Lewis: People don’t always get everything they want in a contract

Teachers union head says teachers have made gains, and concessions.

“We do take democracy seriously. I know that’s frustrating for people, but it’s ultimately a better way to run a union.”

From WBEZ September 18, 2012
Cityroom

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meets Tuesday afternoon to vote on whether to end the teachers strike, now in its seventh day.

Teachers have been scrutinizing the 180 pages of a new contract, under increasing pressure from parents and city leaders to return to the classroom.  More than 350,000 students have been out of school since last Monday.

CTU president Karen Lewis shared some of her thoughts on how how delegate discussions are progressing, in a phone call with WBEZ’s Morning Shift.  

Lewis addressed criticisms that, as the union’s leader, it is her responsibility to get teachers back to work as soon as possible. Calling the CTU a “member-driven union,” Lewis said, “We do take democracy seriously. I know that’s frustrating for people, but it’s ultimately a better way to run a union.”

Lewis also said she believes teachers have made some gains, but she recogonizes that in tough times concessions have to be made.

“This is an austerity contract. This is not a contract of we can get all that we want.”

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