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We are a democratic union

Representatives from schools and positions in Chicago Public Schools come together on the first Wednesday of every month at the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates to hear reports on our union’s progress and discuss key issues facing our schools. No other group—not the Chicago Board of Education, not the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS), not Stand for Children—can claim this type of connection to Chicago’s public schools and the people who make them work. There is no other education group that democratically represents its school communities the way we do, and that is why your vote today is so important. We will not just be voting for Union officers, trustees, functional group vice presidents and nearly 200 Illinois Federation of Teachers/American Federation of Teachers convention delegates, but also voting for the collective vision that will guide us for the next three years.

The streets are watching

We beat Rahm Emanuel and we beat Janus. INCS is on life support. Bruce Rauner has returned to one of his many mansions. We are leaders—the trusted and respected educator voice in this city. We have fought for an elected school board, community investment and fully funded neighborhood schools, and politicians were elected to office because of where they stood on these issues—our issues.

Anti-union and anti-CTU sentiment is still very strong, however, and we are still in a contract fight with the Board of Ed. Our detractors will be watching to see if our union sticks together, so no matter the outcome today, please vote. CTU President Emerita Karen Lewis often said that you are the Chicago Teachers Union. Chicago needs your voice now more than ever.

The vote

All active CTU members (not retired members) are eligible to vote in this election. Most members will vote in their schools. Citywide members have received mail-in ballots. If those members mail in their votes, the American Arbitration Association must receive the ballots by mail by Friday at 4 p.m. to count them. Any active member may vote at any school with a supplemental ballot by presenting their union card or a pay stub showing union dues deducted after January 1, 2019 (including those citywide members who did not return a ballot by mail). Members can also vote today in the main lobby of the CTU Center, 1901 W. Carroll Ave., from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Delegates who need reminders on any election needs should refer to this PowerPoint presentation.

For most members, the best way to vote is at your own school, where the election judge—usually the school delegate—will have your information on the school’s voter roll. Again, voters casting supplemental ballots must show their union card or a pay stub with dues deduction when casting votes. Those who are voting at their own school, however, where their name will appear on the voting rolls indicating they are eligible, do not need to show identification.

Voting must take place in a location easily accessible to CTU members, and many schools set up their balloting near the Kronos machine to make voting convenient when educators swipe in for the day.

No matter where you cast your vote and support, your vote today is essential. There is power in the rank-and-file, so cast your ballot union proud, union strong.