Chicago Teachers Union Breaks Its Own Rules To Fund Mayoral Campaign

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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The Chicago Teachers Union is ignoring its own policies against spending members’ dues on political efforts in order to fund the mayoral campaign of Brandon Johnson, a former public school teacher and CTU organizer, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Approximately 70% of CTU representatives voted on March 8 in favor of donating $8 of each member’s monthly dues until June to support Johnson’s campaign, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. The union donated $1.5 million on March 9 and is expected to spend another $2 million, despite its handbook noting that union dues are not to be spent on “political purposes.” (RELATED: Not A Single Student Is Proficient In Reading Or Math At 55 Chicago Schools: REPORT)

“Our dues are not used for political purposes – so our PAC relies on extra contributions from our members to support progressive candidates and to impact elected officials at the city, county and state levels,” the teachers union handbook states.

From January 2022 to March 15, 2023, the CTU has spent more than $2.3 million on the Johnson campaign, the Illinois Policy Institute reported. Nearly 94% of Johnson’s funds come from unions, while CTU and its affiliates provide 65% of the donations.

Johnson’s campaign has raised a total of $7.6 million with $4.9 million coming from CTU, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), the parent affiliates of CTU, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. More than $2.3 million have come from other unions.

For the last five years, Johnson continued to be on CTU payroll as a “legislative coordinator,” being paid in total more than $390,0oo, while he simultaneously served as Cook County Board Commissioner.

Ahead of CTU representatives’ vote, members pushed back against the spending on the Johnson campaign alleging that the union borrowed $415,000 of union funds to give to its political action committee without asking permission of its delegates.

“They didn’t ask the (union) House of Delegates. They didn’t present financial statements showing how we’d be paid back,” Therese Boyle, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher, told the outlet. “It feels like they’re putting all of their eggs in this basket, and not thinking about the other important things for our union, like establishing a strike fund.”

Johnson, CTU, AFT and IFT did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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