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Chicago Teachers Union rally with people holding signs saying
With Chicago teachers currently planning to go out on strike on Monday, negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the management of the Chicago Public Schools continue. But while CTU President Karen Lewis said Friday morning that talks were improving, as of Friday afternoon a union spokeswoman said that "Talks are expected to continue through the weekend," with union negotiators available "around the clock. If a contract is produced, a special session of our House of Delegates would be called in order to cancel a strike. As it stands there is no plan to do that."

Chicago teachers have already had one raise taken from them; now the district wants to give them raises of just 2 percent a year while working longer hours. Those are some big issues to work through, and given the raise teachers should have gotten but didn't, they will obviously want to be sure any contract they agree to is ironclad. So while teachers and school system management have made a great deal of progress in negotiations through the summer months, significant issues remain unresolved. According to the CTU, as of Aug. 29:

Labor talks have been productive on some fronts such as winning provisions for nursing mothers, ensuring textbooks will be available on day one, teachers will have access to functioning computers and counselors and social workers will have appropriate, private workspaces to serve students.  But the bigger issues such as wages, job security and evaluations are on the table and the two sides remain far apart.
Teachers are also concerned about how the longer school days that Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed for are being implemented. After teachers objected fiercely to longer school days without added resources to make the time count, the district hired hundreds of new teachers. But in schools that began the school year in August:
Teachers say they’re being forced to take on other duties during their prep periods in violation of the agreement. Schedules for those in new positions have been in constant flux since the Track E schools started two weeks ago.

Aides report supervising up to 96 kids each during newly implemented recesses.

Teachers not having time to prepare for their classes and aides supervising 96 kids at a time are perfect examples of how teachers unions bargain for things that improve education for kids. But that doesn't diminish the importance of teachers unions also bargaining for things that help teachers—that if they work more hours, they should be paid more. That the evaluation systems that determine their professional futures should be tested and found reliable. On these fronts, Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools are giving teachers a lot of good reasons to strike. This weekend will determine whether that happens.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Whatever raise they're fighting (7+ / 0-)

    for, I sincerely hope they settle on a deal this weekend. If a major teacher's union strikes right now, at the beginning of a school year, during a horrific recession and high unemployment, they will single-handedly reverse all the good publicity public unions have fought for over the past year. They may think it financially worthwhile to strike, but every other public union in the country will suffer from the animosity this would generate amongst the public at large. They very well may have good reasons to strike - but that doesn't mean that they should. I hope they resolve this amicably very soon.

    •  Your points are not insignificant, yet... (7+ / 0-)

      From money pouring in to state legislators from Stand for on Children, to Rahm's appointees to the school board, this fight represents too many national issues regarding public education.

      I don't think Rahm foresaw the level of public support for the teachers.

    •  I agree. It certainly won't help their cause to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, Notreadytobenice, OregonWetDog

      be striking over "only" getting a guaranteed 2% raise.  With the large # of unemployed + the number of people in the private sector who have never had a guaranteed raise, they aren't going to get a lot of sympathy.

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:45:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But we get only 2% during boom times as well (10+ / 0-)

        It's a constant battle.  We're always told to wait... Well, we've waited and waited.  

        Good for the Chicago teacher.  

        Progressives support unions until it becomes inconvenient.

        One more predominantly female profession getting screwed.

        It's an exhausting battle.

        •  I agree with you on every point, jofr (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          I stand with the teachers and their union, 100%. Yes, I have worked as a teacher, but only briefly during grad school, and in non-traditional settings (two hospitals). Still, I know how consuing the job is and how much of it is done outside the classroom. I know of no other professionals who are treated with so much disrespect.

          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

          by RJDixon74135 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:06:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Progressives support unions until it (5+ / 0-)

          becomes inconvenient." Agreed. Over the last four years, we have seen this worse than ever.

          And it is political suicide for Democrats to not support the unions. Without organized labor, there are not many constituencies on the left that can mobilize so many dollars and people alike for Democratic causes. But it's a two way street -- the big Dems need to show the unions some support here.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:19:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You forget where this is happening (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lost Left Coaster, Mostel26

            In "labor friendly" Illinois.

