So, what’s my favorite thing in the world, almost, to do?
Sit around talking to teachers, especially those that like to fight for what is right and are doing just that.
Y’know. Sharing stories.
Jennifer Johnson was a high school social studies teacher for ten years and was one of the founding members of the Chicago Teachers Union’s CORE caucus that took power and changed the face of Chicago and American public employee unions.
Jennifer has taken some time away from the classroom to become Chief of Staff of the CTU.
Trisha Connolly and Clare Kelly are rank-and-file members from two different Evanston locals of the Illinois Education Association.
Trisha is an elementary Librarian. Clare teaches Spanish at Evanston Township High School.
Both attended their first National Education Association Representative Assembly in Minneapolis this year.
Connolly tried to pass a New Business Item that would allow direct membership voting on things like presidential endorsements.
One of the tactics of union leadership when they want to kill an issue is to put a huge price tag on it.
Connolly proudly shared the news with us that her proposal set a record price tag of $7 million.
And was quickly dispatched.
Clare presented a proposal to allow each of the 3 million IEA members to donate $3 to a fund that would be used to support actions like the red state teachers who struck this past year.
That New Business Item passed.
She recently was told by a suit in the NEA that the issue was no longer hers and to essentially move along.
Kelly has an alternative plan that includes keeping an eye on how her proposal gets implemented.