Wearing red – Future Conn. labor commissioner promotes solidarity with striking Chicago teachers

    Sharon Palmer – Communist award winner and vice president of American Federation of Teachers Connecticut – will become Connecticut’s labor commissioner on Oct. 5.

    In her leadership role with AFT, she emailed the union’s membership Tuesday asking them to support Chicago’s striking teachers by wearing red Wednesday.

    Chicago officials and the union “remain divided on core issues like the best way to improve instruction, and how to ensure job security and fair compensation for educators,” Palmer said.

    She said the Chicago teachers “demand a contract that provides the best for students, respects educators and their work, and treats them as true partners.”

    Palmer said AFT Connecticut members can support the striking teachers by donating money or volunteering time, in addition to submitting photos of themselves in red.

    The email:

    Dear [member],

    Late Sunday night, the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike. This came after months of intense negotiations that continued until the last hours before the strike deadline. Today, teachers, educational support personnel and community members throughout Chicago walk together on picket lines to continue to demand a contract that provides the best for students, respects educators and their work, and treats them as true partners. Despite ongoing efforts over the past weekend to reach an agreement, the CTU and the district remain divided on core issues like the best way to improve instruction, and how to ensure job security and fair compensation for educators.

    Join us to show your support for the CTU and strong public schools in Chicago by wearing red on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

    “Chicago Teachers Union is the AFT’s Local No. 1; it’s where our union was born,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement of support. “The CTU has a proud tradition of uniting and standing together to advocate and agitate for better—for students, for our communities and for our members.”

    The 1.5 million members of the AFT are proud to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in their fight to ensure that every child in Chicago’s public schools has access to a great education, and that educators and their work are valued.

    Show Your Solidarity: Wear Red!
    Show your support for the CTU and Chicago students by wearing red on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and send your group photos to photos@aft.org.

    Additional Ways to Show Support:

    • Send letters and resolutions of support.
      Mail to: 
Karen Lewis, President, Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1
      Attention: Audrey May 
222
      Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400
      Chicago, Il 60654
    • Make a donation
.
      Checks should be made payable to CTU Solidarity Fund and mailed to the address above. Credit card donations can be made here.
    • Volunteer your time.
      If you are interested in volunteering your time to help CTU, sign up here.

    In unity,

    Sharon Palmer
    AFT Connecticut President

    P.S. You can also post your expressions of support on the CTU’s Facebook page.