            Where Rahm is the democratic mayor who is openly dissaiful of the union and tells union leaders who disagree with him "fuck you!"

            Where Democrat Gov. Quinn says he was put on this earth to destroy public pensions despite the Illinois constitution's promise.

            Where Democrat Speaker Mike Madigan works with Republicans to cut earned pension benefits.

            Illinois Democrats are hell bent on committing political suicide way before they will actually support their union base.

            Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

            by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:25:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you jofr (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoCoDem, Mostel26

          My son is an 8th grader in a truly excellent Chicago school and I've seen how the teachers have struggled over the years to work with tighter and tighter budgets.  They somehow manage to continue to provide, not only an excellent education for my son, but a great support system for him as well.  

          His teachers have told him they don't want the students or their parents joining their picket lines should they strike on Monday.  But I'll be dropping off some pizzas and offering my support.

      •  And the race to the bottom (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, Mostel26, michael in chicago

        continues. Since other people have it worse, the public school teachers shouldn't ask to have it better.

        I don't agree with this point of view.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:17:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I do know what they're fighting for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib, happymisanthropy

      And I know what the mediators recommended, and I know that Rahm is jerking them around, and I won't be voting for him in the next mayoral election here. You sound like a concern troll. Learn what's at stake before you start dismissing their concerns.

    •  Did you miss the part where (12+ / 0-)

      the teacher's work load and hours were increased without increase in pay? 2% is a pathetic raise.

      I stand with the teachers.

      SOLIDARITY!

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:31:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps Rahm shares some responsibility? (11+ / 0-)

      I mean really...

      Here he is, once again, playing the "enforcer"...against Democrats.

      With friends like this...

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:40:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every strike in history (7+ / 0-)

      had people saying that same thing. Your comment presumes who gets blame is settled - history says it's not.  If you're concerned, the best thing you can do is put pressure on Rahm to settle. Actually, thats good either way.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

      by David Kaib on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:12:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay - Dear Rahm, you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobtmn

        don't know me and I haven't been to Chicago in ten years. But I hereby pressure you to do whatever the unions says.

        •  Why don't you go to Redstate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RJDixon74135, Mostel26

          You are totally distorting what people are saying in much the same way that Republicans do.

          Let's face, even people who call themselves progressives don't like it when women get to feisty.

          •  So to be a progressive is to be in (0+ / 0-)

            favor of every strike, to never even think of whether the consequences of a strike will be good or bad for the overall movement. If someone is against even one union striking, even once, that person is a right-wing conservative who qualifies for the age-old cliche "go to Redstate". Right.

    •  Take you concern trolling (5+ / 0-)

      and stuff it.

      They very well may have good reasons to strike - but that doesn't mean that they should.
      If you think they should not strike to keep people happy, you've got no clue. What next, you going to ask them not to strike for the sake of the kids?

      "Public unions" have fought for the public good not for the last year, but for a generation. And they did it through working together, collaboration and when need be by striking for workers' rights.

      So with all due respect, take your concern trolling and get lost.

      Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

      by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:36:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fighting the public, not for the public (0+ / 0-)

        Public unions have always fought for their own interests, and pretended to be fighting for the public.  

        A union exists for the express purpose of advancing the interest of the members, not for the general public.

        A union exists to bring collective power to fight against another power.  In the private sector, they are fighting for a share of the profit, which is a limited size pie.  They are fighting against the owners.    If the demand too much, everybody loses.

        Teachers are fighting for more pie, and a bigger pie.  The only limit to the size of the pie they can take is set by opposing them.   If teachers unions demand too much, the union will lose, but not before doing serious damage to the students and the public school system.  That is what gives them power.  The use of innocent students as hostages is what makes it wrong.

        Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

        by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:42:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Students everywhere are saying........ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          michael in chicago

          please give me a larger class size, less attention, and a teacher less able to be able to plan for my instruction.

          OR

          The hostage taking is being done by Rahm, Republicans, and you.

          Take your anti educator garbage elsewhere and count yourself lucky the HR parade hasn't started on your comment.

