Chicago Teachers Union
|Head union||Jesse Sharkey (president)|
|Affiliation||AFT, IFT, CFL, AFL-CIO, IL AFL-CIO|
|Key people||Margaret Haley|
Jacqueline B. Vaughn
|Office location||1901 West Carroll Avenue|
Chicago, Illinois 60612
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is a labor union representing teachers, paraprofessionals, and clinicians in the Chicago public school system. The union has consistently fought for improved pay, benefits, and job security for its members, and it has resisted efforts to vary teacher pay based on performance evaluations. It has also pushed for improvements in the Chicago schools, and since its inception argued that its activities benefited students as well as teachers.
The CTU united several teachers' organizations in Chicago in the wake of a teachers' revolt against banks during the Great Depression. It was chartered in 1937 as Local 1 of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), in which it played a founding role. It was the largest and most active AFT Local until the 1960s. The CTU won collective bargaining rights in 1966 and conducted several strikes during the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2012, the union began its first strike in 25 years.
The CTU is also affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and the AFL-CIO. It has more than 25,000 members. Current officers come from the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, elected in 2010 to replace the longstanding United Progressive Caucus. From that point until her 2018 retirement, Karen Lewis was president. Through a successors election the new officer slate became: President Jesse Sharkey, Vice President Stacy Davis Gates, Recording Secretary Michael Brunson and Financial Secretary Maria Moreno.
Chicago Teachers Federation
The CTU originated from the Chicago Teachers Federation (CTF), an organization of women elementary school teachers founded in 1897. In its first few years, it ran a successful campaign to increase teacher pay, and its membership grew to 2500. In 1900, the CTF elected Catherine Goggin and Margaret Haley as its officers, deciding to pay them the same wages as those made by teachers.
Under the leadership of Haley and Goggin, the CTF struggled for women's suffrage, for women's rights within the labor movement, and for the right of woman workers to earn as much as their male counterparts. The CTF also launched a successful campaign against corporate tax evasion, the compensation for which was used to pay back salaries upon which the city had reneged.
In 1902, the CTF joined the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL). It was the first time that a teachers' group had affiliated with a larger labor organization. In 1916, Haley and the CTF helped to found the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), in which the CTF became Local 1. However, the Chicago Board of Education, led by Jacob Loeb, had recently passed a rule against teacher unions:
Membership by teachers in labor unions or in organizations of teachers affiliated with a trade union or a federation or association of trade unions, as well as teachers' organizations which have officers, business agents, or other representatives who are not members of the teaching force, is inimical to proper discipline, prejudicial to the efficiency of the teaching force, and detrimental to the welfare of the public school system. Therefore, such membership, affiliation, or representation is hereby prohibited.
This rule, which became known as the Loeb rule, further stated that teachers would be fired unless they stated in writing that they did not belong to any such organization. The Loeb rule allowed the city to fire 68 teachers, including the CTF leadership, who refused to leave the union. By 1917, the CTF was forced to withdraw from both the CFL and the AFT.
Subsequent passage of the Otis rule placed education in the hands of a centralized Board of Education. However, the board was still appointed by city politicians. In the coming years, the city and School Board were accused of rampant corruption, particularly in connection with two-time mayor William Hale Thompson. Many CPS employees were appointed by the Mayor, and a 1931 study found that Chicago spent more money than any other major city on operations costs outside of education. The proliferation of bureaucracy was a serious concern: when the Elementary Teachers Union formed in 1928, one of its stated goals was "freeing of teachers from the increasingly intolerable burden of red tape and clerical work.
Chicago teachers became exceptionally militant during the Great Depression, when teachers and many of their students faced extreme poverty and miserable school conditions. Particularly in the inner city, classrooms were undersupplied and overcrowded. "Too many city classrooms still resemble enlarged prison cells," according to a 1931 report. The city neglected to pay its teachers on 37 out of 46 paydays. Teachers also claimed of egregious class sizes and poorly maintained schools. Most stayed in the classroom teaching, although one committed suicide. Teachers organized independently to procure food and clothing for their students, giving large sums from their own shrinking paychecks.
Contested municipal reforms
Once again, supporters of the public schools (including Haley) launched a campaign against local tax dodgers, who they said had owed taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new construction. This time, business leaders retaliated, in February 1932 forming a group called the Citizen's Committee on Public Expenditures (CCPE), which pushed the city to cut its education budget. The banks, which controlled millions of dollars worth of city tax anticipation warrants, announced (and possessed) de facto control over city policy. In a statement published in the Saturday Evening Post, railroad president and CCPE secretary Fred Sargent wrote that banks "positively will not lend money for any municipal function which does not have our active support. This has been a powerful lever in dealing with the really small number of recalcitrants in public office who still cling to a faith in a Santa Claus." And: "business men of Chicago have learned their lesson. We shall not again let the mechanism run wild." Sargent and the CCPE were accused of "financial fascism" for taking control of the city government through financial blackmail "with little regard for the needs of the masses and their children."
