Complete the Union Survey

Only one more day to pick up and complete the Union survey about our priorities and desires for the next contract.

Jesú writes:

If you did not receive a Union survey with your copy of The Voice, you
can pick one up outside my office, room 629.  I will put them outside
my office after 9a.m.

Your feedback is important, so Local 1600 can serve you better.  Once
you have filled out a unique survey, please return it to 629; you can
slip it under my door.

I will walk the completed surveys to the Union office this Thursday,
so try to get them to me before then.

Be sure to get one and fill it out so your voice is heard.

Don’t Forget–Union Meeting Today

From Jesú:

Union Sisters and Brothers, come help welcome our new members.  We
will also address other important issues, including feedback tools on
our Contract.

When:  Thursday, September 8, 2:00p.m. to 4:30p.m.
Where: Room 1115

Pizza, soda, and other refreshments will be provided.

Also, mark your calendars for the following Union meetings:

• Thursday, September 22, 2p.m.-4:30p.m. Room 1115
• Thursday, October 20, 2p.m.-4:30p.m. Room 203 D/E
• Thursday, November 17, 2p.m.-4:30p.m. Room 1115
• December, Christmas Party, TBA

If you have further questions, feel free to call or text me (Jesú
Estrada, Chapter Chair) at 312-371-3774 or email me at  New members, if you can’t come, feel free to
see me in room 629 during Union hours: M/W 10a.m.-11a.m. and T/TH
1p.m.-3 in the afternoon.  At that time, we will schedule a lunch.

Members, please help spread the word.  Also, since there are two
meetings this month and only one can be sanctioned, I am going to ask
Laackman to sanction the one on Sept. 22.

In Solidarity,

Jesu Estrada, Chapter Chair

Clerical Support

This time it is they who need OUR support. From Hector:

Our brothers & sisters from Local 1708 have been without a contract for more than 2 years. It is important to stand in solidarity with them. Today is them, in 2013 it may be us.

Jesu, myself & others from our local will join 1708 at 226 W. Jackson, 8:30 AM to support them. If you are available please join us, so we can have a sizable contingent from our chapter. Please remember to wear blue.

In solidarity,



Union Meeting Summary and Update

Courtesy of Anthony Escuadro (HW Grievance Chair and Faculty Council Member):

Here’s the summary:

Last Thursday (8/18), Perry Buckley attended a special Union meeting to introduce himself to the members and the new faculty and address some important issues. Perry focused his hour-long presentation on:

– changes to the pension formula affecting future retirees
– state and municipal legislation that affects higher education and CCC
– “guarded” optimism regarding Reinvention and the college presidential selections
– advice regarding grievance and discipline matters, especially with regards to the CCC Office of the Inspector General
– contributing to the Union Committee on Political Education
– information on an upcoming survey of the union members.

The minutes of the meeting will be available on the Local 1600 Google group website. If you are a Local 1600 member and would like access to the password-protected site where the minutes will be hosted and can be discussed, please contact Jesu Estrada or Hector Reyes with your personal (non-ccc) email address to become a member of the Local 1600 Google group.

Thanks, Anthony!

SB 7 and Other Legislative and Union Related Stuff (Perry Is Coming!)

Don’t forget that Local 1600 President Perry Buckley is coming to HW tomorrow (2pm-3pm, room 1001). Jesú said that she’d provide pizza and sodas, but she needed a head count yesterday, so please let her know as soon as possible if you intend to go and want to eat some pizza. If you don’t want any pizza, I’m sure you can just show up. Perry will be coming to talk about pensions and what is happening with them and other things down in Springfield. It should be educational.

Just in case you want to bone up a little, beforehand, on the spring and summer’s legislative action and intrigue, there is a Chicago Public Schools teacher named Fred Klonsky who’s been doing a thorough job of documenting the players and the games they’re playing (at least regarding K-12 issues) on his blog, called “Fred Klonsky’s Blog.” He made particularly big waves back in July when he obtained and posted video of Jonathan Edelman, co-founder and CEO of an educational reform group called “Stand For Children” talking to a group of people at The Aspen Institute about the legislative process that led to SB7 (a.k.a., the Illinois educational reform bill passed this summer (you can read about his work in THIS ARTICLE from The Reader or THIS ONE from the Washington Post or you can go to his blog, scroll down to the July 7th post and check it out yourself).

The video was damning enough that Edelman felt obligated to apologize on Klonsky’s blog.What did he have to apologize for? This is the “juicy part“:

Mr. Klonsky has also been keeping an eye, since SB7 passed, on the developments related to public worker pension reform, which remains a target and goal of educational reformers and Illinois politicians (see here, here, here, and here). In other words, pensions are clearly still in the cross hairs of legislators and reformers and likely to be a political action item this fall, if not for years to come.

One more thing, I missed most of the panel discussion at DWFDW featuring, among others, State Senator Edward Maloney (18th District), but I was there for the question that someone posed about SB7 and noted a bit of saltiness (defensiveness?) in Senator Maloney’s reply as he argued that the bill was a product of fair and transparent negotiations among legislators and union leaders and civic stake holders and an outcome with which they were all pleased and willing to stand behind as a model of cooperative educational reform (I paraphrase, of course). I was struck by that answer in particular because, while that was the story passed along by the major newspapers, the mainstream media, and the legislators, it was a very different story than that told by one of the major players (Edelman) involved when he had his guard down in front of an audience he presumed to be friendly.

