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Constitutional Changes Summary: a snapshot of proposed changes

as recommended by the CTU House of Delegates and subject to ratification ratified by the CTU membership.

This is a brief description of the proposed changes to the CTU Constitution and By-Laws as recommended by the CTU House of Delegates and subject to ratification ratified by the CTU membership. We also recommend that you read the featured articles from the January issue of the Chicago Union Teacher. You can also read our answers to frequently asked questions about the merger with Chicago ACTS Local 4343 and Version 2.0 of the FAQ on merger.

All article or section numbers/titles are links to their respective section in the redline version of the full constitution and bylaws proposal document, which shows changes from the 2009 version to the proposals for changes this year. The linked documents will open in a popup window (please enable popups if your browser normally blocks them).

The full redlined version of the constitution can be found in these three sections:


  • Language in the Preamble is aspirational. (1) Adds language referring to non CPS area educators joining the CTU and (2) lifts up the critical role our union plays to advance social, economic and racial justice through coalition work.

Article II: Membership

  • Broadly defines all the various groups that are and can become members of the CTU

  • Clarifies that CTU also has city-wide and paraprofessional members.

  • Allows all teachers and staff at public charters to be members.

  • Allows temporarily licensed (in Illinois, think alternative certification) employees to be CTU members

  • Allows the HOD to incorporate new types of members into the CTU at a later date (e.g. Catholic schools)

Article V: Elective Officers

  • Increases from 6 to 7 the number of trustees to incorporate the charter division trustee and expands E-board to include the charter division chair, vice chair and trustee.

  • Adds a Clinicians Functional Group—adding Clinicians to the E-Board.

  • Clarifies the Financial Secretary position.

  • Defines that the Charter Division will elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary

  • Section 3, Removal from Office Clarifies that the process to fill officer vacancies is established in the Constitution/Bylaws

Article VI House of Delegates

  • Section 1, Authority: (1) Describes in additional detail the ability of the House to act on matters it views as pertinent to the CTU and (2) Clarifies that a strike vote must be direct by the members and not via proxy voting.

  • Section 2, How Constituted: (1) Clarifies that members appointed to the Executive Board and not elected to the House, have the right to speak on the floor at HOD meetings but not to vote. (2) Allows for schools with less than 20 members to elect a voting delegate and provides for one additional delegate for each additional 40 members. (3) Clarifies that retired delegates are elected by retired members

  • Section 3, Term of Office: (1)Allows a more pragmatic time-line to replace a school delegate in the event of a vacancy to accommodate the scheduling needs of a school community. (2) Allows members at a school to petition Rules-Election to report a delegate who has been absent from three consecutive HOD meetings. If there is no adequate excuse, their position will be vacated so that members can elect a replacement.

  • Section 4: Eliminates superfluous language dealt with in the Bylaws and clarifies that the HOD is not the body that establishes the Executive Committee; it is established by the By-laws.  

Article VII: Executive Committee and Executive Board:

  • Sec. 2, Constituted of the Executive Board: Reiterates the creation of 3 new voting eboard positions for the charter division and one non-voting member

Article IX: Standing Committees

  • Section 2, Renames “District Supervisors” to “District Organizers”

Article X, Delegates

  • Section 1, Adds “CPS District and Charter school delegates” to reflect our new delegate additions from the charter merger process.

  • Section 2, Other Delegates: Permits schools to select a temporary delegate when the school delegate in on an extended leave.

Article XI: Charter School Division: Creates a Charter Division within CTU. Establishes that CTU members who work at Charter schools will be subject to the terms of the Constitution and that the Charter division will negotiate and ratify their own contracts.

  • Section 1. Charter Division Governing Board: (1) Establishes meeting frequency and governance for the Charter Division. (2) Describes who is part of the Charter Division’s Board of Governance and (3) allows for the creation of committees within the Charter Division

  • Section 2. Charter Division Board and Membership Meetings: (1) Establishes process to hold and run membership meetings for Charter division members. (2) Provides for a method to call special membership meetings of the Charter division. (3) Establishes that the Charter Board will approve committee reports to help guide the organization

  • Section 3. Charter School Network Councils: (1) Establishes that each charter network has its own council to allow for contract negotiations, member input, etc. (2) Allows for council Constitution and By-laws that must be consistent with the CTU Constitution and Bylaws. (3) Establishes regular meeting process for Charter Division Board and creates a bargaining committee for each council that has ability to negotiate contracts and authorize a strike subject to approval by the Charter Division Board and CTU President. (4) Defines the Councils as subordinate bodies to the Charter Division Board and (5) describes the legal contours around terms of Office and Vacancies for the Charter Division.

  • Section 4. Duties of Charter Division Officers: Establishes Charter Division Chair as principal Officer for the division along with the Charter Division Vice Chair, Trustee and Division Secretary and describes their duties.