Teachers, with support from students and parents, began an escalating campaign to restore funding to the schools and paychecks to the teachers. They believed that Chicago's banks had access to millions of dollars in unpaid taxes that might balance the city's budget; they were angry about the CCPE's explicitly anti-school agenda, and they were also provoked by a $90 million bank bailout from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation that did nothing to help the schools. More generally, teachers were alarmed by an apparent corporate attack on education; they believed that the nation's ruling class wanted to dismantle education for the public and reserve it only for the wealthy.
Protests and petitions mounted from 1931–1932. Students planned a solidarity demonstration, and although many were convinced to stay in school, 13,000 students actually walked out. Teachers became frustrated with union leaders who urged restraint for the teachers and argued amongst each other; new rank-and-file organizations emerged. Historian John F. Lyons describes these groups as key in the development of solidarity among the city's teachers:
Many began to see the weak and divided position of the unions as the main reason for lack of success in the dispute. Accordingly, between 1931 and 1933, ordinary teachers founded a number of temporary groups to unify their ranks and actively pursue their demands. In November 1931, the South Side Teachers organized a number of mass meetings, publicity campaigns, and voting drives, and appealed without success to various teachers' unions to cooperate in framing a legislative program. Three more rank-and-file teachers' organizations emerged in 1932: The Civic Education Association of Chicago, initially organized by teachers from Senn High School on the North Side, aimed "to bring all of the teachers of Chicago, organized and unorganized, into one effective unit." The Chicago Teacher Voter Association set out with the sole aim of campaigning for politicians sympathetic to the teachers' plight. The South Side Teachers called for a boycott of stores, hotels, and other businesses that had participated in the tax strike.
Teachers increasingly began to feel singled out for bad treatment by the city. This feeling was amplified in March 1933 when teachers learned that, as teacher pay was being further cut by 15%, school janitors had received a secret raise. The city announced furthermore that on the next pay day all municipal employees except teachers would be paid.
In April 1933, teachers targeted banks in the downtown Loop, which they held "financially responsible" for the $30 million deficit in teacher payments. On April 24, 1933 (the beginning of spring break), thousands of teachers entered bank offices and began causing mayhem. They chanted "Pay us! Pay us!" At City National Bank, they chanted "We want Dawes! We Want Dawes!", referring to bank chairman and recent US vice president Charles G. Dawes. Dawes appeared, surrounded by guards, and attempted to appease the mob over shouts. Police, who had also experienced a number of payless paydays, were reluctant to interfere.
Teachers conducted more 'raids' on 27 April, demanding of bankers: "Pay your taxes!" and "We want food!" After joining city meetings en masse, they proceeded to the Chicago Title and Trust Company, which held $10 million of property taxes in escrow. President Holman Pettibone spoke to the crowd from a second-story window and attempted to convince them that the company owed nothing to the city. (In fact, Chicago Title and Trust did possess $10 million of unpaid property tax money, held in escrow accounts for tax evaders; Pettibone argued that the bank could not legitimately hand them over to the city.) Here, they clashed directly with police and bankers; several teachers were beaten and a large plate-glass window was broken. The National Education Association telegraphed bankers directly, threatening to move the organization's convention (with its 10,000 attendees) away from Chicago—a potential blow for the upcoming World's Fair.)
In early May, bankers agreed to buy tax anticipation warrants from the city. (Practically, this meant the banks were loaning the city money.) Bankers issued a collective statement suggesting that further demonstrations from teachers would provoke them to reverse their decision. Mayor Edward J. Kelly echoed the statement. Yet in July, the school board announced further pay cuts, provoking demonstrations from tens of thousands of teachers. 25,000 people gathered on July 21, 1933, for a "Save Our Schools" protest. Banners read "Don't let the bankers cheat your children out of an education" and "Gratitude—months with no pay—now fired". Teachers marched on Grant Park and tore down a Century of Progress banner anticipating the coming World's Fair. Teachers and parents also sought legal injunctions against the Board of Education. The School Board nevertheless fired hundreds of teachers in September, leaving remaining teachers to teach more classes—of larger size. In October, the city received a $35 million federal loan, which it used to issue back pay.
Consolidation and charter
Chicago teachers had formed several different unions, some of which were still segregated by gender. The unrest in the early 1930s served to unite these groups, which previously had difficulty cooperating. Chicago teachers played an active role in the AFT and retained their status as Local 1. In 1937, Local 1 battled New York's Local 5 over whether the AFT would remain in the American Federation of Labor (AFL) or join the newer and more inclusive Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). (New York's Local 5 was at that time the Teachers' Union, which was soon expelled from the AFT after accusations of communism, and replaced by the more moderate United Federation of Teachers.) Soon after the convention (which decided to stay in the AFL), the Chicago Teachers Union was officially chartered by the AFT as an amalgamation of Chicago's multiple teacher unions in Chicago. At this point about 3,500 teachers were members of the new Local. By September, it was the largest teachers union in the U.S., with over 8500 members. The CTF, still under Haley's leadership, remained separate for some years, based on concerns that the CTU would disproportionately represent the interests of males and high school teachers.
