Not the Only Election in Town

[Two members of the Caucus Of Rank and File Educators (CORE) were elected to the teachers pension board in an election held Friday, October 29.  The following report is from Substance News.]

CORE Pension Trustee Victory… Jeff Blackwell and Jeanne Freed win seats on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Board of Trustees

John Kugler – October 29, 2010

Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) candidates were victorious, as election results for the October 29, 2010 voting for two Teacher Trustee for the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) show a resounding win for Jeffrey Blackwell and Jeanne Freed. The newly elected trustees will serve three year terms on the Board of Trustees from November 2010-November 2013.

 

In a victory party at Union Park Lounge, CORE members were happy but remained steadfast to the idea that the Chicago Teachers Union has a long road ahead to fight off the attacks against public education in Chicago and around the nation. The biggest concern is the privatization schemes of Mayor Daley and Ron Huberman the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools: privatization of public schools has a direct impact on the pension fund by drawing away contributors to the fund since most teachers in Chicago charter schools do not contribute to the CTPF.

 

“We need to continue the momentum to change the old ways of doing business. We are committed to protecting the pension fund for all teachers in our system whether they are our veteran teachers or new hires, we all deserve the same benefits and security,” Jeff Blackwell answered the question of how he felt about his victory. Jeff is a full time 7th grade teacher at William King Elementary School in the Chicago. Jeane Freed, Jeff’s running mate in this election, is a full-time teacher with 27 years in the Chicago Public Schools now Spanish teacher in the International Baccalaureate Program at Lincoln Park High School.

 

“Three victories in a row show that teachers and PSRPs in Chicago are ready for a change and are taking control of their destiny. They are not waiting for someone to rescue them from the bad guys,” Al Ramirez CORE co-chair and Steering Committee member, CTU Trustee and full teacher at Ruiz Elementary School commented on the victory of his fellow CORE members.

 

CORE is a group of dedicated teachers, retirees, Paraprofessional School Related Personnel (PSRPs), parents, community members and other champions of public education within the Chicago Teachers Union. CORE unseated the incumbent party from the leadership of the Union in June 2010 elections in a time that has seen unprecedented attacks on public school employees with mass layoffs, terminations and expansion of charter schools.

 

“CPS employees are showing that they want to keep moving forward and keep fighting for public schools. We are continuing to work together to build a strong union to protect the rights of our members and to be advocates for the children of Chicago,” commented Jesse Sharkey, Vice-President of the Chicago Teachers Union and CORE member.

 

Blackwell and Freed defeated two incumbents, Linda Goff and Lois Nelson, both of whom had served on the trustees after being originally slated and supported by the United Progressive Caucus (UPC) of the union. CORE defeated the UPC in the June 11, 2010 runoff election. The first CORE victory in a citywide election took place one year ago, when CORE members Lois Ashford and Jay Rehak won their seats on the pension board.

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