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CTU and UFT Make a Deal on School Closing Resolution

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Uploaded on Jul 20, 2010

The difference between the new Chicago Teachers Union leadership from CORE and the UFT/Unity Caucus almost came to a head at the recent AFT convention in Seattle, where the UFT initially supported a resolution that did not include much stronger language. Randi, fearing an embarrassing floor fight that might expose the fault lines in AFT/UFT policy on closing schools — they have refused to oppose them unequivocally — Unity leaders approached the CTU and together they negotiated language the CTU would be willing to accept.

The 9 minute video opens with Unity's Janella Hinds making a strong statement on closing schools -- which at first surprised me until I was filled in on what had gone on behind the scenes. She is followed by a strong statement from CORE's Jenninfer Johnson thanking Local 2 for "seeing the light" - my words.

Jen Johnson went where the UFT won't go -- she flat out stated that the closing of schools is an attack on teacher tenure and seniority rights and talked about Chicago's ATR problem, where they can be fired after 10 months if they don't get a job. She said there was an attempt to cut into this time limit. (In NYC, ATRs cannot be fired at this time. It is hard to imagine even the UFT giving on this issue, especially after seeing the impact that issue has had in radicalizing Chicago teachers.)

Jen is followed by new CTU president Karen Lewis, who said, "I would like to thank Local 2 for understanding what it means to be on the front lines of a policy that is not only dangerous, it's deadly." You gotta love the underlying dig here at Unity. She talked about how closing schools undermine neighborhood stability and even lead to the deaths of students.

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