Before collective bargaining: 1937–1967
When the CTU formed, teachers had become disillusioned about their status as a special class of workers. Some elementary school teachers were paid less than janitors, and more teachers came to agree that they experienced discrimination because they were female. (Meanwhile, male teachers felt shortchanged and emasculated.) Teachers also resented the constantly increasing bureaucratic control over their classrooms.
The CTU sought collective bargaining rights early on, but Superintendent William Johnson refused to grant them. The union also targeted evaluations (for teachers who wanted to become principals) that it said were administered in a corrupt fashion. By 1939, the CTU had more than doubled in size, to 8,500 members, and organized its members for actions such as mass letter-writing.
In 1948, amid small-scale sickouts and walkouts, the CTU authorized a strike when teachers experienced still more 'payless paydays' due to city neglect. The strike was averted hours before it was scheduled to begin, when the school board approved a new budget and announced that the checks due to the teachers had been mailed with all possible haste.
In addition to perennial requests for salary increases, the CTU began demanding more direct changes to Chicago's public schools. It asked the Chicago Police Department to station an officer in each of Chicago's 43 high schools; CPD refused. The CTU continued to pursue the school violence issue, insisting that teachers were being attacked by dangerous youths. During this period the union also sought shorter hours for students and teachers. It also called attention to a mounting teacher shortage, citing over a hundred classrooms without regular or substitute teachers.
John Fewkes and anticommunism
The CTU's first president was John Fewkes. Fewkes had been the most prominent leader of "Voluntary Emergency Committee" (VEC), a male-dominated group that formed in 1933 and gained prominence by advocating and coordinating militant action. The VEC had been aggressive but not radical, and explicitly sought to exclude communists.
The union, urged on by Fewkes, participated in the AFL's anti-communist purges, and in 1941 voted 5,258 to 892 to expel the New York City Teachers Union, the New York College Teachers Union and Philadelphia Teachers Union from the AFT. The three expelled Locals were large, representing about one quarter of the AFT's members, but the CTU was larger, and its votes were decisive in accomplishing the expulsion.
Fewkes remained CTU President for most of this period. He left the CTU in 1943 to serve as AFT president. In 1944, he took a position with the federal War Production Board. By 1947, he had returned to the CTU for a second term as its president. In 1950, the CTU governing board approved a constitutional amendment to remove limitations on presidential terms; John Fewkes was thereby allowed to run again, and remained CTU president until 1966.
Demographics and civil rights
Most of Chicago's public school teachers were white single women. Public school teacher was also the most common occupation for black women in Chicago, who were treated by CPS as second-class job candidates: qualified black high school teachers worked in elementary schools or as substitutes; some could not get jobs at all. Teachers came from a shifting mix of white-collar and blue-collar families.
Campaign for collective bargaining
The CTU intensified its campaign for collective bargaining rights in the 1960s, staging huge demonstrations at the Chicago Board of Education. Pressure increased after the New York recognized collective bargaining rights for the UFT in 1961, and the CTU threatened an illegal strike in 1963–1964 if the School Board would not grant it the same status. The city averted a strike by agreeing to negotiate, and, after long delays (including litigation from a rival union, the Chicago Education Association), the CTU became the official bargaining agent of Chicago teachers in April 1966.
Internal politics and organization
Caucus of Rank and File Educators
In 2010, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), led by President Karen Lewis gained control over the CTU by winning 60% of the vote in a run-off election. CORE ran an aggressive grassroots organizing campaign, and took a strong stance against school privatization. CORE accused the incumbent United Progressive Caucus (UPC) of capitulating to corporate interests, silencing dissent within the union, and collaborating with the city to prevent union outreach at schools.
CORE quickly took action to distinguish itself from UPC, reaffirm its grassroots support, and launch a campaign to defend public education. The new leadership cut pay for union officers and used the savings to expand outreach. Former CTU member John A. Ostenburg criticized Lewis and CORE in 2011 for inexperience and political recklessness, arguing that they will not successfully be able to combat Mayor Rahm Emanuel's entrenched power. CORE represented a major bloc of dissent at the 2012 AFT convention, and held signs in protest of Race to the Top during a speech from President, then Vice President, Joe Biden.
2018 merger with Charter Union Local
In spring of 2018, the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Association of Charter Teachers and Staff Local 4343 voted to merge, with the charter educators forming a new division within the CTU. On December 4, 2018, CTU members at the Acero charter school network initiated the first strike at a unionized charter school in US history. The strike ended December 9, 2018, in a major victory with the strikers who won sanctuary school protections for their students, enforceable reductions in class size and parity with the existing pay scale at district-run schools.