        •  You tell me (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoCoDem, Mostel26, sngmama, alnep

          Here's what the union is fighting for:

          * Small class sizes (Rahm wants up to 55 students in a classroom)
          *More School Nurses, Social workers (345 serve 400,000 students) ,
          Counselors, Psychologists (especially due to the increasing crime rate)
          *Within CPS 69% or more of African American & Latino students go to schools that are intensely segregated. It has been 60 years since the famous Brown vs Board of Education decision, attempting to end racist inequalities in education. Every school year CPS is becoming more and more segregated.,
          *We want a rich curriculum for all students that includes art, music, etc.
          * CTU wants to improve and create a stable and diverse teaching workforce.
          *Fair school Funding (CPS board member, Tim Cawley, admitted to starving neighborhood schools of resources)
          *Return TIF money to support our public schools. (250 million is taken from our students every year)
          *Kindergarten students are being tested 12 weeks of the year, not for the benefit of the children, but for the benefit of testing corporations. All of our students are tested a minimum of 18 days per year.
          * Corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes. (the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Sears received 370 million in tax breaks)
          * Most schools have no educational resources/supplies or air conditioning for the hot summer months.
          Is that taking the students hostage enough for you? Last I checked the points above are doing damage to school children and the only ones fighting for changing them is the teachers' union.

          You too can take your concern trolling and RW andi-union talking point and report back to City Hall. Tell Rahm he can do what Eastwood said.

          Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

          by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not a concern troll (0+ / 0-)

            I am not right wing, and I am not a concern troll.  A concern troll pretends to be on the same side as you, while raising "concerns" about tactics.

            I support the right of workers to form unions in the private sector.  

            I am clearly saying that I am opposed to public unions that allow for strikes.  It is antidemocratic and puts too much power in the hands of a group acting in their own self interest.

            Many union supporters think that every other progressive  issue has to take a back seat to their own pocketbooks.     They ally themselves with Democrats or Republicans, depending only on who has promised them the most lately.

            Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

            by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:33:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This Bobtmn character is the newest troll (0+ / 0-)

            We've dealth with Punditician, Princess, Manhattanman, and a few other anti-education trolls around here over the years.

            I doubt we'll see it around here long.

            •  Six years longer than you (0+ / 0-)

              I know it is costly to oppose public unions on this site, but I have been here a lot longer than you (2004 vs 2010), and I have worked in every democratic  campaign since McCarthy.

              Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

              by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:50:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Way to support your base then. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26

                Note the sarcasm.

                Question: what recourse does a union have if management refuses to bargain in good faith if they can not strike?

                Also, why the fixation on "pocketbooks"? Note that CTU is pushing for class size limits, social workers, music and art for kids. That's a benefit for kids, not pocketbooks.

                Where it impacts pocketbooks is that at the table management will say that in order to do any of these teachers have to pass up a raise - for the kids of course. People like Rahm then spin this in the public to pit teachers vs. kids when the opposite is the reality.

                For example, why are you not arguing that Rahm should reform TIF districts that divert tax dollars to profitable corporations instead of schools? CTU is highlighting this issue, but to you its just the "pocketbooks" you care about.

                Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  So public workers don't dserve representation? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26

                Is that it? It's a public vs. private thing with you?

                A worker is someone who trades their skill for a wage. You are saying some workers deserve someone to represent them, but other workers should be on their own?

                Exactly why doesn't a teacher deserve a group to fight for their workplace rights?

                •  I am anti-monopoly (0+ / 0-)

                  Because teachers perform a universal public service, and there is no effective competition, they represent a monopoly.  Monopoly power is wrong, and needs to be controlled.

                  Private sector unions were, and are a powerful force  to balance worker demands with capital demands for profit.  

                  Private sector workers have power because they restrict the profit that can be claimed by the owners.  Public sector workers have power because they can restrict the services provided to the people, and can organize to support the political party and people that will do them the most good.    

                  The AFL/CIO supported Scott Brown in Massachusetts.  Why should ANY Democrat support such fickle allies?  Public sector unions are self interested allies.

                  There is no net profit in public service.  That's why I favor delivering public service through the government rather than the private sector.

                  However, when increased public services results in increasing the power of the people who deliver it, there is a point when public service will exist to serve the public worker, rather than the public welfare.   We are not at that point yet, like we are with military, agriculture and security spending.

                  Public sector workers should organize with private sector workers.   They should not be allowed to negotiate for benefits that are greater than people doing similar work in the private sector.  

