Chicago teachers again lead the way: Union reformers are re-elected

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Hats off – again – to Chicago’s smart, courageous teachers and the union leadership they’ve re-elected, from the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), including Karen Lewis as Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) president. CORE defeated the Coalition to Save Our Union in in all of its executive board and regional positions in a thoroughly democratic election that was a model for other US unions.  What’s most telling about their re-election is that while campaigning for their offices, the leadership kept up the fight against the racist school closings occurring in that city, orgnaizing three days of protests.  The corporate media focuses almost entirely on Karen Lewis, and the election is being cast as her personal victory.  Karen Lewis deserves all the kudos.  What a fab spokesperson and union prez! At the same time,  we need to keep ourselves grounded in the fact that the CTU has achieved its victories because of CORE’s idealism and savvy, its culture of collective leadership, and the courage and stamina of Chicago teachers. So here’s a toast to Chicago teachers. You go!

About Author
LOIS WEINER writes widely on education and labor and is the author of The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice (Haymarket Books, 2012). She is a member of the  New Politics editorial board and a co-editor of the print issue.

 

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