Collective bargaining and strikes
Chicago teachers went on strike multiple times in the 1970s and 1980s:
- 1968: "Concerned FTBs" (long-term substitutes) and others engage in wildcat strikes against school segregation and racism—particularly systemic unfairness in the certification, hiring, and promotion of black teachers.
- 1969: Two-day strike results in salary increases, teacher aides, and class size maximum.
- 1971: Four-day strike results in salary increases and full health benefits.
- 1973: Two strikes, of 12 and 11 days, yield improved salary, benefits, preparation time, supplies, and class sizes.
- 1979-1980: Multiple strikes over a payless payday during holiday break in 1979, results in salary increase and improved sick leave and maternity/paternity leave.
- 1984: Four-day strike results in medical care increase and PAC checkoff.
- 1985: Two-day strike for salary and sick leave.
- 1987: Record-breaking 19-day strike under CTU President Jacqueline B. Vaughn wins raises and improvements to health care.
Under the leadership of CORE, the CTU pushed hard in negotiations with the city. Early on, the CTU made the decision to decline an offer of pay increases combined with layoffs. When the city would not agree to the CTU's core demands, including an expansion of programs like art and music at the city's most underfunded high schools, CTU members voted overwhelmingly (90% of teachers and 98% of those who cast ballots) to authorize a strike.
On September 10, 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union began a strike after CTU President Lewis declared that negotiations with the city were not succeeding. This strike was the CTU's first since 1987, and the first strike ever for many of the teachers involved. Regulations required them to make contract negotiations an issue in the strike, and the teachers indeed sought better pay, better benefits, and protections for teachers who lose their jobs due to school closures.
The striking teachers also wanted to call attention to a number of education issues, particularly what they defined as a broad attack on public schooling by corporate privatizers. In particular they demand a decrease in high-stakes testing for students, and an increase in music, art, and gym programs available at public schools. They also called for smaller class sizes and paid preparation time.
On September 11, 2012, the Service Employees International Union Local 1 informed companies that some of their members might go on strike with the teachers.
On September 14, 2012, the teachers reached a tentative agreement with the city, which included preferences for teachers who have been laid off due to a school closing to be hired in another school, and student test scores having less of a role in teacher evaluations than the city had originally planned. This tentative agreement did not hold, however, and the strike continued, at which point Mayor Emanuel announced his intention to seek a legal injunction, forcing teachers back to work. On September 17, 2012, Mayor Emanuel's efforts to end the strike stalled as the walkout went into the second week. Delegates from the CTU voted to end the strike on September 18, 2012. Students began their return to the schools on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. The CTU was still required to ratify the contract with the Union's 29,000 teachers.
Following the end of the strike, leaders of the Union held town hall meetings in major U.S. cities to underscore the belief that community collaboration is key in creating beneficial changes in education, as opposed to top-down imposition by governors or mayors. The Union planned to hold town hall meetings in Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Paul, and Tampa.
2015–2016 contract dispute
Following the expiration of the contract in June 2015, CPS teachers continued to work without a contract for a year while the union and district negotiated. In September 2016, union members voted overwhelmingly to strike if an agreement could not be reached, setting a deadline of October 11. Minutes before midnight on October 10, the district and union reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike.
After the expiration of the CPS contract with CTU in June 2019, a contract dispute emerged. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at a rally hosted by CTU and SEIU Local 73 in preparation of the strike on September 24. On September 27, 2019, CTU members voted to authorize a potential strike starting on October 17 if a contract deal is not reached. The union's top priorities in contract negotiations are reducing classroom size and increasing the number of support staff (such as nurses and social workers). On October 16, 2019 CPS cancelled classes for October 17, 2019 in anticipation of the CTU strike. CTU delegates officially voted to go on strike hours afterwards. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that CPS would not add any makeup days for any school days lost during the strike, stating that "There’s no plan to make up any days...We want to make sure we get a deal done." At the time, Illinois state law required that all school districts in Illinois include at least 176 days in the school year. Lightfoot's decision broke this mandate, as the 2019–2020 school year was exactly 176 days long. Additionally, it was noted that teachers could lose pay if the strike days were not added back to the district calendar.
On Thursday, October 17, 2019, teachers took to picket lines early in the morning, and the CTU stated that it planned to resume negotiations with the city at Malcolm X College. Later that afternoon, CPS announced that classes had been cancelled for the following day, as even though negotiations seemed to be progressing, there was no foreseeable agreement in the near feature. On Friday, October 18, 2019, teachers continued on the second day of the strike, meaning that students had attended school two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) out of the five days from October 14–18 (CPS students did not go to school on Monday due to the observance of Columbus Day). That weekend, CTU and CPS continued negotiating. While both sides noted progress over Saturday, Lightfoot noted that she would be "...very surprised if classes [would] open on Monday." The following day, Sunday, October 20, 2019, CPS canceled school for Monday the 21st. Even though tentative agreements had been made on eight points, CPS canceled school for Monday as CTU had not voted to end the strike yet.
