If a strike vote were held tomorrow, the Chicago Teachers Union would likely walk off the job, the union reported Monday in preliminary results of a practice strike vote taken late last week.
About 97 percent of members voting — with 95 percent participation among the 27,000 CTU members casting ballots in the mock vote last Thursday — said to strike.
“We are very pleased and not at all surprised by what we’ve learned,” CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said in an email Monday. She called the poll an “internal union exercise” that was “designed to test the CTU’s organizational bandwidth.” She added that final analysis was still being prepared.
* Um, OK, but Sharon Schmidt over at Substance News published the CTU’s actual “Yes or No” questions…
The Chicago Teachers Union and the Board of Education are in ongoing negotiations over our next contract and remain far apart on many issues.
Indicate your choice by putting an X in the appropriate box.
1) In negotiations, Board of Education negotiators demand that CTU members agree to pay cuts, increased health care charges, elimination of minimum staffing levels and contract changes which will remove hundreds of CPS employees from our schools to help balance the Board’s budget. CTU’s Bargaining Team categorically rejects these proposals.
Do you agree with the bargaining team?
2) The Mayor and Board of Ed refuse to stand up to corporations like Bank of America and to super rich individuals like Bruce Rauner who underfund our schools by refusing to pay their fair share in taxes. Should CTU highlight the real cause of CPS budget challenges by organizing boycotts, corporate campaigns and legislative efforts to retrieve that money?
3) Forrest Claypool, Rahm’s hand-picked CEO, has earned a reputation as a privatizer and an anti-union manager at the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Transit Authority. He supports school vouchers, charter school expansion, and has made massive cuts to special education and is threatening 5,000 layoffs. Do you support a vote of no-confidence in Forrest Claypool as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools?
4) CTU’s demands include: A librarian, nurse, art, music, and PE teacher in every school, expansion of Early Childhood programs, funded homeless and restorative justice coordinators, strengthening of special education, grievable class size limits, a minimum wage of $15 an hours for all Board employees, limitations on paperwork, improvements to the evaluation system, protection for paraprofessionals, and an expansion of the Grow Your Own program which supports community members who become teachers.
Do you support these demands which will strengthen our schools and provide better programming to meet the needs of all students?
A scanned version of the document is here.
Anybody ever seen a push poll that blatant?
Also, where’s the strike question?
And in case you haven’t heard of Substance News, click here to see its front page. It is most definitely not on the side of management.
*** UPDATE *** The CTU responds…
CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said the polling strategy was the same one used in the runup to the 2012 teachers’ strike.
“In a nutshell, our legal counsel advised us to stay away from the word ’strike’ in the practice poll, which is why we called it a ‘practice,’ ” Sharkey said.
“The law keeps us from asking questions twice, so what we do is we ask a series of questions that cover the four corners of our bargaining proposals,” he said. “Really what we’re saying is we’re trying to stake out the four corners of our bargaining positions and check the sentiment of that in our schools.”
Not buying it.