Chicago Teachers Union election primer
The Chicago Teachers Union holds its tri-annual election Friday.
Why it matters: The CTU has emerged as arguably the most powerful labor force in the city. Its moves affect hundreds of thousands of residents and rattle the mayor.
The big picture: The race is largely seen as a referendum on the broad progressive advocacy and combative styles of its current leaders, outgoing president Jesse Sharkey and vice president Stacy Davis Gates.
- Challengers say they want less focus on political personalities and more on bread-and-butter issues like prep time and benefits.
Between the lines: There are three caucuses with candidates for president, including:
CORE: Davis Gates is running on continued progressive momentum and the leadership's record on:
- Class size protections.
- Cost of living raises and COVID-19 safety agreements.
- Winning bargaining rights and a fully elected school board.
Members First: Mary Esposito-Usterbowski is pushing a platform of "change" through strategies like:
- Engaging in collaboration "with all stakeholders."
- Creating more transparency by posting CTU records "in a timely manner."
- Using strikes and work stoppages as the last step.
REAL: Darnell Dowd leads this caucus of former CORE supporters "concerned about the direction of the CTU." REAL promises to:
- "Track bully[ing] administrators" and "publicly call out toxic school leadership."
- "Include a minimum of two rank-and-file members" in most bargaining discussions.
- "Add a CTU hotline" to address member needs in a timely manner.
What's next: A caucus needs to win more than 50% of the vote, which ends Friday, to avoid a runoff.
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