On Monday, October 21, 2019, CTU members entered the third school day and second calendar week of the strike. Negotiations between CPS and CTU continued, and Lightfoot sent the union a letter asking them to end the strike while negotiations continued. CTU president Jesse Sharkey noted that "...the letter [from Lightfoot] I received today dashed my hope for a quick settlement." That afternoon, Mayor Lightfoot canceled CPS classes for Tuesday, stating that "...CTU has not scheduled a House of Delegates vote, which would be necessary to end their strike...As a result, it will not be possible to hold classes tomorrow." The next day, Tuesday, October 22, 2019, negotiations continued, and 2020 democratic presidential primary candidate Elizabeth Warren joined the striking teachers. Later, Mayor Lightfoot canceled CPS classes for Wednesday, October 23, stating once again that "...CTU has not scheduled a House of Delegates vote, which would be necessary to end their strike...As a result, it will not be possible to hold classes tomorrow." It was noted that on Tuesday, negotiations appeared to be "at an impasse", and the majority of CTU's 40-person bargaining team was not expected to return to the negotiating table. CTU President Sharkey expressed that the proposed contract did "...not have adequate enforcement mechanisms on staffing." After negotiations had ended Tuesday evening, several issues remained unresolved, such as class-size caps, the duration of the contract, salaries, and health benefits. At this point, teachers planned to keep the strike going until at least Thursday the 24th, or longer if necessary. On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, negotiations continued at Malcolm X College. Teachers only picketed in front of schools until 8:00 a.m. local time. Then, they proceeded to rally in the downtown Loop and converge in front of the city hall. Lightfoot presented her 2020 city budget plan Wednesday evening, at the end of the fifth school day of the strike. Emails and phone calls were disseminated to students and parents, informing them that classes were canceled for Thursday, October 24, as both the CTU and CPS still did not expect an agreement any time soon. The following day, on Thursday the 24th, teachers returned to the picket lines at 7:00 a.m., and the president of the Flight Attendant's Union, Sara Nelson, was expected to join the striking teachers to show support. CTU also scheduled civil disobedience training for its members at the CTU headquarters at 3:00 p.m., suggesting a prolonged strike.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), pp. 3–4. "In addition to the issue of unionization, scholars have debated whether teachers joined unions to pursue monetary gains or to reform the public schools. Since teachers founded the AFT in 1916, the organization has portrayed itself as a union fighting for better salaries and benefits for its members and improvements in the public schools. Indeed, teachers' unions across the land asserted that they wanted improved pay and conditions for teachers in order to provide quality education for the students."
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), pp. 1–2. "In the early years of the twentieth century, the center of teacher unionism was found in Chicago. [...] The CTU attracted a majority of Chicago teachers and remained the largest and most influential AFT local until the 1960s."
- "For Members » CTU Contacts". Chicago Teachers Union. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- "Key players Sketches of negotiators in teachers contract talks". Chicago Tribune. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- West, Lucy (July 1971). "Chicago Teachers' Federation records, 1864-1968 (bulk 1897-1968)". Descriptive Inventory for the Collection. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Rousmaniere, Kate (2005). "Chicago Teachers Federation". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 7. "With two-thirds of the teaching workforce female, teacher unionism was firmly located in the context of women's work and women's struggles to enhance the status and rewards of teaching. For most of this century, boards of education denied female teachers equal pay with men, the right to marry, and access to leadership positions in the schools. In Chicago, female elementary school teachers used the union as a vehicle to campaign for equal pay with high school teachers."
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 22.
- "Hall of Honor". Illinois Labor History Society. 2007. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Shall school teachers join labor unions?". The Survey. Charity Organization Society of the City of New York. 2 October 1915. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 12. "At no time was this political control of Chicago public education more apparent than under the regime of Republican mayor William H. Thompson. Mayor of the city from 1915 to 1923 and again from 1927 to 1931, Thompson had connections with organized crime and presided over some of the worst political corruption in Chicago's history."
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 13.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 21.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 9. "Chicago was one of the only cities in the Great Depression where public school teachers actively challenged the policies of school authorities and built a united teachers' organization, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). Although divided by gender, ethnicity, and religion and between lowered paid elementary and higher paid high school teachers, still more than two-thirds of the teachers joined the CTU, making it the largest teachers union in the country."
- Simpson, Bob (2 August 2012). "The Chicago Teacher Revolt of 1933". Labor Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 20.
