In the Chicago Teachers' Union, they have a one day election in the schools (I take it the retirees don't vote for who will represent the active teachers like here in NYC). On Friday, May 17, the Chicago Teachers Union is having their election.
We followed last year's Chicago strike and its aftermath fairly closely and although it was not a total victory by any means, nothing will send a stronger and clearer message to the forces that are trying to destroy public education than the overwhelming reelection of Karen Lewis and her CORE caucus in the May 17 balloting. She deserves a second term.
CORE didn't stop the school closing madness with the strike but they did show unions can fight back at the grassroots level. Their courageous strike resulted in a decent contract with solid financial and teaching condition gains. I don't think there is much doubt that it is better than what they could have achieved without striking.
A big CORE victory in the election will be a nightmare for the people who want to privatize (charter schools) education. A CORE loss will put another Unity style top-down, "Let's collaborate with management" group back in charge of the Chicago Teachers Union.
For an in depth analysis of the election, see Jersey Jazzman, Ed Notes or go right to Chicago and read the latest in Chicago's Substance where there is an endorsement.
Like our friend in New Jersey, we also usually don't get involved in union elections outside our own local but this one is too important and clearly has national implications.
We need three more years for Karen Lewis to lead the resistance against the people who want to kill the unions and end public education as we know it! It's up to you Chicago teachers.