CPS Vote To Authorize Strike With Public Ballot

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Teachers continued to vote Thursday on whether to authorize a strike, but were not happy with the change to a public ballot.

In the past, the vote has been done with a secret ballot, but this year the vote is public, with teachers being able to see how others voted.

Teachers like Joseph Ocol are taking a stand and choosing not to vote, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

“I am not comfortable with the set up where they get to see my name and my vote,” said Ocol. “I feel it is not proper.”

Outrage also spiked on CTU’s Facebook page.

A teacher wrote that the public vote was not appropriate. Another wrote, ‘this is not what democracy looks like.’

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker spoke with a teacher who wanted to remain anonymous. That teacher said 25 to 30 teachers were in the room at the same time, recording their vote and being able to see other’s votes.

“It made me really uncomfortable,” anonymous said. “If everyone’s voting yes and you’re the last person to vote, there’s the pressure of ‘well everyone voted yes, so I should vote yes.’ The results were not an honest majority.”

Union officials said the vote was made public to save the $250,000 cost of a secret ballot.

Another concern some teachers had was, if they vote ‘no’ and ever need the union, they may not be supported.

Despite the controversy, the strike authorization vote is expected to pass.

Leaders from the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools were at the bargaining table on Thursday.

The votes will be tallied Friday, with results available Friday night.

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