- Burbank, Lyman (Winter 1971). "Chicago Public Schools and the Depression Years of 1928–1937" (PDF). Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 64. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-06. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Chicago Teachers Demand Smaller Units, Shorter Day". The Day. AP. 7 December 1931. p. 1. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Chicago School Teacher, Unpaid for Eight Long Months, Kills Self as Promises from the Mayor Halt Demonstrations". Toledo News-Bee. 27 April 1933. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 32–33. "To alleviate the suffering of the Depression, teachers organized committees within schools to collect and distribute money and clothing to the poorer students and served breakfast to hungry children. During the school year of 1930–31, the teachers of Chicago contributed more than $112,000 for food and clothing for their students. Yet teachers agonized because they could not contribute more to student financial welfare."
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 29. "Additionally, local politicians and assessors throughout the 1920s failed to tax major property holders and large corporations. Between 1915 and 1925, as Chicago's population increased by 28 percent and there was unprecedented new construction in the city worth some $200 million a year, the official assessed valuation of property increased by only $29 million per annum."
- Sargent, Fred W. (14 January 1933). "The Taxpayer Takes Charge". Saturday Evening Post. p. 21. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2012.. Partly quoted in Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 30. Sargent also advocated an end to income taxes.
- Stillman, Charles B. (February 1933). "Financial Fascism in Control". The Phi Delta Kappan. 15 (5): 132–134. JSTOR 20258189.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 36–37. "Teachers began to express the idea that they were defending democracy and the public education system from self-serving business and political elites. Reflecting a general public optimism with the promise of education, teachers viewed the schools as avenues for social mobility and bulwarks of a more democratic society. [...] Many teachers believed there was a nationwide plot by people of power and wealth to cripple public education and to restrict schooling to those who could afford it."
- "Chicago Students Strike in Protest To Help Teachers: Thousands Walk Out of High Schools to Force Paying Back Salaries". Christian Science Monitor. 6 April 1933. ProQuest 513352228.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 35–36.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 38.
- "5,000 Chicago Teachers Storm Five Banks; Dawes Heckled as He Argues With Crowd". New York Times. AP. 25 April 1933. ProQuest 100724303.
- "Chicago Teachers Storm Loop Banks". Montreal Gazette. AP. 25 April 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Teachers Stage New Chicago Riot: Over 3,000 Defy Police and Guards to Demand Tax Payments by Bank – Bank Accounting Ordered – Trust Company Must Report Funds Held in Escrow For Property Taxes". New York Times. 27 April 1933. p. 19. ProQuest 100715239.
- "Mayor and AIDS Take Pay Fight to Springfield: Postpone Action on School Closing – First Bill Passed – Board Defers Action on School Closing. Teachers Put on New Demonstration As Officials Seek Pay Funds – Roosevelt and MacDonald Reach Agreement". Chicago Daily Tribune. 27 April 1933. pp. 1, 6. ProQuest 181382209.
- "Unpaid Chicago Police Club Unpaid Teachers in Rioting: Patrolmen, on Horses, Injure Many Women as Hundreds Again Stage Protest in Loop Area for $30,000,000 Due on Pay". Washington Post. UP. 27 April 1933. p. 1. ProQuest 150407999.
- "Says Teachers Might Embarrass Chicago". Lewiston Daily Sun. AP. 2 May 1933. p. Eleven. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Bankers Warn Chicago Teachers Not to Parade: Teachers Get pay for Last September and Promise of More Money Soon". Lewiston Daily Sun. AP. 13 May 1933. p. 1. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Unpaid Chicago Teachers Protest Retirement Plan". Washington Post. AP. 15 July 1933. p. 2. ProQuest 150369363.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 23.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 28.
- "Nation's Teachers to Debate C.I.O. Tie". New York Times. 22 August 1937. p. N5. ProQuest 102136795.
As preliminary lines formed for the battle over union affiliation, it appeared certain that delegates of New York City Local 5, representing 6,000 members, would take the leadership in the drive for C.I.O. affiliation. It became equally evident that the Chicago delegation, representing 7,000 members, would fight to the last ditch to remain in the A.F.L.
- "Chicago Teachers Form Union To Loosen Grip of Politics". Christian Science Monitor. 30 October 1937. p. 4. ProQuest 515388274.
- "A. F. of L. Affiliate Will Charter Teachers' Union". Chicago Daily Tribune. 13 October 1937. ProQuest 181891987.
- "Teachers' Union Rebuffed in Plea For Recognition". Chicago Daily Tribune. 2 June 1938. p. 8. ProQuest 182001977.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 44.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 45.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), pp. 18–21.
- "Air Both Sides in Controversy Over Schools: The School Question". Chicago Daily Tribune. 20 May 1938. pp. 1, 4. ProQuest 181954866.
- "Teachers Turn on Heat to Pass Pay Boost Bill: Union Starts Letter Wave Toward Springfield". Chicago Daily Tribune. 7 June 1939. p. 6. ProQuest 175298294.
