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“We are tired of being bullied, belittled and betrayed by the district and by the city of Chicago. Enough is enough,” CTU president Karen Lewis

Reasons to take strike vote next week were outlined by Vice President Jesse Sharkey:

1) Send message to rahm that his education policies are wrong for Chicago students.

2) Take vote before summer vacation to be able to have all members vote while still in school.

3) Vote now will be less destructive to education than in the fall when school starts. We want this settled before school starts.

Today, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced it has set a strike authorization vote for Wednesday, June 6th, which will be conducted in all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with CTU members.  State law requires 75 percent of Union members to vote in the affirmative in order to authorize a strike. More than 90 percent of teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals have already rejected the Board of Education’s current contract proposals.

CTU President Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT, said a strike authorization vote was “an important step in ensuring the voices of over 25,000 public school educators will be heard at the bargaining table.”  Teachers have criticized the Board’s proposals saying they are harmful to students.  

If the Board has its way it will:

1. Eliminate any real enforcement of class size limits: In their proposal to the CTU, CPS uses the same argument that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently made in Philadelphia. The CPS proposal claims, contrary to common sense and teacher experience, that class size does not matter. Their language in quotes says that “the board shall establish a class size policy and notify the union of that policy.” Not only will they impose whatever class size they think is appropriate, after they have said class size doesn’t matter, they have cut any funding in our contract to lower over-sized classes and have eliminated any real limits on ballooning class sizes next year.

2. Ignore staffing levels in all schools: The Board has rejected all of the CTU's proposals on appropriate staffing levels for our students. Including art, music, physical education, library and world language teachers -- counselors, social workers, nurses and school psychologists -- despite woefully inadequate staffing levels throughout the district and a longer day that will require additional staff if it is to be a better day.

3. Reject ‘better school day’ proposals: CPS refuses to accept any of our recommendations regarding full day kindergarten, playground facilities and air conditioning for all schools -- despite just last week many of our schools reaching temperatures of over 90 degrees, when learning becomes nearly impossible and classroom conditions inhumane. They have already cut the facilities budget by 85 percent next year even as they propose 60 new non-union charters and plan to close nearly 100 schools next year.

4. Refuse to adequately compensate teachers: CPS continues to disrespect teachers with a 2 percent raise offer for the first year of a five year contract even though working at CPS is getting much harder next year.

5. Refuse to offer job security to qualified teachers: The Board plans to remove protections for experienced and qualified educators who lose their positions through no fault of their own which will exacerbate the current 50 percent teacher turnover rate every five years -- something that interferes with continuity and quality instruction.

“A strike authorization vote is not a vote to go on strike,” Lewis said. “…We want to avoid a strike. Strikes aren’t good for anyone—not our members, not our parents and certainly not our students. As a matter of practicality, it is important that we conduct this vote now while our members are still in schools and not while they are on vacation. We certainly hope to have a contract in place before school starts in the fall and we look forward to everyone—including our members—returning to the classroom.”
Interesting that a middle class parent spoke and she was right to the point that addressed the fact the Rahm is a union buster and works for the 1%
Rahm wants to destroy the schools of city workers not only at risk schools with lower income parents.
rahm union buster

rally may 23

may 23 2012 152
On May 23, 2012, teachers from all over the schools of the third largest public school system in the USA had been meeting, cheering, and chanting for two hours. Most wearing red tee shirts emblazoned with "Chicago Teachers Union," the teachers and other school workers had come from across the city after working all day with the children of Chicago.

auditorium theater may 23 2012 suntimes


Where they say money will buy everything. When they say I'll buy the Chicago Teachers Union with the checks. I'd spit in their eye before I'd vote for anything but the strike! — CTU President Robert M. Healey, February 2, 1980

Chicago Teachers Union affiliations include the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), the Illinois State Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (ISFL-CIO), the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Originally posted to Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Your Government at Work, Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and German American Friendship Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good for them. (7+ / 0-)

    And get the students to join.

    And the cops and the firefighters too.

    All are threatened.

    It reminds me of the idea of "One Big Union."

    Who came up with that?

    Oh yeah, the IWW

    •  "Working America" Can Be Joined By Anyone (0+ / 0-)

      and is affliated with AFL-CIO I think, and some unions have retiree wings. We never were union when working for state gov but discovered recently that AFSCME has a retiree wing we could join. And we both did.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:13:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry... (0+ / 0-)

        but I think the AFL-CIO is a lost cause.  At least where I'm at, they're lost in the idea that backing Dems can help working people.  It makes life more comfortable for them than it was back in the days of Walter Reuther getting beaten to a pulp at Ford's overpass.  It means they're selling out their members.

