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Chicago Teachers Union is in a fight for a fair contract against a mayor with an agenda to bust the union and privatize schools to the highest bidder (or at least his connected friends). Astroturf groups like Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, and even the Tea Party-led "Education Action Group" got into the fray to prevent Chicago Teachers Union from fighting for a contract that will give their students the schools they deserve. However, after two years of community building, the Chicago Teachers Union is winning. Find out how after the jump.

Three years ago, Chicago Teachers Union was not working with communities. Since the election of President Karen Lewis and her rank-and-file leadership team took office, teachers have been working with their school communities to organize a resistance to the "Chicago Way" of backdoor deals that lead to school privatization and outsourcing of services.

Mayor Emanuel must have felt the need to play hardball after this Chicago Tribune poll showed:

Among public school parents, 48 percent sided with the teachers union and 18 percent sided with the mayor.
Last week, teachers staged pickets outside of schools and parents and students joined in to advocate for their schools and their educators.

School paraprofessional Cynthia Smith pickets for a fair contract.

Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel has high-powered friends, CTU has something much more powerful -- 30,000 members and the students and parents they serve.

High School Teacher Michelle Mottram tells Progress Illinois why she's picketing.

Gage Park High School parents, teachers, and students want a #FairContractNow

Dett School picketing

Who are the out-of-town billionaires who are working with Mayor Emanuel to thwart the community? Watch this video and find out.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "Your conspiracy theories won't work without evidence." -Nasir Jones

    by Tristero 312 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:42:13 AM PDT

  •  Important diary - critical grass roots effort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redlum jak

    education and unions have been targets for years

    sad to see a democrat attacking the teachers

    lesson for organizing other efforts

  •  Don't misread these numbers (0+ / 0-)

    Public overwhelmingly supports longer school day.

    They agree with teachers about lower class sizes, less intrusive testing and NCLB being generally a disaster. They think teachers should get a raise for teaching longer hours but they don't support increasing taxes to fund it or smaller class sizes.

    The fiscal reality of CPS is that only modest increases in teacher salaries are possible until/unless the economy really turns. If this comes down to teachers striking to stop the longer school day they will not have public support. If they can articulate a clear position that includes accepting the longer day and a realistic pay package, they can demand/ get concessions on lots of the implementation details.

    •  and don't ask for Oprah's help... (0+ / 0-)

      She did enough damage with that Waiting for Superman bullshit.

      Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

      by rreabold on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The longer day is already implemented (0+ / 0-)

      State law allows the Board to increase the school day. The Union cannot and will not strike over the longer day. What exactly is the "modest increase" that is possible? You seem to have some numbers at hand, please share with the class.

      "Your conspiracy theories won't work without evidence." -Nasir Jones

      by Tristero 312 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 04:33:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I follow cause I have a kid in CPS (0+ / 0-)

        no special access to numbers. CPS has offered 8% over 4 years, everybody freaked over 18% (proposed by arbiter) cause that would require mass layoffs. 10-12 over 4 years might be possible, or they might commit to using that for additional classroom teachers and support to spread the load, but I would guess that is as far a they can squeeze that stone.

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