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CTU Votes on Leadership, Karen Lewis Faces Challenge

By Ted Cox | May 17, 2013 12:23pm
 CTU President Karen Lewis addresses the Board of Education in February.
CTU President Karen Lewis addresses the Board of Education in February.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CHICAGO — Chicago's union teachers vote Friday on whether they still want President Karen Lewis to be in charge.

The Chicago Teachers Union holds an election for its leadership positions, trustees and convention delegates for the next three years. Some 30,000 teachers are eligible, and most will vote at their schools.

Lewis, who led the CTU through its strike last fall after taking office three years ago, runs for re-election atop the Caucus of Rank and File Educators slate. She faces a challenge from Tanya Saunders-Wolffe, head of the Coalition to Save Our Union.

The rival coalition has suggested that, while teachers won the battle for public support in last year's strike, Lewis gave away too much at the bargaining table and has been unable to halt the process of school closings. "What we won in the streets, the current leadership lost in the suites," the slate says.

Lewis' CORE slate has claimed victory in the strike and says it has led the fight against school closings.

Formal CTU communications have maintained an objective position, while urging teachers to vote to show "solidarity," stating, "Whichever candidates you support, whatever your vision for the next three years of our union, the vote this Friday is essential."