- "Chicago Teachers Payless 5 Weeks: Threaten to Strike as City Refuses to Use $9,500,000 Reserve For Salaries". New York Times. 24 January 1948. p. 13. ProQuest 108122113.
- "Chicago Teachers VOte Strike Call: Walkout Tuesday Sanctioned By Union Unless Pay is Freed and School Budget Passed". New York Times. 25 January 1948. p. 20. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Thompson, John (27 January 1948). "Pay Teachers; Strike Off: Aldermen O.K. Record '48 Budget – Board to Consider Cut in Levy – Call School Strike Off; Pay Mailed Record Budget is O.K.'d By City". Chicago Daily Tribune. pp. 1, 12. ProQuest 177541248.
- "Police Refuse to Station Men in High Schools: Reject Request From Teachers' Union". Chicago Daily Tribune. 22 September 1954. p. 1. ProQuest 178798437.
- "Union to Seek More Police in High Schools: Terrorist Attacks Told by Fewkes". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1 March 1955. p. 7. ProQuest 179400663.
- "Teachers 'Hush Up' Violence in Chicago". The Tuscaloosa News. AP. 5 February 1965. p. 9. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Teacher Union Fights Longer Day For Pupils: OK's Increase in Hours For Instructors". Chicago Daily Tribune. 19 February 1954. p. B4. ProQuest 178672818.
- "Teachers Sign Petitions for Shorter Hours". Chicago Daily Tribune. 3 December 1954. p. A8. ProQuest 178832872.
- "Cite Teacher Need as Grade Classes Grow: Shortage is Called More Serious". Chicago Daily Tribune. 15 March 1955. p. 1. ProQuest 178839067.
- Heise, Kenan (25 July 1992). "John M. Fewkes, 91, Teachers Union Founder". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Teacher Union Head Opposes Merit Ratings". Chicago Daily Tribune. 23 August 1955. p. A10. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Gowran, Clay (6 March 1959). "Pay Teachers on Merit Basis? It's Ticklish Topic: Even Some Who Would Benefit Fear System". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 15. ProQuest 182281261.
- "Fewkes Rips Merit Pay Idea For Teachers: Union Chief Says It Won't Work". Chicago Daily Tribune. 18 March 1962. p. 36. ProQuest 183122887.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), pp. 38–39.
- "Chicago Union Teachers Back Red Expulsions". Chicago Daily Tribune. 21 May 1941. ProQuest 176484275.
- "Chicago Teachers Vote For Ouster: 5,258 to 892 For Dropping 3 Locals That Union COuncil Accused of Communism". New York Times. 21 May 1941. p. 25. ProQuest 106074842.
- "Federation Votes 3 Teacher Unions Out As Red-Ruled". New York Times. 7 June 1941. pp. 1, 32. ProQuest 106067900.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 82.
- "Teachers' Union Heads Kill Time Limit on Chief". Chicago Daily Tribune. 22 November 1950. ProQuest 178046295.
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), p. 15. "Black teachers also enjoyed fewer career prospects than did white teachers. With only two black high schools in the city, DuSable and Wendell Phillips, the vast majority of black teachers worked in elementary schools even if they were trained for better-paying high school work. Out of 321 black teachers who worked in the Chicago public school system in 1934, 285 of them taught in the elementary schools. With fewer opportunities for African American high school teachers, many qualified teachers from the South had to work as substitutes or take other jobs in Chicago until teaching positions opened up for them."
- Lyons, Teachers and Reform (2008), pp. 16.
- "4,000 Teachers Stage Protest March: Pay Hike, Bargaining Top Issues". Chicago Daily Defender. 11 January 1961. pp. 1, 2. ProQuest 493808486.
- Tavel, Emile (23 August 1963). "Teachers Demand Bargaining Right: Strike Threat Dangles". Christian Science Monitor. p. 3. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Teacher Union Asks Board to Change Stand: Hint at Strike Vote Next Month". Chicago Tribune. 7 November 1963. p. C1. ProQuest 89097422.
- "Strike Vote is Withheld by Teachers: Board Agrees to Bargain – School Union Delays Balloting on Strike". Chicago Tribune. 27 February 1964. p. 1. ProQuest 179375855.
- Yuenger, James (9 October 1965). "Delay Ruling on Vote for School Union: Board Asks Time to File Reply". Chicago Tribune. p. N3. ProQuest 170023590.
- Banas, Casey (4 June 1966). "Union Elected by Teachers as Their Bargaining Agent". Chicago Tribune. p. 3. ProQuest 178997581.