                  Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

                  by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:30:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  You are absolutely wrong on all counts Bob! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          What schools have you worked in and how many teachers have you worked side by side with? You come here to insult teachers? With friends like you....

          Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

          by BMarshall on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:55:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In other words (5+ / 0-)

      teachers should take one for the team, again. And again, and again, and again.

      As a member of a public union, I see this as the exact opposite: we need public unions to take a stand and put their employers on notice that they cannot continue balancing their budgets on the backs of the workers and students alike. The key is that this union needs to make sure that they communicate well with the public, especially parents of children in their school system, so that they can get ahead of all the anti-union propaganda that they're going to face.

      But I would never say that they should back down from a worthwhile fight simply to try and maintain goodwill around the country for all other unions. That's not how unions are supposed to work. If they have to strike, they have to do it for a damn good reason, but it sounds to me that they do have a damn good reason.

      I stand with the teachers.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:16:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You. Cannot. Be. Serious. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Mostel26

      What progress have public unions, and especially teacher unions made in the last year? Teachers are blamed and scapegoated and used as political punching bags by BOTH parties.

      You just want teachers to chill out and say "Thank you massa, may I please have some more gruel" while schools, students, and teachers continue to be trampled on?

      If there was any support, publicly, for teachers, we wouldn't be in this horrible mess. What gains? Please.

      We've been on the defensive for 30 years. Time to put teachers and students first.

  •  While I support unions, I have to wonder where (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135

    the teacher's union thinks Chicago is going to get the additional money to pay them.  Daley left the city with some huge budget issues and there just isn't any money. In a perfect world, the federal government would be able to provide more loans/grants to city/state governments to help them through the recession, since the fed government can run at a deficit.

    President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

    by askew on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:47:43 PM PDT

    •  The Fed can basically print money. (0+ / 0-)

      Chicago can't. Actually, maybe it should.

    •  The teachers are the union (5+ / 0-)

      Sorry but you get what yo pay for.  You want good teachers, then pay for them!

      •  No programmer unions (0+ / 0-)

        There are no unions for programmers, and we have 100's of thousands of good ones.   They make lots more than teachers typically, but if they don't stay up to date, the end up unemployed.

        The good ones keep their skills up, compete for every job, and produce excellent products.  When the products fail, the programmers lose their jobs.

        When the schools fail, teh teachers ask for more money, and insist they are all excellent.

        Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

        by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:28:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Back under the bridge (0+ / 0-)

          You're just trolling with comments like this.

        •  Now there's a great comparison (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          "When the products fail, the programmers lose their jobs."

          Because when programing the product often comes to the job hungry, without parental support, from poverty, reading three grade levels or more behind, or with a learning disability or any other range of issue you have complete product control over.

          I mean, geez, when you program something the code is often is preoccupied so it works completely at random.

          If you view kids as comparable to products, you have no understanding of education or what it takes to teach.

          Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

          by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:40:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And there are programmer unions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mostel26

            If you are a programmer in state or federal government you may very well be in a union.

            •  Interesting true story (0+ / 0-)

              Back in 1998, the team I worked on programmed an evaluation system for postal service workers.

              The previous system ran on an Apple II, and could not be upgraded.

              The union insisted that the new system must look exactly like the old system, including the green or amber screen.

              So, we did that.  Programmed a complete new system, written in C, that pretended to be running on an Apple II.

              This was all so the new employees would not outperform the employees who had taken the test ten years earlier.

              Very much like out public school system today.

              Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

              by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:32:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Point? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26

                So you fault the postal union for wanting a fair and valid instrument for evaluation of their employees that ensured test scores would remain consistently valid from the old system to the new system?

                I'm sure these scores had nothing to do with career decisions or promotional opportunities or salary decisions.

                Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                by michael in chicago on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:13:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

            jofr said that teachers are the union, and if you want good teachers , you need to pay for them.

            I agree that we need to pay for good workers in all professions.  I don't agree that professional workers are interchangeable and that none are better than others.

            The point of my comparison is that you don't need a union to get high pay in a professional job.  That was the jist of the comment I was replying to.