If I’d had better powers of recollection that day (and could have remembered Edelman’s name), I’d have walked up to Senator Maloney and asked him if, in light of the video, he’d stand by his statement that it was a good bill for teachers.

I won’t miss the opportunity should it arise again.


2011 Union Banquet

As request by our new chapter chair (sorry for the delayed post Jesu):

Dear Union Sisters and Brothers,

Have you bought your Union banquet ticket?  (Even if you hate the Greek Islands) Please attend the Friday, May 6th to support our scholars and Distinguished Professor.  As many of you know, Phil Stucky is also retiring this year, and he needs to be honored in a special way.  Tickets are only $12 dollars!  (Do not buy a ticket if you are not attending.  We lose a lot of money if you do not attend because the banquet price is worth far more than the reduced $12.)

In desperate need of scholarship donations!  This year the competition was fierce for the Albert Soglin/McBride Memorial Scholarship.  We chose three candidates; two winners are transferring to a four-year institution this fall.  These scholars are not only excellent students, but are actively involved on campus and in their communities.  They are also in dire financial need.  If you have not donated money, please do so to Jesu Estrada in room 633 (Jesu can be reached at 312-371-3774) or Saed Rihani in room 101.  As we reported in the last newsletter, we have less than $500 in donations.  We know economic times are hard, but these students are fighting insurmountable odds, and they deserve a chance to achieve their academic and career dreams.

Make all checks payable to H.W.C. Local 1600 and memo Albert Soglin Scholarship.

Thank you for your support and generosity.

Jesu Estrada, Chapter-Chair Elect

Pension Reform Shennanigans

Forwarded from Mike Ruggeri, posted by request:


Please spread the word to every member on your campus. We need an all out blitz to stop this attack [by enemies of teacher pensions;] they now appear to have the support of Michael Madigan, Speaker of the House. Our futures hang in the balance. We need every member to call, write, and e-mail their legislators. Tell them that you are a Local1600 member. Tell them that you have never missed a pension payment out of your paycheck. Tell them that the problem is not overly generous benefits. It is the failure of the state to make their required payments.

As Ty Fahner said, “You know what’s at stake.”

Bill Naegele, Legislative Representative
Cook County College Teachers Union
Local 1600-AFT, IFT, AFL-CIO
208 West Kinzie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
fax 312-755-1030

You may be wondering, as I was, who Ty Fahner is and what he has to do with faculty pensions. That information is included in an email from the IFT:

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Steve Preckwinkle <>
To: IFTEXECUTIVEBOARD <>; Department All IFT <>
Sent: Thu, April 28, 2011 3:43:44 PM

The following message was sent this morning to a large email list from Ty Fahner, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, one of the most influential business groups in Chicago:

“You know what’s at stake — now we need to get to work. We’re just weeks away from a potentially historic vote on pension reform legislation that could save our state from financial disaster. I’m writing you personally, one Illinoisan to another, to ask for your help in sending a powerful message to our leaders in Springfield.

“We don’t have any time to waste. Our state is being crushed under the weight of $140 billion in retirement-related debt– that’s $30,000 in debt for each and every household in Illinois.

“We need to urge all our state legislators to vote “yes” on pension reform and begin to dig Illinois out of the giant hole we’re in.

For the future of our state, please take three minutes to write your legislators and tell them to support this bill.”

This morning we learned more about this bill, which would apply to every active member of SERS, SURS and TRS (Chicago Teachers are excluded at this time but could be added before a vote is taken). The bill will likely offer 3 choices for participation in the plans going forward (all benefits earned to date would be unaffected):

Choice 1. Stay in the current plan, but pay up to twice as much as current rates. For TRS, that could mean anywhere from 14% of pay to 18% of pay.

Choice 2. Go into the plan for new hires, which means you will work until age 67 with a lower benefit and decimated COLA to look forward to after that.

Choice 3. Go into a 401k type plan, in effect freezing current pension credits and putting your fate in the hands of the stock market. For most of our members there would continue to be no Social Security safety net provided to them.

There are no other options for you to choose under this legislation.

At this time, we don’t know about who might be grandfathered into their current plans based on being near retirement age.

This bill will be initiated in the House, and presumably have the support of both House Speaker Michael Madigan and House Republican Leader Tom Cross. If it passes the House, it must still be voted on in the Senate and signed by the governor or overridden if vetoed. We could see the actual bill as early as next week.

Starting tomorrow, the IFT along with our labor coalition partners will be responding. Lots of helpful information will be posted on our website by Friday afternoon, a blast email will be going to all members on Monday, worksite flyers are being prepared, and Dan will be recording a robo call to all members. In addition, we will be using click-to-call lawmakers software, continuing with our in-district meetings, and initiating a new “virtual lobby day” for our members statewide.

