Chicago Teachers' Union Got Some 'Splainin' to Do

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Is no one in that city any good with money?

And for “teachers” – the #mathz does not add up.

Chicago teachers are seeing a little less in their paychecks this school year, thanks to the Chicago Teachers Union.

The union has raised members’ dues by over $160 for the 2023-2024 school year.

In 2022-2023, full-time teachers who were members of the union paid $1,242 a year in dues. In 2023-2024, that has jumped to $1,403.48 – a 13% increase, according to the union’s own documentation.

The union claims it “depends on dues to pay for everything from defending our contract and paying staff salaries to printing picket signs and bringing lawyers to bargaining.” It says that, then reports only spending 17 cents of every $1 on representing members.

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Man. They sure can strong arm people to collect it, and they sure can spend it, but the second the folks who are required to hand it over every month ask “WHERE’S IT GOING?”

You already know what the union answer is.

…The union has failed to provide an audit required by its internal rules for at least three years. When questioned by a member in a private Facebook group about the union’s failure to provide the audits, CTU President Stacy Davis Gates attacked the member, claiming asking for an audit mandated by CTU’s own rules was a racist “dog whistle.”

THAT’S A RACIST DOGWHISTLE

Well, those racists out there forking over now $1400 a year are wondering why an organization that hauled in over $35.5 MILLION last year still ran a half a million dollar deficit.
Which is why they were asking, yet again, for an audit as required by the Chicago Teachers Union’s own rules.

DON’T TOOT THAT DOGWHISTLE AT US, RACISTS

Teachers got especially peeved when they found out that the union, ostensibly pocketing their dues to represent “teachers” was blowing through cash at an exponential rate on?

Politics.

Screencap Illinois Policy

At least a portion of its 2023 political spending came from member dues without consulting the members themselves. CTU and its political action committee funneled nearly $2.3 million to employee Brandon Johnson in his successful campaign to become mayor of Chicago.

After an initial outcry from members who felt the union acted without their consent, CTU passed a resolution to apportion $8 a month from each member’s dues as individual contributions to the union’s political action committee, up to $2 million.

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That’s guaranteed to piss off the folks who pay the freight. Particularly when they realize they’re not remotely a priority for the union.

…CTU has never prioritized spending on representing members, according to reports it files with the U.S. Department of Labor.

But that spending has dropped even farther under the leadership of Davis Gates.

Just 17% of the Chicago Teachers Union’s spending in 2023 was on “representational activities” – what should be the union’s core purpose. The rest was spent on administration, politics and other union leadership priorities.

They’ve got to be asking themselves just what exactly are they footing the bill for and why? They’ve also been asking the union – 14 times since 2019 members have requested the required audits and they have just now received a response.

Not results – a response – from a fellow who is merely a political consultant, not even an accountant for the union.

IT’S COMPLICATED – WE’RE WORKING ON IT, RACISTS

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Emphasis mine.

Kurt Hilgendorf, special assistant to CTU president @stacydavisgates and head of union finances, posted a statement in a private Facebook group.

He blamed “complex litigation” regarding pensions as the reason CTU leadership has denied member requests to see an audit. And now says the audits will appear in “several weeks.”

It’s important to note that Hilgendorf has no fiduciary duty to the union. He’s a political hire — not a CPA.

In other words, he has no legal obligation to be honest with members about union finances.

But he does have an obligation to @stacydavisgates and @jacksonpCTU.

One would think the union could well be bleeding even more of their supposed 25K members after this, which is only going to exacerbate the situation.

…CTU’s financial decisions fall on the backs of the teachers paying dues. The lack of accountability, poor financial choices and increase in dues should have members questioning what exactly they are paying for.

That could be why nearly 500 education employees stopped affiliating with the union in the past year. And because the union’s federal filing covers just July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, those numbers don’t include any teachers who left the union in August 2023 – the union’s opt-out “window” – following CTU’s Johnson campaign debacle.

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It’s not like the union head is a shining beacon of transparency to begin with. Besides being confused over where she lives…

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has claimed a home in South Bend, Indiana as her primary residence for the past sixteen years, according to documents reviewed by WGN Investigates.

Indiana officials tell WGN Investigates they are removing the homestead exemption and may seek back taxes.

In 2007, while she was a Chicago Public Schools teacher, Stacy Davis Gates requested a homestead property tax exemption in her hometown of South Bend that continues to this day.

…she seems to be adept at running her own deficit spending program at home.

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates has let $5,579 in Chicago water, sewer and trash bills pile up. She makes over $289,000 and demands the “wealthy” pay a greater share. So why doesn’t she pay her fair share to a city in financial turmoil?

Newly uncovered records show Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates was $5,100 behind on her water, sewer and garbage services before starting a payment plan in July 2023. She almost immediately defaulted on that plan – despite making more than $289,000 a year.

She owed $5,579 to the city as of Nov. 7, 2023.

Anyone hear a whistle?

I think one should be blowing “GAME OVER.”

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But everything’s a racket there.

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