The debating starts.
Speaking in support of my New Business Item to the Illinois caucus.
Yesterday morning I made some calls to people who I normally don’t have on my speed dial.
IEA President Cinda Klickna. VP Kathy Griffin. Secrertary Treasurer Al Llorens. And other members of the Board of Directors and Steering Committee.
“Can we talk. I’m in the lobby,” I voice mailed Klickna.
And at about 11AM she came walking over to me in the lobby of the DC Renaissance.
I wanted to run past her a New Business Item that would call on the NEA to support the CTU in their negotiations with the mayor and his hand-picked school board.
Now understand. Out of the 9,000 delegates to the NEA RA, there must be hundreds involved in bargaining now. Even in the Illinois delegations, dozens are probably bargaining this summer. The NEA supports them all, but not usually with a New Business Item.
Cinda knew. Chicago is a special case. Not because we made it one. It was made special when Stand for Children and StudentsFirst dropped a couple 100K on to legislators to change the collective bargaining rules just for Chicago. They turned collective bargaining in Chicago into Vegas where the odds strongly favor the house. On top of that, Chicago is the only city in the state with an appointed board which Rahm has stacked with his deep pocket pals like Penny Pritzker and David Vitale.
But I didn’t want to introduce this NBI without the leadership agreeing ahead of time.
Cinda agreed to take it to the steering committee when it met before caucus early this morning. Meanwhile I talked to some other state leaders.
Before caucus this morning, Cinda came by and said it was a go. I spoke to the caucus and moved the NBI. It passed overwhelmingly.
Tomorrow, after Joe Biden speaks, or maybe Wednesday, New Business Item 13 will come to the floor of the NEA RA:
The NEA supports the Chicago Teachers Union in their negotiations with the Chicago Mayor and his hand-picked school board.
Delegates from Michigan, the Peace and Justice Caucus, and other delegates from Illinois have offered to speak in support of NBI 13. Our argument: If the corporate agenda of the mayor and groups like Stand for Children get their way in Chicago, all of Illinois is next. Then, America, it comes to a town near you.
If we explain it right then NBI 13 will pass and Chicago teachers will have the official backing of the 3 million member National Education Association.
If not, we have united Illinois teachers behind this.
No small potatoes.