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*** UPDATED x2 *** A miscommunication or is somebody not telling the truth?

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We discussed this yesterday

In a possible attempt to help end the teachers strike, both Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton on Wednesday showed their support for an elected school board — a priority of the Chicago Teachers Union.

The CTU had pushed for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to publicly back the bill as a condition of a new teachers contract. But Lightfoot had resisted the call, saying it had no place in a contract. After the show of support for the measure by the legislative leaders Wednesday, the union dropped the demand.

Madigan was the first to release a statement on the legislation, reminding the public that the House has made efforts to try to pass an elected school board and to give the CTU more bargaining power — another bill the union wanted Lightfoot to support. The speaker said he will “again give full consideration to these proposals in the upcoming spring session.” […]

“The Governor has long expressed his support for an elected school board and changes to the collective bargaining process. He looks forward to reviewing the specifics when these bills reach his desk.”

After some Democratic Senators issued a similar pledge yesterday to take up the bills next spring, the Senate President also committed to working with his members on these issues.

* The mayor was asked about the topic during a press conference last night

Reporter: [CTU Political and Legislative Director] Stacy Davis Gates has said that the CTU has been meeting with the governor, Senate President Cullerton and Madigan about an elected school board and changing the negotiations, their ability for collective bargaining rights, and that they are supportive. Have you been part of those conversations?

Mayor Lightfoot: I’ve had contact with all three of those individuals, the governor, the president and the speaker. That’s not my understanding.

…Adding… I mean, they all put out statements yesterday. It was an attempt to placate the CTU and help ease the path to the end of the strike. The mayor should’ve probably just taken the path.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Text from the governor’s comms director…

To clarify: The governor has not been meeting w the CTU.

*** UPDATE 2 *** I missed this thread until a few minutes ago about Lightfoot’s news conference…


       

68 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    It’s as though Rauner’s stylings have found themselves on the 5th floor of City Hall.

    When you lose trust of so many you have little.


  2. - Montrose - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Did Lightfoot read the statements put out by Cullerton and Madigan? Those statements say supportive.

    Does she think she is able to pull Jedi mind tricks on folks?


  3. - Lil Lebowski Urban Achiever - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Amateur hour continues… The City used to be a force in Springfield. Now? Not so much.

    How do you repeatedly screw up communication with three of the most important the City’s success? All of whom live in Chicago.

    How do offer the real estate transfer tax months ago, and then the first day of Veto have the City’s own members in strong opposition? Did you not talk to them?

    Get it together. Please.


  4. - Telly - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    I think it’s more of a miscommunication.

    President Cullerton is the key player here. The House has already passed both the elected school board and collective bargaining bills, but Cullerton held them up as a courtesy to the new mayor. Cullerton essentially said yesterday he’ll lift the brick and move the bills. He did not say he personally supported either one of them. The reporter who asked Lightfoot the question kind of confused the issue by implying Cullerton announced he supported the bills, when he did not.


  5. - Anon For Now - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Mayors own, and every miscommunication adds a helping of “WTH” to the mayor’s plate.


  6. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    In the event there is an elected school board in Chicago, I think the “bargaining table” for future teachers’ contracts must have a taxpayers’ advocate in the process, or it’s gonna be “Katy bar the door” the next time the Chicago Teachers’ Union come looking for concessions.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    === miscommunication===

    Are the statements by Cullerton and Madigan *that* confusing?

    Boy a U of Chicago law school education ain’t what it use to be.


  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    In an alternate reality …

    Reporter: … Have you been part of those conversations?

    Mayor: Yes.
    Remember, I support an elected school board. I look forward to working on that issue. Right now I’m focused on getting our kids back in school. We’ve offered a fair and clear path to do just that. The sooner the CTU ends the strike the sooner we can work together on an elected school board.


  9. - Smalls - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    And Stacy Davis Gates has been thrown under the bus by the governor’s staff.


  10. - Newcomer - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    I think the Speaker and the President are supportive of the concepts but those bills will not pass in their current forms. Maybe that is what the Mayor was getting at.


  11. - Montrose - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    “taxpayers’ advocate”

    That’s an adorable euphemism. Maybe the “taxpayers’ advocates” should run a “taxpayers’ advocate” candidate to get elected to the school board so they the “taxpayers’ advocate” has a seat at the bargaining table.