TV ads begin early next week airing statewide on broadcast TV, part of a million dollar effort in conjunction with other public sector unions and the Illinois AFL-CIO.

I realize this has been a long year already for our members and local leaders, but we are asking for a few more weeks of effort to defeat these mean-spirited and harmful proposals.

If you have not yet committed to sending a delegation to lobby day on Tuesday, May 3, it is not too late. If for any reason that is not possible, please make sure every one of your members communicates one way or the other with their lawmakers on this subject which is vital to the future of all IFT members.

This is a winnable fight, but we have to outwork our opponents. Please let me know if you have any questions. The communications staff is busy working up the updates, print materials, robo calls and web content. You will receive additional information as it becomes available.

Steve Preckwinkle
Director of Political Activities
T: 217/544-8562, ext. 12
F: 217/544-1729

Illinois Federation of Teachers
700 S. College St.
Springfield, IL 62704

Nominate a 1600 Professional for Recognition

Our colleague and advisor extraordinaire, Debbie Miles, sent an email on Saturday asking me to help spread the word about the award for our Union Sisters/Brothers’ Award, writing “I just received the [news] yesterday about the Distinguished Professional Employee Award. The nominations are due next week – Tuesday May 3rd! ”

Then in a later email, she added, “Just an FYI: someone who has won the award before should not be nominated.  Dan Freitag and I have both won… The Professionals are sometimes not so easily identified, except for the College Advisors, who are seen a lot during registration.  There are many others throughout the college. Thank you for your help.”

Please consider nominating a 1600 Professional today or tomorrow for the award. The form looks (sort of) like this (and won’t take long to fill out):

(The deadline is May 3, 2011.  I know this is short notice, but we have to have these in next week in order for HW’s nominee to be considered.  Hard copies of this form can be found at 1146- See Sandra Gaona)


Nominations for the FY2010-2011 Distinguished Professional Employee must be submitted to the HW Office of Human Resources by May 3, 2011.



Office Location:                              Position:

Home Address:

Office Phone:                                                     Home Phone:


Please attach at least a three (3)-paragraph page, summarizing the Professional employee’s accomplishments. This information is needed for the district-wide selection committee to recommend three finalists to the President. This information should be stated in the following manner:

* Paragraph 1: How long has nominee been with HW, and what is his/her position.
* Paragraph 2: Describe that person’s character relative to their overall job performance
* Paragraph 3: Describe why he/she should receive this award and contributions made to the students, college, and District.


Testimonial letters, news clips, awards, etc., documenting the nominee’s achievements may be attached.


Name ___________________________________________________________ _

Office Location ___________________________________________________ __

Office Phone_________________________ Home Phone _________________ _


Illinois Education Reform Package

A link to this page arrived in my email yesterday, via my State Senator, Illinois Democratic Majority Leader John Cullerton, featuring news about ongoing work to build Illinois’ Education Reform Package.

Since January, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kim Lightford has led a series of intense negotiations meetings aimed at crafting a substantial education reform bill for Illinois.  Throughout the process, education stakeholder groups have worked through the finer details on a number of issues that will ultimately affect teacher performance and school accountability.

Lightford, who will be conducting another meeting on Thursday, April 7, provided the media with a briefing of the progress that has been made and the disagreements that she hopes to resolve quickly.

So far, the group has agreed on reforms affecting teacher tenure, giving school leaders more flexibility in filling teaching vacancies and making sure that every class is taught by good teachers.  In addition, Lightford says, other reforms to increase accountabilty for school administrators and potentially school board members are part of the discussions.

What was the topic of that “meeting on April 7th”? The right to strike…

Union Rally Reminder–This Saturday

From Mike Ruggeri (sent with a request to post on the Lounge) and “stuck” to the top until Saturday:

Very Important Notice!
To all Local 1600 members & Retirees!
Please forward this to everyone you know!

As you may have been informed, the AFL-CIO and the CFL have called for a mass rally at the Daley Center, Chicago, for Saturday April 9th at 1:00 p.m. The official / final notification was delayed due to permit consent.

Local 1600 will join in this important effort in full force.

This is a invitation to meet at the Union Office, 208 West Kinzie, Chicago, Illinois, 60654 starting at 11:30 a.m. We will then march as a Union to the rally which is four blocks from the Union office.

Coffee and rolls will be provided. Rally t-shirts will be distributed to the first 200 Local 1600 members. We will march under our Local 1600 banner. This is the time for us to show our strength and unity.

Make no mistake about it, there are legislators in Springfield who would love to “Go Wisconsin” on all of us. Threats abound which jeopardize our pensions, collective bargaining, tenure, academic freedom, as well as the simple freedom for Unions to exist at all. These threats, sadly, are being voiced by Democrats as well as Republicans.

Wisconsin happened, in part, because good Union people believed these things could never happen. The events there are a wake-up call for us all. Let’s be part of this historic day and prove by our presence and voices that we will not tolerate any attack of the profession we love and have dedicated our lives to serving.

If you have any questions, call Perry Buckley, Randy Barnette, or Bill Naegele at the Union office: 312-755-9400.

Forward this email to as many people as you can!
EVERYONE is welcome!!!!=