            I think the best way to evaluate teachers would be to set minimum professional standards for teachers and curriculum, and then to allow parents to pick the teachers they want for their own kids.  Teachers who do not get chosen by enough parents would be let go.   There would be some parents who go out shopping for easy graders, but most would not.   I have NEVER met a parent who wants their child to get a fake grade or a fake diploma.

            Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

            by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:42:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Spoken like someone who's never taught (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mostel26
              I think the best way to evaluate teachers would be to set minimum professional standards for teachers and curriculum, and then to allow parents to pick the teachers they want for their own kids.  Teachers who do not get chosen by enough parents would be let go.
              That would be the quickest way to undermine a student's education as any teacher who actually demanded their students do the work on time, with some effort, and correctly - and graded accordingly - would be instantly under attack.  Of course you've never met a parent who wants their child to get a fake grade. In todays litigious society every student is above average and it's always the teacher's fault when they don't succeed in most parent's eyes. You've obviously never fielded phone calls from parents arguing that an 88% should be a 90% even though they didn't actually read the paper or sat through parent conferences listening to excuse after excuse based on nothing but how the parent "feels" about how the class is taught wrong - even as the rest of the class excels, just as students in this class have done for years previously.

              In short, you sat in a classroom once and now know better than professional educators how best to teach students and run a school system. Now imagine if I told you how best to program. It's just as ridiculous.

              Teaching is a political job and always has been. Where else do you put complete strangers off the street with no experience in the field in charge of million dollar budgets as your board of directors? Your version of "parental choice" would not help education, but it would destroy the quality of education in schools and chase quality teachers from the field. No doubt about it.

              Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

              by michael in chicago on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:06:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You sure seem to know a lot! (0+ / 0-)

                You sure seem to know a lot about me!  Wow!

                I'll tell you, I have never taught a class.  But I have also never built a car or raised a cow.   I have never landscaped a public space or designed a building.  I have never  even cooked a great meal.

                But, as weak as I am in all these areas, I make choices every day on all those things.  I know good beef, a well designed building a beautiful space.

                Your attitude towards parents is insulting , demeaning and resentful.  

                Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

                by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 10:39:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Explain it to me. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mostel26

                  Explain to me where I profess to know about you, other than your short sighted opinions presented here about a profession you admit to having no experience with.

                  Explain to me how a knowledge of  car building or livestock husbandry would place you in the position to make any better decisions about actually running an assembly line or actually raising livestock any more than the ones you are spouting about teaching.

                  Explain to me where my examples of parental complaints extend beyond my personal experience into "insulting, demeaning and resentful" characterizations of all parents.

                  You can't. You're just trying substantiate points which are founded on a position of ignorance about the field of education which you are commenting on.

                  You may make choices every day, but that doesn't mean they are informed or valid choices that can be applied to dissimilar fields. I make choices every day about my selection of software. That doesn't make my opinions about how programmers should be paid or employed any more informed or valid.

                  Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                  by michael in chicago on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:28:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  does this give you any insight? (0+ / 0-)

                    You said:

                    I make choices every day about my selection of software. That doesn't make my opinions about how programmers should be paid or employed any more informed or valid.
                    Nobody forces you to buy any particular program, and the programmers do not get to limit the choices that you make, nor do they get to limit technology to stuff they already know how to do.   You can choose between MS, Apple, Linux and many other platforms.   There are a dizzying array of applications for every possible need , from organizers to video editing.   There are many thousands of failed platforms and products.

                    Just compare how much change IT has gone through since 1970 to how much change schools have gone through!   If programming changed at the same rate as education, we would still be using punch cards and IBM mainframes would still rule.

                    I don't think you need to know much  about how to program in order to choose a good product.  You make the choices, along with millions of others, and the best products rise to the top.  I respect your right to make those choices.  

                    Teachers should offer parents and taxpayers the same respect.   As far as my experience with education, both my parents were educators, I went through the public school system, and so did my kids.   I think that qualifies my opinion to be at least equal to your own.

                    The condescension you show towards your customers is common in public education.    Most people who share my opinions will not speak up, especially in a forum like this where we get browbeaten and insulted.  

                    I speak up because I believe in public education, and I think the teachers unions are harming it, as well as driving people away from the Democratic party.  I hope that by speaking up, you might consider that union tactics could be improved so that you recruit allies rather than bully them.

