Keep checking back on this: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-09-27/updated-champaign-teachers-union-take-strike-vote.html
I asked (in the comment section):
What role does the public play in all this? The CFT held an “informational picket” before the regular board meeting at the beginning of the month, but it was not clear to me then (and nor is it now) what the public is actually supposed to do. I get that the event supposedly applies pressure on the Board, but to do what exactly? All we know are very general things. And maybe that is the way it is supposed to be – I just don’t get what part we play in this little saga. It is our tax money afterall, right?
I have also asked the PTA Council if they have any plans to hold a panel/discussion with CFT and Unit 4 reps – I know I would appreciate knowing more about what’s going on. But moreover, I really want to figure out what my own role is. Am I supposed to be just a bystander? I don’t think so.
UPDATE: Meg updated her article at 4:07 pm – I think some of the new text (in addition to an important change in the title) is as follows:
The school district issued a statement saying the school board was “surprised and disappointed” to hear of the vote while the district and union are still negotiating.
A strike authorization vote is when the union’s negotiating team goes back to its membership to report on how negotiations are going, said Illinois Federation of Teachers Spokesman David Comerford.
The union members then give the team feedback and takes a vote to give the bargaining team authorization to call a strike if necessary, Comerford said. The vote has to do with the union’s constitution and is different than the intent-to-strike vote the union would have to file with the state Educational Labor Relations Board at least 10 days before striking.
Comerford said a new state law has changed the timeline on which downstate teachers strike.
Additionally, I spotted Cathy Mannen, Sue Grey and Tom Lockman at the Mellon Center after 5:pm – I did not see them meeting or talking, so I cannot relay any facts other than that I saw them.