After 26 years as a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, I am leaving the union so I can focus on providing the best possible services to our City’s students.
The CTU states that it “is an organization of educators dedicated to advancing and promoting quality public education, improving teaching and learning conditions, and protecting members’ rights.” However, over the past few years it has become evident that the CTU’s mission is to serve as a combative, belligerent, and radical political action committee seeking to promote the leadership’s personal and political objectives, rather than an organization seeking to promote quality public education.
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The CTU’s clash with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, leading to an illegal work stoppage, was the final straw. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Illinois Department of Public Health have both stated that students benefit from in-person learning and have determined that students across the country, including in Chicago, can return safely to in-person instruction.
The CTU ignores the science, and instead seeks to have a political battle with Mayor Lightfoot that is nothing more than a power grab. If the CTU were actually concerned with the safety of the students and staff, they would seek out common-sense approaches that have been instituted across the country. No one wants students or staff to report to a school that has an outbreak. However, there does not need to be a district-wide shutdown of in-person learning because of a few schools with outbreaks.
Due to the inept leadership, I can no longer support my union in good conscience.
Laura Herbert, RN, Certified School Nurse
Tug-of-war with CPS, CTU
It is unacceptable that Chicago families once again find themselves victim to the relentless tug-of-war between the Chicago Teachers Union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot over COVID. With the CTU acting as though they are public health experts and the mayor limiting questions from local press while appearing all over the national TV new shows, it’s no wonder there’s still no sign of an agreement.
Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t the CTU and CPS sit in a room and not come out until there’s a solution where the students end up winners for once? Stop the pandering to the public through media appearances and press releases and get the job done.
Erica Salem, Lakeview
America needs a carbon tax
We can’t let this cold front distract us from the fact that in 2021, we broke a record for the latest date for a first measurable snowfall. Our climate, like the world’s climate, is changing because of our actions and our representatives’ inaction.
We cannot avoid the worst consequences of climate change unless Congress passes a comprehensive climate bill this year that includes a carbon tax. There is no market-based solution without this kind of legislation, which merely reflects the very real damage fossil fuels have on our planet. Pairing it with a dividend also ensures that the polluters cannot pass this tax onto consumers while spurring job creation in green energy.
We need Congress to incorporate a carbon price in the Build Back Better bill, and we must press our representatives to pass this legislation now.
Tim Parilla, Old Town