                    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

                    by bobtmn on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:21:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not the ones your hoping for (0+ / 0-)
                      As far as my experience with education, both my parents were educators, I went through the public school system, and so did my kids.   I think that qualifies my opinion to be at least equal to your own.
                      So you've taught for nearly two decades and have a masters degree in education? Because that would make your base of knowledge on how to educate children comparable to mine. If not you must believe what teachers dedicate their life to is generally a waste of time and anyone can teach by virtue of having gone through the public education system.

                      Read my point on programmers again - I'm not claiming to know how to develop software (let alone a "product"), nor would I feel that my having used software would make my opinion equal to that of a programmer.

                      You on the other hand are claiming your opinion about the classroom is somehow informed because you went through the public schools and your parents were educators.

                      And you tell me I'm being condescending?

                      Teachers' unions are made up of... teachers. They are one and the same.

                      Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                      by michael in chicago on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:58:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are making stuff up (0+ / 0-)

                        I have never once said I know how to teach.  I have only said I know how to recognize and choose a successful result.

                        Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

                        by bobtmn on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:04:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In other words (0+ / 0-)

                          You know how to evaluate teachers even though you have no experience in the field of education and don't know how to teach, nor have ever taught.

                          And children are synonymous to products with easy to spot bottom line results.

                          But I'll give you props for not picking on my typo (your = you're).

                          Let's agree to disagree.

                          Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                          by michael in chicago on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:18:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Program on a Commodore 64 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          How about you do al of your programming on a Commodore 64 and your competition gets a Cray Super Computer.

          Then when they outperform you, we fire you. No excuses slug. Programmers make the difference. Quit making excuses.

          •  Programmers do make the difference (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, they do make the difference, but they are not evaluated based on how many credits they earned or how long they have worked.

            In IT, some studies have concluded that 20% of programmers are negative producers.  It means the good ones have to work  harder to make up for the poor work of others.   It is extremely difficult to identify the negative producers.   In programming, no two problems are the same.   In this way programming is similar to teaching.

            It is not possible to compare one programmer to another by any objective measure.   People have tried measuring bugs, lines of code, functional points etc.  

            The only way to tell who are the bad programmers is to find out who no one wants on their team.   Let those people go, and the whole team is stronger.

            Teachers also make the difference, and I want the best teachers in public schools.   I just don't see any evidence that the teachers unions have the incentive to weed out the poor performers.

            Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

            by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:52:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If the former admin screwed up, then you need to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RJDixon74135, Mostel26

      raise taxes to make up for the deficit.  The other choice is to let your public school system go down the tubes.  You choice.  When I vote for politicians who screw up, I expect to have to pay for it at some point.  

      Why are you expectlng teachers to pay for the lousy choices voters made for years?

    •  How about the money going to Charter schools (5+ / 0-)

      which don't perform better than public schools?! Rahm seems to find lots of money for them...

    •  It should NOT fall to teachers to make up for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26

      the general deficiencies of a previous administration. How about letting the voters/citizens who elected the previous administration shoulder the burden?

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:30:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From a right to work state, where bargaining died. (20+ / 0-)

    First they take your 4% and give you 2%. Then they take your 2% and give you nothing. Then they take your board contributions to TRS. Then they give you 4 furlough days. Then they take away your 30 minute paid lunch. Then they take away your health insurance subsidy. Then they add two more furlough days.
    Then they take your job.

    I stand in solidarity with Chicago teachers.

    •  And RAHM right there in the heart of it. (8+ / 0-)

      It's been a few months since he was a BIG DICK about FREE SPEECH, time to be a BIG DICK about TEACHER'S PAY.

      What anyone ever saw positive in this A-hole I will never know. He's at his "best" when he digs his heels in against Democrats...

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:43:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. When did Rahm ever stand up to Republicans? (0+ / 0-)

        The case against Assange debunked: http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/suspicious.pdf

        by expatjourno on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:04:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is a fight for the soul of public education (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, UTvoter

        CTU president  Karen Lewis inspired 18,000 at a rally on Labor Day. We need more Karen Lewis' standing up to the Rahms and bullies who are selling our public schools to billionaires. Rahm and his neoliberal cronies are by design destroying the public schools by denying them of resources. Those resources are what the CTU is demanding be restored plus the raise Rahm stole from them last year. Watch her work the crowd.

