Skip to comments.Chicago teachers walk out, schools close
Posted on 09/10/2012 7:47:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Parents in Chicago had to scramble today as teachers walked out last night after weeks of contract negotiations, launching their first strike in 25 years. Already the nation's first- or second-best paid teachers among urban school districts, the union rejected an offer from the school board that would have increased their pay by 16% over four years:
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced late Sunday night that weekend talks had failed to resolve all the union's issues. We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike, she said. No CTU members will be inside of our schools Monday.
After an all-day negotiating session Sunday, school board President David Vitale told reporters the district had changed its proposal 20 times over the course of talks and didn't have much more to offer.
This is about as much as we can do, Vitale said. There is only so much money in the system.
The district said it offered teachers a 16 percent pay raise over four years and a host of benefit proposals.
This is not a small commitment we’re handing out at a time when our fiscal situation is really challenged, Vitale said.
CBS correspondent Rebecca Jarvis notes the hardship that teachers in Chicago endure already (via Katie Pavlich):
The strike does not affect charter schools — which is one of the reasons the CTU has taken such a hard line in negotiations. However, the strike might end up backfiring on them:
Leslie Daniels enrolled her son in a Chicago charter school three years ago because she didn’t like the education he was getting in his local neighborhood school.
In the back of her mind, she also knew the school was less likely to be affected by labor problems because its teachers are not members of the Chicago Teachers Union. That’s an added benefit now that the union has called for its first walkout in 25 years. All of the city’s charter schools will remain open Monday.
“I’m glad I made the switch,” said Daniels, 55. “I feel for the other parents because a lot of them are working. What are their children going to be doing?” …
The Chicago Teachers Union has fought the growth of charter schools because the majority of teaching staffs are not members of unions and none belong to CTU. Union leaders argue that charters devalue the profession by paying their teachers less, and that public money is diverted from struggling neighborhood schools to support charters, even when charters don’t perform significantly better.
Charter operators said more parents have been asking about the schools in the last several weeks since union teachers first threatened to strike, and charter supporters are capitalizing.
Something tells me that rejecting an offer for a 16% increase over four years won’t exactly sit well with a public that has seen median household incomes decrease by more than 7% over the last four years on a national basis. The CTU wants Chicago to weaken its teacher evaluation process and clamp down on charter school expansion, which they say threatens their job security. However, as the numbers above show, it’s the parents/taxpayers that want an option outside the CTU stranglehold on education — and the CTU’s own delivery of education that threatens their standing. Going on strike will only reinforce the perception of need on the part of parents to find alternatives to the union fiefdom of regular public education.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the CTU for its walkout, calling it “a strike of choice”:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the teachers strike is “not necessary” because the two sides were close.
“I believe this is avoidable because this is a strike of choice,” Emanuel said at a hastily called news conference at the Harold Washington Library Sunday night
Emanuel sought to cast the negotiations as hinging on two remaining issues: a new teacher evaluation system and principals’ ability to get rid of teachers. Chicago Teachers Union officials said there are more remaining issues than that, although they conceded the strike is not primarily about money.
The strike on Emanuel’s watch could cut against the narrative the mayor is trying to craft as a leader who’s a problem solver moving the city forward. It also could set the tone for his somewhat fractured relationship with labor, with his first major union contract negotiation ending in a strike.
Emanuels aggressive posture in pushing for a longer school day and year, while also cutting the pay raise teachers were supposed to get last year, galvanized the union. With negotiations being watched carefully on a national basis, the soured relationship may have led union leadership to strike as a way to take a stand against Emanuel’s tactics.
Well, maybe. It’s also possible that Chicago parents will appreciate the surprise of a Democrat standing up to a union that has until recently been a key part of the Democratic stranglehold on Chicago and Illinois politics. Don’t underestimate the anger of parents who look at the eye-popping raise rejected by the union for the already-well-paid rank and file, and don’t be surprised if that anger gets directed to the CTU. Meanwhile, the CTU will keep maneuvering themselves out of jobs as those parents who can move their children into charter and private schools begin a massive shift away from CTU control.
Democrats War on teachers and children.
The Democrats are opposing the Democrats.
They’ll just blame Bush like they always do.
Little Rahmplestiltskin can’t solve every problem by screaming obscenities...
Its the Left and Democrats’ War on Children
Abort them in the womb, educate them for failure in union schools, and destroy their future with massive Gov’t debt
THE DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON CHILDREN!
