district, state and federal policies have worsened education over the last 10 years. The current administration is further alienating parents and teachers with their tone deaf stance and service delivery model of "more of the same." I am tired of people with no skin in the game or first hand knowledge belittling one side or the other with name-calling.

Either you have something substantive to day. Or, you don't.

You don't.

Ramsin / May 31, 2012 2:33 PM

There's nothing unfactual in this post. Jonah Edelman, one of the legislative policy figures at S4C, himself described this attack on teachers' collective bargaining rights. What is leftist about these facts?

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