        Labor is back at the point where it was when the Wobblies first arose at the turn of the last century.  In some ways, it's even worse off.

        It will be necessary to fight and fight hard to win some battles before labor can ever regain some credibility.

        And serving as some pitifully subservient adjunct of the neoliberal Democratic Party will never do that.

  •  Good Luck! nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, JeffW, isabelle hayes

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:11:12 PM PDT

  •  Where does the Teachers Union... (0+ / 0-)

    ...propose that the City get the additional funds.

    Last time I looked at the city's finances, about two years ago, it was running a budget deficit of 10% of revenue.  At the time the difference was plugged with funds from the Skyway and parking meter privatization.  The proceeds, about 1.2B, were depleted in 2 years.  That 1.2B was supposed to last about 60 years.

    So, today, the union wants more funds.  But property taxes are as high as they have ever been, despite that fact that property prices are 40% off their highs.  Sales tax and use taxes are as high as they've ever been.

    So where does the union recommend that more funds come from?

    A city in California, Vallejo, closed 75% of its libraries.  Should the City of Chicago do so as well?  And how much money would that raise?

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:19:11 PM PDT

    •  CPS has $700+ million surplus (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jofr, JeffW, semioticjim

      check out for yourself. and stop spreading corporate media lies.

      Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended June 30, 2011

      Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

      by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:39:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Surplus was 373M, and many items were... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Page 35 of your link

        Actual General Operating Fund expenditures were $373 million under budget. The variance is primarily due to:

        Total salary expenditures were below budget by $127 million for a variety of reasons. First, CPS was able to decrease its salary by $35 million from the budgeted level because of fewer teacher positions staffed due to lower enrollment, as well as retirement and vacated positions not being filled. Second, discretionary funds such as SGSA and Title funds hired fewer positions than were budgeted, lowering the salary cost by $21 million below budget. Third, payments for substitute teachers came in lower than the
        budget by $13 million since there were fewer teachers than before. Fourth, due to vacancy and turn-over, salary costs for lunchroom funds came in below budget by $14 million. Fifth, because of timing of grant awards and vacancy factors, other federal grants spent $44 million below budget on salaries.

        Deficit for this year ominous...
        CPS budget for 2013 has huge shortfall

        Chicago school district's deficit may be $700 million
        March 28, 2012|By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah and Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune reporters

        Despite severe cost cutting, scores of layoffs and wholesale restructuring last year, Chicago Public Schools faces a budget deficit estimated at $600 million to $700 million in 2013, with the cost of a longer school day still unknown, officials said.

        In a presentation to the school board Wednesday, CPS officials are expected to detail how rising costs; steep drops in local, state and federal revenue; and ballooning debt obligations will combine for massive budget shortfalls over the next three fiscal years.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  tribune is anti-union (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, semioticjim

          you continue to promote corporate narrative of union busting.

          Current Condition: CPS finished FY2011 with a strong operating fund balance of $740 million or an increase of $316 million over the prior year. (p 12)
          the tribune has never acknowledge the surplus and the fact that a deficit was used to justify firing 2000 teachers which now has been debunked by CPS' own document.

          Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

          by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:28:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  are you are troll? PatriciaVa (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CentralMass, JeffW, semioticjim
          Are Kossacks also Pro-Vouchers for Education?
          by PatriciaVa on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:45:28 AM PDT

          Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

          by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:31:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  HPJ, if you read the context, you... (0+ / 0-)

            ...wouldn't even ask that question.

            I will say that any Kossack who supports Elon Musk's SpaceX must also support vouchers in education.

            Also, would a troll have proposed a graduated tax on wealth, as I have for over a year?

            Regrettably, too many Dems would rather increase the tax burden on the working and middle-class instead of the Warren Buffets and Larry Ellisons of the US.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

            by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:41:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  PVa, so what you say to my evidence (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, semioticjim

              of a surplus and that you keep citing the anti-labor Tribune as your primary source for a deficit.

              Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

              by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:58:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  On the Fund Balance.... (0+ / 0-)

                What CPS says...

