The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) held its annual Legislators and Educators Appreciation Dinner on Friday, October 28, 2011 at Plumbers Hall in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The gala event was well-attended with over 500 educators, legislators, supporters and friends.
Karen Lewis, President of CTU gave the Welcome and introduced the Keynote Speaker, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Governor Quinn expressed his continued support for Educators in an informative and engaging speech.
State Representatives Monique Davis (27th District), and Esther Golar (6th District) were recipients of the Davis Peterson Award. The Defender of Public Education Award was presented to Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) and Deborah Graham, Alderman of the 29th Ward. The recipients of the Great Community Advocate Award were State Representative Cynthia Soto (4th District), and State Senator Iris Martinez (20th District).
In conjunction with the Legislators and Educators Appreciation Dinner, the “CTU Education Policy and Legislative Program Highlights for 2011-2012” include:
1. “Small Class Size = Educational Achievement”
The CTU’s position is that “Smaller class size leads to educational achievement, especially in elementary grades.” And according to a new CTU study of state records, when it comes to crowding students into classrooms, the Chicago Public School system ranks among the top offenders in Illinois.
2. “End the 20th Day Rule”
The CTU’s concern here is that the Chicago School Board waits until the 20th day of the school year to announce final teacher class assignments which generates instability, mostly at neighborhood schools, from the very first day of the school year.
3. “Elect Chicago School Board Members”
Currently, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) is governed by a 12-member Board of Trustees. Teachers vote for nine of the 12 trustees. Proposed legislation, HB3827, if passed, would change that. And the CTU opposes it. HB 3827 would eliminate the CTPF Board of Trustees as it is now known. The new board, with HB 3827, would have 7 members: 4 members appointed by the mayor of Chicago and the remaining 3 members would be elected by active and retired members of the fund.
4. “Oppose Pension Attacks”
As stated by the CTU,”The average Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund retiree earns $42,000 per year. And of the 87,000 retired teachers in Illinois, almost 1 in 5 receive a pension that is less than $20,000 per year…” after 35-40 years of educating students.
In conjunction with this, I found that teachers contribute 9% of their salary to the pension fund each payday, and are not allowed to receive Social Security. The CTU’s appeal is to help stop those legislative bills aimed at taking control of, and reducing teacher pensions.
So In a real sense, in fighting for teachers, we can say that CTU takes the LEAD!
The Chicago Teachers Union is the third largest teachers local in the country, and the largest in Illinois. It represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools. There are 409,000 students in the Chicago Public School system
The CTU is located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400. Chicago, Illinois, USA 60654. Their website address is: www.ctunet.com