  12. - Perrid - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Anon, regarding “taxpayers’ advocate”, uh, what do you think elected officials are? You might not think they’re good at their job, you might disagree with their priorities, but they are literally “taxpayers’ advocates”


  13. - Frustrated Parent - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    CTU lies again. Shocking. This strike has absolutely nothing to do about kids. If it did, they would be more concerned about better grades and improving the scores rather than trying to get less hours, less days, more pay.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    === The reporter who asked Lightfoot the question kind of confused the issue.===

    “Because… the reporter”

    Is that how it goes?

    (Sigh)


  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    ===CTU lies again. Shocking===

    Not necessarily. The reporter could’ve oopsed. And the governor is supportive of both issues.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    === To clarify: The governor has not been meeting w the CTU.===

    “I just got off the phone with Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton”

    - Rauner, election nite, 2014

    or

    - Lightfoot, 10/31/2019

    Maybe both…


  17. - Perrid - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Frustrated parent, there’s still wiggle room for miscommunication. JB’s comms director didn’t say he wasn’t supportive of an elected board, and also we don’t know if his staff has been talking with CTU. Just that JB himself hasn’t.


  18. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    Where is the disconnect? Lightfoot said she supported an elected school board, just that it shouldn’t be part of the contract. The big issue with the elected board is whether it will be splintered and thus easily controlled by CTU candidates or whether it will be smaller sized and with an elected President with strong veto power. Some say “no elected board” at all, but I think the debate has moved beyond that.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    === taxpayers’ advocate ===

    They are all taxpayers.

    Oh… “elections have consequences”

    The mayor is the elected. Take it up with this mayor this time


  20. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    Part of CTU’s strategy seems to have been to block Lightfoot’s attempts to solve the city budget problems. It’s like Stacy Davis Gates saying, “hey nice legislative package you have here. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.”

    A big part of this fight is about showing Aldermen and state legislators who the real political power is in Chicago. CTU is threatening to run candidates against anyone who isn’t in lock-step with their progressive agenda.

    And it looks like it’s working. This strike is about many things, but it’s not about compensation and it’s not about improving education.


  21. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    As someone noted above, I think the confusion is whether we mean “elected board” or “the bill”


  22. - CommonSenseCary - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    Is it that hard to imagine that different things were said to MLL in private? I found Governors correction of the record of communicating with CTU to be entertaining.


  23. - Centennial - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    “This strike is about many things, but it’s not about compensation and it’s not about improving education.”

    Ding. Ding. Ding.


  24. - PeoriaDem - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    “And it looks like it’s working. This strike is about many things, but it’s not about compensation and it’s not about improving education.”

    I think it’s hard to say that its not about improving education when the strike achieved meaningful gains in staffing, class room sizes, and more importantly, enforcement mechanisms on these issues.


  25. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    Interesting that many of you would jump on the term “taxpayers’ advocate”. The unions spend millions of dollars to elect “advocates” alright. Just not the advocates that actually have to pay for these contracts.

    And Pertrid, to your point that “you might not think they’re good at their job, you might disagree with their priorities, but they are literally “taxpayers’ advocates”, I must disagree. If you are sitting across the bargaining table from the very people who funded your campaign, the “advocates” of which you speak do not advocate for me or the tax dollars I pay.


  26. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Maybe you’re right PeoriaDem, but if that’s true, why isn’t the strike over?


  27. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    *Perrid (sorry about that)…


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    === Maybe you’re right PeoriaDem, but if that’s true, why isn’t the strike over?===

    Restaurant quality.


  29. - SW - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    Giving the CTU more bargaining power is nuts. They already get way more benefits than other unions.


  30. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    Did Lightfoot read the statements put out by Cullerton and Madigan? Those statements say supportive.“

    Apparently not. They just don’t want to take it up during the veto session.

    “This strike has absolutely nothing to do about kids. If it did, they would be more concerned about better grades and improving the scores rather than trying to get less hours, less days, more pay.”

    What does this angry sideswipe have to with an elected school board? Since it’s said already, this strike has a lot to do with kids, to get them the proper school support. They deserve it, especially after we lavish those who already have a lot with even more.


  31. - Bruce (no not him) - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    If an elected school boards are OK in the rest of the state, why not Chicago? Are all of the downstate school boards corrupt and controlled by the teacher’s unions?


  32. - Enviro - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    “Mayor Lori Lightfoot then persuaded Senate President John Cullerton to shelve the (elected school board) bill and it never made it out of the Assignments Committee.”

    This happened last spring before she was sworn in as mayor.


  33. - Telly - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    Willy, I am no apologist for the mayor. I have joined you in attacking her political missteps on this blog. Just pointing out the reporter made a statement of fact that was technically not true and that’s what Lightfoot focused on.

