Teachers Union Has New Leadership Team

Marilyn Stewart loses bid for third term in runoff election

Saturday, Jun 12, 2010  |  Updated 9:30 AM CDT
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Teachers Union Has New Leadership Team

Teacher's Union Sues CPS |
The Chicago Teacher's Union took legal action against the CPS for trying to increase classroom sizes to 35 students. The Union said larger classes would violate school health and safety codes.

The Chicago Teachers Union has a new leadership team.

Karen Lewis, of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, is now in charge of the nation's third-largest teachers' union, according to election results released early Saturday morning.

She's joined by new Vice-President Jesse Sharkey, Recording Secretary Michael Brunson and Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle.

The new team beat the United Progressive Caucus team led by two-term CTA President Marilyn Stewart, according to a release from the CTU.

Lewis garnered 12,080 votes, while Stewart had 8,326.

Stewart released a statement Saturday congratulating Lewis on her victory and assuring her cooperation and assistance through the transition.

"This election was never about Karen or me. It was about the 32,000 union members whose futures and well-being are now being threatened by an uncaring and insensitive Chicago Public Schools system. A system that thinks it can balance its budget on the backs of this city’s teachers and students. A system that thinks stuffing 35 students into a classroom and cutting teachers’ pay is the answer to their problems."

Stewart asked "all members of this union -- those who voted for me as well as those who didn’t -- to stand behind Karen and her team and support them as they take over the fight in your behalf."

The CTU earlier this week sued Chicago Public Schools over its decision to increase classroom sizes.

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