                General Operating Fund Reserve: In August 2008, CPS adopted a new policy formally requiring the Board to maintain an unreserved, designated fund balance of a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 10% of the operating and debt service budget. For CPS, 5% represents just one month of our payroll expense. Delayed state aid payments in the past three fiscal years are further evidence that CPS must maintain reserves to offset fluctuations in cash flow. In the fall of FY2011, continued delays in state payments and late receipt of property taxes forced CPS to draw on a “line of credit”. While the loan was repaid when property taxes began to flow into the district, CPS had to pay interest and fees. A healthy fund balance, also known as a reserve fund, could have helped steady cash flow and eliminate the need for short term borrowing. Going forward, CPS plans to maintain adequate fund balance in accordance with its policy by controlling expenditures, saving one-time revenues and encouraging the
                State to resume a regular payment schedule.

                page 13

                5% to 10% of 5.8B in operating revenue is 290M to 580M.  So the 700M is more than adequate, at this point.

                With respect to the 316M increase, much of that came from one-time items, specifically federal funds no longer available.

                Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

                by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:25:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  At most, perhaps, the union can argue.. (0+ / 0-)

                ...that it should be able to use 100M of that 700M.

                Hyde Park Johnny, the CPS either needs more revenue or less expenditures.  And if it's going to ask for more revenue, it should not ask for a property tax  or sales tax hike.

                Why not lobby the state for a wealth tax?

                Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

                by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:29:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  admin salaries have gone up this year (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PatriciaVa, JeffW, semioticjim

                  some by 35%

                  Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

                  by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:49:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No school administrator should make more than... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    ...80K a year, and most school districts are grossly overstaffed at the administrative level.

                    I believe that nationally there will be dramatically fewer school districts one decade from today.  States will mandate that neighboring school districts consolidate, maintaining the same number of teachers but cutting administrative jobs by more than 50%.

                    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

                    by PatriciaVa on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 07:02:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes-by all means, let's pit the teachers (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      semioticjim, mrkvica

                      against the administrators, PatriciaVa.

                      Let's just keep getting more and more granular in facilitating the privateers' efforts to pit educators at all levels against one other.  

                      That is just what they want, and you are being a good little lemming.

                      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

                      by livjack on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:08:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Hmm, your name comes up often (0+ / 0-)

                      espousing conservative ideas not commonly help around here.

                      But I digress.   Administrators supervise teachers, especially new one, to get them up to speed.  A small school will have 40 staff members who need to go through a lengthy evaluation process that an administrator needs to  They also supervise the revision and development if curriculum so that it's in compliance with the ever changing laws.  

                      Then there's special education: who runs that department - the teachers?  Or facilities maintenance - maybe the  teachers should tend to the boiler along with teaching math.  Of course, you could always get rid of HR and have teachers do the hiring.   And let's have teachers setting up the annual budget-now there's an idea for you!  Or you just ignore the ELL kids, then you could get rid of yet another administrator.  If a student gets in trouble, the teacher could leave his/her 25 other students for a few hours to deal with the one student, contact the parent, and set up the disciplinary plan.  

                      Can't agree with you on the cap on administrative salaries, since there are so few qualified candidates for these positions as it is.  

                      It's the latest rage to think that public employees don't work hard, but the reality is very different.

                •  Teachers = the union (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  semioticjim, israelfox87, mrkvica

                  You are talking about teachers.  I always wonder who people like you think "the union" is.  It is the teachers.  Period.

            •  I'm sorry but their is a huge difference (0+ / 0-)

              between privatized space flight and teaching children.  I can't even say how absurd the comparison is.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 08:04:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semioticjim, AoT, mrkvica

            She's on other threads as well.   I can ignore her elsewhere, but when it comes to schools and libraries, it's hard to keep my mouth shut.

    •  Libraries and schools are not free (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, mrkvica

      If you want better services, schools, and libraries, then you have to pay for them.   If you don't pay for the libraries then, yes, they will be closed.  

      How about the citizens accepting responsibility for deciding what level of services they want.  You want a good library, then pay for it.  If it's not that important to you, then don't pay for it.  Just don't think it's a freebie.  

      Do you have an iPod, iPad, computer that's less than 5 years old, television that's less than 10 years old?  That money could have gone to pay for a library.  It's all in the choices you make based on community values.

  •  This is a tough spot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, isabelle hayes

    I feel for the teachers who feel it has gotten to this point that it is the only alternative.

    I also know that people are feeling maxed out on property and sales taxes.