    == …an attempt to placate CTU and ease a path to end the strike. The mayor should’ve probably just taken the path. ==

    I agree completely with Rich on this. A much better response from the mayor would have been something like: “My understanding is those bills are going to be considered in Springfield next year. That’s separate and apart from the collective bargaining agreement in front of us right now — I’m focused on that.”

    But, as we’ve seen, the mayor throws punches first and solves problems later.


  34. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Anyone know when the new 2019-2020 20th day enrollment numbers will be released?

    https://tinyurl.com/y78obmq9


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    === Just pointing out the reporter made a statement of fact that was technically not true and that’s what Lightfoot focused on.===

    Here’s the rub;

    The mayor of the 3rd largest city in America in the middle of trying to end a teachers’ strike better really be clear about answers and those answers to what questions are posed.

    You can’t “wing it” or…seem aloof to contrarian facts of statements of folks.

    Who is prepping the mayor?


  36. - Roman - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Remember, CTU injected the elected school board and collective bargaining bills into the negotiations Monday night and Lightfoot freaked out over it. It seems Madigan and Cullerton skillfully sought to remove a contentious issue from the talks and give both sides a “win.” Sharkey and Gates could go to their House if Delegates and say we got what we wanted out of Springfield and Lightfoot could maintain her support of the bills was not part of the final agreement. Lightfoot stepped on the messaging with the response she gave in the press conference last night.


  37. - Levois J - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    It seems like a miscommunication all around. I’m glad Springfield’s position is more or less to end the strike as opposed to adding more issues to it. I support an elected school board, however, I want the kids back in school!


  38. - Molly Maguire - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    As I said during the mayor’s election, Lightfoot was a big gamble since she had little experience or preparation for this job. People were excited about her story, but her handling of the strike and other matters have exposed her inexperience. I have a lot of critique of the CTU (don’t know how to say “Yes”), but Lightfoot’s communication to the public has been poor, and her understanding of how collective bargaining works has been abysmal. First thing I learned was NEVER agree to wages/benefits first–it always gets saved until last. If not, you end up getting dragged around on dozens of other issues with the union knowing it is already locked down its raise.


  39. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    ===First thing I learned was NEVER agree to wages/benefits first–it always gets saved until last. If not, you end up getting dragged around on dozens of other issues with the union knowing it is already locked down its raise. ===

    That is exactly right. She negotiated against herself.


  40. - Just Another Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    “This strike is about many things, but it’s not about compensation and it’s not about improving education.”

    Just coming to this conclusion now 47th Ward? With regard to the raises agreed to early, the correct negotiating posture becomes “You want [insert non-monetary benefit here]? How much of your compensation are you willing to give up for it?”


  41. - Teve Demotte - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    An “independently” elected school board is another way of saying the CTU will determine who resides on the CPS board and who will be the CEO and how the schools will be run. This is a bad idea, plain and simple.


  42. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    ===An “independently” elected school board is===

    …how EVERY school board in the state does it except one.


  43. - A guy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    ==This strike is about many things, but it’s not about compensation and it’s not about improving education.==

    Bingo 47


  44. - Teve Demotte - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    Rich, you are exactly correct. To me, she received bad advice from her CPS lawyer. She essentially negotiated against herself from get go. Now she will be stuck with a deal she cannot afford.


  45. - Teve Demotte - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Rich, saying that every school board in the state is “independently” elected and therefore Chicago should do the same misses a key point, CTU has the money and organizing power to make sure the new “independently” elected board is in fact controlled by them.


  46. - PeoriaDem - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    “An “independently” elected school board is another way of saying the CTU will determine who resides on the CPS board and who will be the CEO and how the schools will be run. This is a bad idea, plain and simple.”

    How dare these teachers and parents attempt to have a say in how the schools they work in and send their children to are managed. Much better to let the Paul Vallas’ and Betsy DeVos’ of the world whisper in Administrators ears whats best for a school system.

    These strikes have certainly gotten people to say the quiet parts loud.


  47. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    =…how EVERY school board in the state does it except one.=

    The teachers in my school district have not asked for affordable housing and other “non-school” related items to be included in their contract.

    A CTU-back CPS will result in property taxes in Chicago to rival freakin’ Kenilworth.


  48. - Randomly Selected - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    Sounds like the CTU spokesperson got out over her skis in describing what was happening. Mistake or nefarious, who knows. Not my position to judge.