  • Section 5. Election of Charter Division Officers and vacancies: (1) Aligns election procedures for Charter Division to AFT Constitution and the law. (2) Describes additional election processes around scheduling an election, duties of an Election Committee, candidate nominations, challenges and objections to the election, etc. (3) Provides the Charter Division Board with the ability to fill vacancies in-between general officer elections

  • Section 6. Election of CTU Officers and Delegates to the CTU House of Delegates: Establishes that the election of CTU Officers by Charter Division members will be conducted by Election Committee.

Article XIII: Safeguards and Obligations

  • Section 4: Expands upon non-discrimination standards of the Union to include disability, veteran status, marital status and updates language on gender and sexual orientation.

Article XV: Amendments and Referenda

  • Establishes procedures for amending the Constitution relating to the Charter Division to include that changes must be approved by a majority of voting Charter Division members.

By-Laws Article 1, procedure to establish membership

  • Eliminates and amends language that is unclear, superfluous and legally obsolete.

By-Laws Article II, Membership Dues

  • Section 1: Policy: Clarifies new process for dues deduction authorization in preparation for the Janus decision by the Supreme Court.

  • Section 2: Dues- Schedule

    • CTU dues remain unchanged at 1% of a Lane 1, Step 1 teacher, plus dues that are passed through from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT).

    • PSRP’s pay 60% of teacher dues

    • Establishes that part-time or substitute teachers who make less than a starting teacher, pay PSRP rates

    • Establishes charter school dues at the same rate as CPS teachers, except that charter teachers who are paid below a starting teacher rate pay a rate proportional to their salary. PSRP’s in the charters pay the PSRP rate.

    • Charter dues phase in—charter dues, which will go up as a result of merger of the two unions—will phase in over the next three years.

    • Inactive Associate Members and Retiree Dues will be set at $50/year.

  • Sec 5 (old): reinstatement fee is removed to reflect current practice

  • Sec 5 (new) Leaves. Cleans up language and allows that a member on leave for holding elective office could choose to pay full dues.

  • Sec 7 Dues Records. Establishes that the union will maintain dues records for at least ten years or three years after membership terminates, whichever is later. Also removes language on withdrawal to reflect current practice.

  • Sec 8. Non-member proportionate share. Makes changes to help ensure that our dues collection will withstand a legal challenge in the event of an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court

By-Laws Article III, Functioning Districts

  • Sec 1-5. Functioning Districts are the CTU’s internal organization which are designed to facilitate communication, participation, and a strong functioning union. The changes here remove the requirement that functioning districts serve only high school or elementary school to allow for organizational flexibility, and changes the name of District Supervisors to District Organizers

By-Laws Article IV, Nominating Procedures for Electing Union Officers

  • (1) Establishes that charter division officers are elected by the charter division and (2) removes inaccurate language that the HOD fix the date for elections, as the date for elections are established in the Constitution and By-Laws.

By-Laws Article V: Election Procedures.

  • No substantive changes. Edits aimed to clarify confusing language.

By-Laws Article VI. Duties of Officers.

  • Clarifies that the president of the CTU is over the charter division, and decides questions of interpretation of the Constitution, subject to reconsideration by the House.

  • Establishes that Clinician Functional Vice President(s) are part of the policies committee.

  • Removes unnecessary language about the Financial Secretary’s attendance at meetings.

  • Changes references from District Supervisor to District Organizer

By-Laws Article VII. Executive Committee

  • Establishes the chair of the charter division as a non-voting member of the executive committee

  • Changes the reference to the John M Fewkes Tower and CTU Tower Corporation, to the CTU Foundation.

By-Laws Article VIII. Executive Board

  • Removes a reference to treasurer

  • Clarifies procedures for replacing an officer

  • Adds a reference to the CTU Executive Board’s role as Board of the CTU Foundation

By-Laws Article IX: Duties of the House of Delegates

  • Moves a reference for removing a delegate from here to page 6

By-Laws Article X. Duties of School Delegates.

  • No substantive changes. Edits aimed to clarify confusing language.

By-Laws Article XI. Functions of Committees, General

  • Establishes by Constitution that Committees will report their work and make those reports available on the website.

  • Establishes a new standing committee, New Organizing, whose chair shall be appointed by the chair of the charter division

  • Establishes an earlier timeline for naming committee chairs

  • Establishes by constitution that the union maintain norms and best practices for its committee work

By-Laws Article XII, Standing Committees.

  • Adds Adds New Retiree Standing Committee.

  • Adds the New Organizing Committee and otherwise makes no substantive changes. Edits aimed to clarify confusing language.

By-Laws Article XIII. Meetings

  • No substantive changes. Edits aimed to clarify confusing language.

By-Laws Article XIV. Offenses and penalties

  • Adds crossing or working behind a union picket line to the definition of an offense against the union.

  • Clarifies the trial procedure

  • Allows options regarding penalties for those found ‘guilty’

By-Laws Article XV: Compensation and Expenses

  • Adds a reference to the Charter Division

By-Laws Article XVI

  • Replaces the language for amending the By-Laws with the language for Amending the Constitution, so that the two sections contain the same procedures.

Please note that the proposed changes briefly described here can be found in detail in the January 2018 Chicago Union Teacher.

Chicago Teachers Union