Finding a Republican to blame will be very difficult. I bet the White House has already called and offered a “solution”.
Rahm will have to eat this one.
Well the Democrats have media on their payroll, so I'm sure they can come up with a way to blame it on the Republicans that the sheeple will buy.
It’s the first beneficial thing Chicago teachers have done for their students in years.
It’s the first beneficial thing Chicago teachers have done for their students in years.
As much as it sounds possible, I think Rahm was trying to be “fiscally responsible” and is going to get a political beat down for it. This episode points to instability which is bad for a sitting President, especially one from Chicago.
The White House may come through with money for him but that is rather myopic since they already have Chicago in the bag. He needs that money for the battleground states.
The White House does NOT want Chicago on the political map right now. It’s a failure.
Chicago teachers currently earn the highest wage of all public school teachers in the country.The average wage of a Chicago teacher before benefits is $71000. The average wage of a Chicagoan is $49000.Yet they are striking for 30% more to babysit students with less than a 58% high school graduation rate.
At least the U of C Lab School is open for the children of the Hyde Park elite.
But on the other hand it would help Rahm appear to be fiscally conservative to moderate voters should he run for POTUS (as I believe he will)
The contrast between the school/union situation in WI and Chicago is striking. Do the rats in IL notice the difference?
And the majority of the parents are only worried about
“where’mah gonna put mah babies today?”
And the parent(s) of these uneducated children will continue to vote for the democrat party and their unions.
-——wheremah gonna put mah babies today?———
perhaps it should read....
wheremah gonna put mah granbabies today?
I smell a setup. Contrived event designed to let Obama parachute in with a deal that “appeases” the folks involved and makes him look Presidential and like a problem-solver to the rest of the country.
I smell it too.
I'll bet that won't stop him from trying.
Well, sure... for those old ladies in their late 20’s...
—— Chicago teachers walk out, schools close ——
Finally some good news!
Now keep them closed.
Drudge is giving the strike heavy play for a reason. Romney can make hay with this. Judging from the the comments on liberal boards, even many Dems are disgusted by the greed and sloth of the CTU.
the union rejected an offer from the school board that would have increased their pay by 16% over four years:
Really? They would not accept 16 percent over 4 years? That is 4 percent a year. Ask those Sailors and Soldiers getting killed over in Afghanistan how much they receive in their January 2013 pay check for a raise. It MIGHT be 1.3 percent. Although there is talk of giving zero raises to the military.
I hope they stay out for years. Chicago’s kids would benefit greatly if they went to Internet-based learning. Cut the unions out completely.
Don’t worry—it’s for the children.
I know this is extremely UbPC, but would you really want to see some of those faces first thing in the morning.
I’m a woman, so don’t go ballastic. I also had the great fortune to have wonderful teachers all 12 years of grade and high school.
While the “academented edumacators” are out of the Pooblic Skool Collective buildings, sell them all.
Do it for the chilrun.
Even the Obamas are walking out on Chicago and heading to Hawaii.
Rush is calling this a setup. The teachers pulling a strike just before the election so Obama can ride to the rescue to fix everything.
Oh, some of them are worried about who will feed the children, since they won’t be in school to get their 2 free meals a day, they might have to use some of their food stamps to buy food for their kids.
Oh, some of them are worried about who will feed the children, since they wont be in school to get their 2 free meals a day, they might have to use some of their food stamps to buy food for their kids”
Schools are staying open to feed the cheelrun breafass and lunts.
"Never let a crisis go to waste."
I was blessed to have outstanding teachers during my K-12 years. That was then. The now is our local schools (not Chicago) are hostages to the GD Rockford Education Association and the school board is a bunch of wussies. I am so disgusted, I could chew railroad spikes.
56% graduation rate for Chicago schools and the teachers think they deserve a raise? Last time I checked if a business was run that bad everyone would be fired.
What a great situation..love it. Rahm against CTU. Teachers turning down a 16% raise(4 yrs) while regular household incomes going down 7% a year...this is great! Love how the real issues get on the news. Teachers make average of $74,000 a year W/O benefits for about 7-8 months work. That is OUTRAGEOUS. I pray they all get fired and the charter schools popup everywhere.
Interesting. I think I’m just going to sit back, laugh, and enjoy this entire CREATION OF LIBERALISM implode on itself.
The outcome will be the same as any other liberal/socialist scheme ..it will self implode, cease to exist, all the while causing untold unrest and mayhem for us to someday look back at in the history books.