- Canon, Ramsin (12 June 2010). "Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) Takes Over Chicago Teachers Union". Gapers Block. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Canon, Ramsin (3 May 2010). "The Education Revolt: The Chicago Model's Fallout". Gapers Block. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Abowd, Paul (7 June 2010). "Chicago's Rank and File Educators Well-Positioned Against "Play it Safe" Incumbents". Labor Notes. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Sustar, Lee (31 August 2012). "Chicago Teachers Draw a Line". The Indypendent. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Leading 'Ugly' Not The Answer For Organized Labor, Chicago Teachers Union, Karen Lewis". ENews Park Forest. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Scott, Norm (30 July 2012). "@AFT - Chicago Teachers Protest RTTT During/After Biden Speech". Ed Notes Online. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Schmidt, George N. (29 August 2012). "CORE hosts final 'Successful Chicago Strikes' forum following CTU notice of intent to strike.... Veteran teachers describe how CTU overcame racism and thwarted the CPS attempts to 'play the race card'". Substance News. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Schmidt, George N. (5 March 2012). "Strikewatch: The first Chicago strikes were 'illegal...' How Chicago teachers make a strike.... The first thing it's about is no longer working on the boss's terms for the boss's offer and taking the boss's insults". Substance News. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Moran, Theresa (28 August 2012). "Chicago Teachers Say They'll Strike for the Kids". Labor Notes. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Chicago teachers union rally". Time Out Chicago Kids. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "No Deal: Chicago Teachers To Strike After Contract Talks Fail". NPR. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years". USA Today. 11 September 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Editorial Committee (10 September 2012). "Windy City Fights Back: Live blogging the Chicago Teachers Strike". Solidarity. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Striking Teachers, Parents Join Forces to Oppose "Corporate" Education Model in Chicago". Democracy Now!. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- "Chicago Public Teachers Stage Historic Strike in Clash with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Education Reforms". Democracy Now. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- Byrne, John. "Some Chicago Public Schools custodians may strike". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Layton, Lyndsey (15 September 2012). "Chicago teachers reach tentative agreement to end strike". The Washington Post.
- Kelleher, James B. (17 September 2012). "Emanuel's court bid to end strike stalls, teachers call it vindictive". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- "Judge declines to expedite hearing in Chicago teacher strike". NBC News. September 17, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- "Chicago teachers vote to suspend strike". CNN. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Chicago teachers suspend seven-day strike". USA Today. 18 September 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- Davey, Monica; Greenhouse, Steven (September 19, 2012). "School Days Resume in Chicago as the Lessons From a Strike Are Assessed". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
- Layton, Lyndsey (22 September 2012). "After Chicago success, teachers unions spread their message". Washington Post. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- "Chicago Teachers Union, school board reach tentative contract agreement".
- "Fact-Finder's Report Sheds Light on CTU Contract Negotiations With City". WTTW News. 2019-08-12. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- Pratt, Hannah Leone, Gregory (2019-09-27). "Chicago Teachers Union votes to authorize strike; walkout could begin Oct. 7". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "Key Issues in Potential Chicago Teachers Union Strike". NBC Chicago. 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "Chicago Cancels Public School Classes As Teachers' Strike Looms". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
- "CTU rejects latest contract proposal, teachers to strike Thursday". WGN-TV. 2019-10-16. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
- Issa, Nader (2019-10-03). "Kids rejoice: CPS won't add makeup days if teachers strike, Lightfoot says". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
- staff, Chicago Tribune. "Chicago Teachers Union strike updates: CPS teachers join picket lines across the city as negotiations are set to resume". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
- "Chicago Teachers Strike: Thousands of teachers to return to picket lines for 2nd day Friday, CPS classes remain canceled". ABC7 Chicago. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
- Wittich, Jake (2019-10-20). "CTU strike, Day 4: Talks continue, but Monday classes still uncertain". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- "CPS cancels classes Monday as teachers' strike, contract talks continue". WGN-TV. 2019-10-20. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- "'We are likely not going to see a quick settlement': Tuesday classes canceled as CPS strike drags on". WGN-TV. 2019-10-21. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- "Wednesday classes canceled as CTU members rally in downtown Chicago". WGN-TV. 2019-10-22. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
- "CPS Cancels Classes Wednesday as Teachers Strike Continues". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
- "Chicago Strike: CPS teachers march in Loop during Mayor Lori Lightfoot's address, Chicago Public Schools classes canceled". ABC7 Chicago. 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
- "Wednesday classes canceled as CTU members rally in downtown Chicago". WGN-TV. 2019-10-22. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
- "CPS Cancels Class For Thursday, Following Massive Rally By Striking Teachers Downtown". 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
- "Chicago Strike: Negotiations continue for 8th day as CTU plans civil disobedience training. Chance the rapper wore a Chicago Teachers Union shirt on SNL in support". ABC7 Chicago. 2019-10-24. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chicago Teachers Union.|
- Lyons, John F. Teachers and Reform: Chicago Public Education 1929–1970. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-252-03272-1.
- CTU Official website
- Photo of 1933 teacher uprising hosted by the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State
- Photo of President Fewkes leading a 1965 CTU meeting hosted by the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State
- Pictures of the 1980s teacher strikes posted to Flickr by "union person"