    To the negotiations and this administration in general. Lightfoot is a prosecutor at heart and when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. She’s not used to “having a bit of sneak” about her in terms of playing politics + public opinion and it’s showing. CTU is probably going to get a great deal soley because of this.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    === A CTU-back CPS will result in property taxes in Chicago to rival freakin’ Kenilworth.===

    While you’re at it, what are the lottery numbers for tonight?


  50. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    10-15-17-24-29 powerball 3


  51. - City Zen - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==Anyone know when the new 2019-2020 20th day enrollment numbers will be released?==

    4:59 PM, first Friday after a signed contract.


  52. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    - City Zen -

    Thank you.


  53. - City Zen - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==The teachers in my school district have not asked for affordable housing==

    Because your teachers can live anywhere, including Chicago. While Chicago has a number of residency exemptions, teachers still have to live in the city. Unfortunately, not many of them seem willing to live in the bountiful supply of affordable homes across the city and want a carve-out to be next door to Chad and Trixie on Armitage.


  54. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    - Anon 10:20 -

    You make an unfair comparison because CPS has a bigger percentage of English learners than CPS. Kennilworth lacks diversity, among its’ many problems. Kennilworth struggles with teachers living outside the district.


  55. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    If those lottery numbers win I am going to be very impressed


  56. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    @DuPage Saint

    Bank on it.


  57. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    The more power the CTU appears to have, the less likely there is State money going to CPS. It seems that more state money will just go to CTU.


  58. - PeoriaDem - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    “Because your teachers can live anywhere, including Chicago. While Chicago has a number of residency exemptions, teachers still have to live in the city. Unfortunately, not many of them seem willing to live in the bountiful supply of affordable homes across the city and want a carve-out to be next door to Chad and Trixie on Armitage.”

    The negotiations around affordable housing were for the students of the CPS, of which thousands are homeless, not carve outs for teachers, so I don’t understand the point you were trying to make.


  59. - City Zen - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==The negotiations around affordable housing were for the students of the CPS, of which thousands are homeless, not carve outs for teachers==

    As reported by multiple media outlets, CTU was bargaining for housing assistance for both teachers and students.


  60. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    “The teachers in my school district have not asked for affordable housing”

    Chicago Public Schools (CPS) reported serving 16,451 homeless students during the 2018-19 school year.
    https://www.chicagohomeless.org/faq-studies/

    – MrJM


  61. - The Truth - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    Lightfoot campaigned on having an elected school board This Mayor sure has a lot to learn about politics and working with Springfield, Unions, etc


  62. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    Strike is over. Deal reached on extending classes (5 of 11 strike days). Fantastic news.


  63. - A Jack - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    The argument seems to be that an elected school board in Chicago will give the CTU too much power which will in turn give giant raises and benefits to Chicago teachers.

    Yet, in the rest of the state school boards are elected, but their is a teacher shortage. In fact, the GA had to pass a bill to force a higher minimum wage for teachers to combat teacher shortages.

    So the argument that an elected school board for Chicago would give the CTU too much power just does not seem to have a basis in reality.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    === You make an unfair comparison because CPS has a bigger percentage of English learners than CPS. Kennilworth lacks diversity, among its’ many problems. Kennilworth struggles with teachers living outside the district.===

    You may wanna cleat yo the first part, and then clarify the second.

    This… whew.


  65. - Rod - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    I just read all of the posts and they are interesting but to a degree miss what took place at the CTU house of delegates last night. Delegates voted only 364 to 242, with four abstentions, to accept the tentative agreement. In order to get a majority it was necessary to bring in the issue of an elected school Board. CTU Chief of Staff Jen Johnson during her discussion of agreeing to a 5 year contract vs a 3 year contract she stated it was contingent on Mayor Lightfoot acting to get an elected school board bill passed in Springfield and working to get the 1995 Amendatory Act repealed. Or at least not putting up road blocks. There are a significant number of social activists in the union who needed to be brought on board to the tentative deal which was not fully agreed to by many of them. This is how it went down from several delegates I have talked to.


  66. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    Winner, by unanimous decision: Mayor Lori Lightfoot


  67. - Techie - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    “Winner, by unanimous decision: Mayor Lori Lightfoot”

    Lol, good one.


  68. - Teve Demotte - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    Lightfoot cannot afford the contract she just agreed to. Enrollment will continue to decline each year by 6,000 to 10,000 students per year. CTU is still only paying 2% of their salary to their pension. This combined with the increase in the number of full-time employees will only worsen the CPS pension problem. I presume CPS will very soon have to resort to borrowing at higher interest rates, because CPS’s bond rating is still in junk status. Next up for Lightfoot, the police and fire contract negotiations.


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