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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:50 AM

The Chicago Teachers Unionís secret to success? The rank and file are in control


from In These Times:


Democratic to the CORE
The Chicago Teachers Unionís secret to success? The rank and file are in control.

BY Micah Uetricht


During Septemberís Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike, local and national media rushed to frame the fight as a clash of oversized personalities: the stubborn, foul-mouthed Mayor Rahm Emanuel against the brash chemistry-teacher-turned-union president Karen Lewis. Even progressive media hyped Lewis as the driver of the unionís victory, praising her personal toughness as more than a match for Emanuel. It was classic ďGreat ManĒ historicism, tracing the strikeís origins to leadersí personal traits.

Few accounts mentioned the constituencies behind these leaders. For Emanuel, this includes anti-union charter-school advocates, who donated $12 million toward his election. In Lewisí case, it was the dictates of her 30,000 members. Indeed, the CTU is one of the most vibrantly democratic union locals in the United States.

Since a 2010 upheaval within the CTU, rank-and-file teachers have made up the unionís leadership, and members make many of its day-to-day decisions. Public actions are typically planned and executed by members themselves, not paid staff. And the CTU took the incredible step of extending its September strike an extra two days to ensure members had a chance to examine and debate the proposed contract.

As Lewis puts it, ďWe put the power into the hands of the rank and file, where it belongs.Ē ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/14207/democratic_to_the_core



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Reply The Chicago Teachers Unionís secret to success? The rank and file are in control (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
xchrom Nov 2012 #1
PETRUS Nov 2012 #2
yurbud Nov 2012 #3
tama Dec 2012 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:51 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:20 AM

2. K&R for democracy & solidarity.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:53 AM

3. a lot of the problems unions have are when members view it as a service instead of democratic

community they belong to.

Too many think in terms of "What has the union done for (or to) me lately?" instead of "What have we made the union do for us lately?"

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:33 AM

4. There is nothing glorious

 

about "traditional" male dominated hierarchic and bureaucratic unions and their professionally corrupt union bosses. Whose main function is to keep workers pacified and subservient.

Occupy unions is the way to go...

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