    It is unrealistic to think that we can just keep raising property taxes every few years to keep covering the short falls in the various budgets around the country because it is getting to the point of critical mass where it is just too much and makes owning a home not worth it.

    Sales tax its the same thing. In Cuyahoga county here sales tax is like 7.5% I think. There is just not too much more room to go up. Are we going to go to 10-12% one day?

    I am not sure what it is, but we have to find a solution to funding schools that does not involve pricing ordinary citizens out of many locales because taxes become exorbitantly high.

    •  stop cronyism (5+ / 0-)

      read my past diaries. just in this year alone CPS may have blown $100+ million on crony contracts and self promotion of Rahm election promises.

      did you read this?

      Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

      here is a sample

      THE COST of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy—where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision—investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

      Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with road) Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation—working in sync, command the field. Whatever nuances differentiate the motivations of the Big Three, their market-based goals for overhauling public education coincide: choice, competition, deregulation, accountability, and data-based decision-making. And they fund the same vehicles to achieve their goals: charter schools, high-stakes standardized testing for students, merit pay for teachers whose students improve their test scores, firing teachers and closing schools when scores don’t rise adequately, and longitudinal data collection on the performance of every student and teacher. Other foundations—Ford, Hewlett, Annenberg, Milken, to name just a few—often join in funding one project or another, but the education reform movement’s success so far has depended on the size and clout of the Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate.

      Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

      by Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:48:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  recently retired (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      israelfox87, mrkvica

      I hate to tell you but paying taxes is how you provide for public services, schools, and libraries.  Where else do you think the money is going to come from?

      I'm an ordinary citizen and I'd rather pay taxes than have services cut. I also recently retired and had to take a careful look at what I was spending my money on.  I was shocked at the waste, especially on what we were spending on technology and eating out.  We  made some lifestyle changes (cable was the first to go - 700 channels and nothing to watch - saved me $30 a month).  

      When I see so many school kids have the latest, greatest phone/clothes/stuff and hear their parents complain about taxes, it makes me wonder if we don't have a values problem rather than a revenue problem.  With the obvious exception of children/families living in poverty, it comes down to choices.  If you want that library or good schools, you have to pay for them.

  •  As usual, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City, JeffW

    people want services but don't want to pay. I helped negotiate two teachers' contracts while I was involved with my school union. Because it is illegal to strike in my state, we didn't have a lot of power. I was not popular for advocating getting a fair deal, and if layoffs were the result, so be it.
    We were so weenie that we participated in the worst health care ratio that was lawful: 50-50.
    So cut the crap about union greed. It's not true for the vast majority. Also, the vast majority of workers are not unionized.   We should focus on getting a better deal for everyone, not trying to tear down what one group has.
    I retired after 35 years, and I will be working until I keel over.

  •  There will be no meaningful school reform until (0+ / 0-)

    we kill all the administrators. Each state should get ONE. Then we will have enough money for teachers and schools.  

    •  if this isn't snark, you are a fool. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jofr, semioticjim

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:09:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This from an administrator? (0+ / 0-)

        British schools do just fine without administrators. Even the principals, who are called Head Teachers, teach.

        In my state, we have more that one $100,000+ administrator for every $30,000+ teacher. Administrators skim one billion off the top of the money for schools, while they shop at Target and Walmart during school hours. They also have magnificent, brink, two story atrium office buildings, while the schools have leaky roofs, lead paint, and no air conditioning.

        It's not snark. It's what is fundamentally wrong with education in America. I went to a private prep school, and we had no administrators, just one Head Master. For elementary school I went to an Episcopal Day School, and again, no administrators, just one Mother Superior. Mother Superior was also a teacher, and I don't recall if the Head Master taught as well.

        The Egyptian military has a country; the American corporations have a country.

        by Village expects idiot home soon on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 10:29:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo Chicago Teachers!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rahm is messing with the wrong people....

    Great diary HPJ!

    Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

    by semioticjim on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 06:05:53 AM PDT

  •  What in the world is wrong with Chicago? (0+ / 0-)

    They have Rahm as mayor, right?

    Rahm was Obama's first bankster Chief of Staff, no?

    So what are the good folks of Chicago bitching about?  

    Rahm's a Democrat.

    Don't they know it just help the gop to criticize Rahm?

    The 1% Feast on Results while the 99% Starve on Rhetoric They Can Believe In.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:02:45 AM PDT

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