On the campaign trail

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Marilyn Stewart

Marilyn Stewart

CTU President Marilyn Stewart fought a contentious post-election battle with predecessor Deborah Lynch to take over the leadership reins. Her three-year term has another 12 months left, yet the campaign is already heating up with one opponent’s hat already in the ring and heated rumors that Lynch wants a rematch.

Incumbent

Marilyn Stewart

United Progressive Caucus

Since winning a very public battle to be seated as president, Stewart, a former elementary school special education teacher, has mostly kept a low-profile, taking strong stands against Renaissance 2010 and school closings to preserve teachers’ jobs. “There is no more important duty than to protect the rights of [our] members,” says John A. Ostenburg, editor of the Chicago Union Teacher. “Marilyn will continue working for the union members’ rights.”

Accomplishments: She agreed to launch a pilot peer teacher review program, and she reinvented a teacher-led effort that was created by predecessor Deborah Lynch to turn around low-performing schools, calling it Fresh Start.

Challenger

Devon Morales

Chicago Educational Employees Caucus (CEEC)

First out the gate, Morales says he decided to run because CTU “needs someone young and energetic.” Morales, a 34-year-old history teacher at South Shore School of Technology, argues that the current leadership is missing “the fire” and that he can go toe-to-toe with CEO Arne Duncan and School Board Chairman Michael Scott.

Campaign promises: More flexible one- or two-year contracts, tuition reimbursement for graduate school, reduced union dues, making extracurricular pay pensionable.

Will she run?

Deborah Lynch

Proactive Caucus of Teachers (PACT)

Lynch will neither confirm nor deny that she’s going to run, noting only that PACT will put forth a slate of candidates but who will be on it “has not been determined.”

Credentials: She’s served one term as CTU president and earned a reputation as a reformer. That didn’t earn her widespread appeal with the rank and file, many of whom were disappointed with provisions of the current contract despite higher raises. Since she lost her bid for a second term, Lynch has worked as an English teacher at Gage Park High School and serves as a high school delegate on CTU’s executive board.