|Karen Lewis not only was re-elected by acclaim by CTU's House of Delegates, she out-polls the mayor 3-1.|
If not for last year's health problems, President Lewis would likely be Mayor Lewis today. She and the union continue to out-poll Rahm Emanuel citywide, offering hope that an end of mayoral control of the schools is on the horizon.
That unity and discipline were also on display on April 1st, when some 30,000 teachers and staff took to the streets in a one-day strike, demanding fair and adequate funding for public education. This in response to the board's violations of their own contract agreements and Gov. Rauner's ongoing hostage-taking of the state's school budget.
Leading up to the strike, there were obvious internal disagreements within the CTU over tactics. In the end, the vote by union delegates to authorize the strike won by a margin of 486-124.
Hooray for internal struggle within a democratic union. The national AFT could learn a thing or two from the way the CTU struggles out its differences. Once dissenting voices were heard and the vote taken within the union's House of Delegates, union members closed ranks and their strike drew citywide support. It offered a powerful show of union and community strength and is most likely a harbinger of things to come in May if teachers are still forced to work without a fair contract.
CPS is now claiming that 247 CTU members crossed union picket lines.
S-T's Lauren Fitzpatrick writes:
The bulk of them, 173, were teachers, CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner said. She had no details of where those workers reported or how CPS counted them.I have my doubts. But then I don't believe anything CPS' Liar-In-Chief Emily Bittner says. Since schools were shut down tighter than a drum and parents kept students home or out on the picket lines, the question is, what were these 173 out of 27,000 teachers supposedly doing that day?
In any event, even if these reports are true, that's a minuscule number of strike-breakers.
Let the dogs howl. The union makes us strong.
One final note from an old hand.
S-T's Mick Dumke reports today that Chicago undercover cops are being diverted from dealing with the city's gun violence pandemic and are being sent instead to spy on protest groups.
The police department already had been monitoring the actions and online postings of protest groups in the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of a black teenager by a white cop in Ferguson, Missouri. Then, in October, the records show Ralph Price, the police department’s top lawyer, signed off on a plan to send undercover cops to “monitor” meetings of four additional groups. They included Black Lives Matter activists, as well as churches and philanthropic organizations.
A month later — after the court-ordered release of police dashcam video showing a white Chicago cop, Officer Jason Van Dyke, shooting and killing a black teenager, Laquan McDonald — a top Emanuel aide went to the command center of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications to keep tabs on protests organized by the Black Youth Project 100, one of the groups spied on by the police.
|FBI Chief Hoover and Pres. Nixon launched COINTELPRO.|
I was part of a lawsuit that resulted in an agreement by the city to disband the Red Squad and cease and desist the spying on protest groups.
After 11 years of litigation, a 1985 court decision ended the Chicago Police Department's Subversive Activities Unit's unlawful surveillance of political dissenters and their organizations. In the fall of 1974, the Red Squad destroyed 105,000 individual and 1,300 organizational files when it learned that the Alliance to End Repression was filing a lawsuit against the unit for violating the U.S. Constitution. The records that remain are housed at the Chicago Historical Society. The public requires special permission to access them until 2012. (Encyclopedia of Chicago)I visited the Historical Society's archives this week to review my own files. It's a great site for a school research project.
Looks like Rahm is back at it again. Be careful out there.