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        (Rahm told Lewis immediately after he was elected that 25% of Chicago's children would never amount to anything and he wasn't wasting money on them. He's now denying it.  Lewis calls him a liar at the 7.38 mark.)

    •  Exactly right! Best comment. (0+ / 0-)
    •  You just told the story of being a public (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, michael in chicago

      employee in North America in one succinct and well-written comment.

      And I'm so sick of people thinking that union workers won't do their share to help with budget cuts -- they always are willing to do their share! But you keep pushing, and they will push back when the cuts start digging into bone. It's time for Rahm to do his fair share for Chicago teachers.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:24:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This ex-union steward stands with the union (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago DEM, expatjourno, sparkysmom

    And please teachers, if you do go on strike, please double and triple check the spelling of your protest signs.

  •  Rahm...think about it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago DEM, RJDixon74135

    I want the president re-elected as much as anyone I know but I think it would be terrible for the Mayor of Chicago to take on the responsibility of running a PAC while his teachers are out on strike and the Southside is seeing so much violence.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:34:58 PM PDT

  •  Avert the strike at the last minute. (0+ / 0-)

    That's what Bloomberg does, and he's a master of it.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:39:46 PM PDT

  •  Rahm is acting like a union-busting Republican (6+ / 0-)

    He'll never be re-elected at this point. So many of us are really unhappy with him here in Chicago. I have two kids in public school, but I stand firmly with the teachers on this. Frankly, I wish he weren't affiliated with Obama's campaign any more. He's a not a good person.

  •  Rahm had better get his act together (7+ / 0-)

    Does he really want to keep fighting the teachers union this close to November?  Maybe its time for an ego check on his part.

    "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:42:04 PM PDT

    •  yes he does (3+ / 0-)

      like any good neoliberal he thinks some good ole fashion union busting is how to spread free-market goodness.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:56:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps the "hippie punching" is planned (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice

      After all Obama froze federal employee COLAs so this may all be part of the center far right strategy.

    •  Threat Well said (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      Mostel26

      This is extortion.      The teachers union is USING the election to add to their own wealth.     Just like Romney/Ryan.

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:32:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  HR'd for nonsense (0+ / 0-)

        How dare you? You want to compare a group of workers fighting for work conditions to Romney / Ryan and throw out a criminal charge of extortion in the process.

        •  Please argue on the merits (0+ / 0-)

          How do I dare disagree with you?

          I dare because I am a lifelong Democratic and I believe in electing democrats.  

          Romney and Ryan are fighting for their pocketbooks, just like the unions.   I stand by the comparison.   If RomRy offered the unions a better deal, they'd switch parties.  

          Extortion can indeed be a criminal charge, but in this case I wasn't using it that way.   Extortion involves a threat to harm something or someone if you don't get demands met.   A strike harms children and families.

          Hide rating is not intended to be used to disagree with someone, by the way, even if you feel really really strongly.

          Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

          by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:45:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Rimshot! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, alnep
        The teachers union is USING the election to add to their own wealth.
        The use of "teachers" and "wealth" in the same sentence is pure comedy.

        Remember to tip your waitresses everyone. He'll be here all week!

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:08:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rahm can care less about Chicago.... (0+ / 0-)

      Rahm can care less about Chicago.  He's out raising money for Obama's PAC while the city he's supposed to be in charge of deteriorates.  

  •  Rahm's attitude changed when he had to be the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sparkysmom

    guy where the buck stopped.  It's easy to theorize.  It's harder to pay the bills.  
    Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.  

    The teachers union v Rahm, like Godzilla v Mothra.  Grab some popcorn for this battle.

    He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason. - Cicero

    by SpamNunn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:59:07 PM PDT

  •  Chicago students deserve a longer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    varro, RJDixon74135

    School day and their teachers deserve decent pay. It shouldn't be so hard to reach a compromise, but Rahm obviously isn't interested in reaching a fair deal.

    Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman

    by Sacramento Dem on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:12:40 PM PDT

    •  Board of Trade tax.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....on all the shenanigans going on at the Board of Trade, which spawned Rick Santelli and the Teabaggers....a tax on trades that is very small, but adds up and provides money for education and other city services.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:18:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blazing self interest (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Mostel26

    The teachers unions are in it for themselves.  They are using the Democratic Party, but they are not Democrats.  

    They are allies ONLY when it is convenient, and if they feel a slight edge could be gained by embarrassing the party, they will do it.  A teachers strike at this time is  extortion.

    Democrats would be better off if there was no such thing as a teachers union.       It is just another power group, acting to fill their own pockets.

    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

    by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:15:45 PM PDT

    •  HR'd for attacking the right to organize (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but men and women died for the right to organize labor in this nation. It is a right that we all have.

      •  They died in the private sector (0+ / 0-)

        Union members died organizing the private sector.

        I have no beef with private sector unions.    

        Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

        by bobtmn on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:55:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MLK died fighting for PUBLIC sanitation workers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sngmama, Mostel26

          MLK died fighting for PUBLIC sanitation workers. How dare you diminish the sacrifice made for the rights of ALL workers.

          Again, MLK himself died fighting for the rights of public workers to organize.

          During a heavy rainstorm in Memphis on February 1, 1968, two black sanitation workers had been crushed to death when the compactor mechanism of the trash truck was accidentally triggered. On the same day in a separate incident also related to the inclement weather, 22 black sewer workers had been sent home without pay while their white supervisors were retained for the day with pay. About two weeks later, on February 12, more than 1,100 of a possible 1,300 black sanitation workers began a strike for job safety, better wages and benefits, and union recognition. Mayor Henry Loeb, unsympathetic to most of the workers' demands, was especially opposed to the union. Black and white civic groups in Memphis tried to resolve the conflict, but the mayor held fast to his position.

          •  MLK fought for negro civil rights (0+ / 0-)

            I use the word "negro", because that was the word he used at the time.    His defense of negro rights spilled over into many related areas, including poverty in general, vietnam war and US support for Rhodesia and South Africa

            Many white racists were violently angry at King for  organizing the black community.   His support for the garbage strike was part of his support for black people.  

            His support for the garbage strike was just before his death, but it was not the reason for his death.  He was killed by James Earl Ray, a white supremacist who supported Wallace and was planning to run to Rhodesia after the killing.

            I was in junior high and high school when JFK, RFK, Malcom , and MLK were assassinated.   I revered MLK in high school, but I was mostly aware of his poverty,  civil rights and anti vietnam war activism.

            Public sector unions were not a big force in the sixties.  Most people, even union leaders, believed that public sector unionization would be a corrupting influence on democracy.

            It is a long stretch to claim that MLK was primarily a public union leader.     To claim that he died for public sector union rights is false.

            Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

            by bobtmn on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:04:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Could someone explain the raise that wasn't? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    I keep reading that the teachers were promised a 4% raise in the last contract and that Rahm rescinded it. Could someone explain exactly how that works?!

  •  Know any former Chicago pols with working class (0+ / 0-)

    creds who have an awesome national rep that could mediate a win win behind the scenes?

    Any names pop to mind/

    I can sure think of one.

    Wonder where the Pres will be this weekend/

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:17:20 PM PDT

  •  Strike now, as there will never be a good time. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    There are always lots of reasons why it is a bad time for a strike, and the teachers know better than anyone how it will hurt, but no unions would ever have succeeded at anything if they had waited for a better time.  As a retired teacher who was teaching for CPS during the last strike, I know there has never been a time when Chicago teachers had decent conditions and respect.  Terrible conditions and constant bashing by the local media have never ceased, although the specifics have varied, and now things seem worse than ever. The teachers are fighting to have conditions that will allow them to do a good job for fair pay, and parents and all union members should understand that. People tend to view strikers the way they view demonstrators, seeing them as trouble makers who cause inconveniences in others' lives, but that can't be helped if there is no other way to change what is wrong.

  •  I remember the 81 air traffic controller strike (0+ / 0-)

    and my union (AFL-CIO) telling members to cross the PATCO picket line. Union movement/middle class went downhill from there.

    Do not under-estimate the ruling class given an opportunity to react ferociously. I think it will be bad-timing. Please wait 2 months until after the election.

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