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Chicago teachers and supporters on the picket line.
Chicago teachers may not be striking much longer.
The Chicago Teachers Union is presenting its House of Delegates with "the outlines of an agreement" on a contract this afternoon, and the House of Delegates could vote Sunday to end the strike and reopen Chicago Public Schools on Monday:
"We have the outlines of an agreement on the major issues, but it's not for this (negotiating) committee to decide if we have a deal," said CTU attorney Robert Bloch. "It's for the membership of the union to decide that, and it's for the House of Delegates to determine whether we'll suspend the strike." [...]

School board president David Vitale was also upbeat about the strike ending as he left talks at the Chicago Hilton and Towers this afternoon.

“I’m pleased to tell you that we have in place the framework around the major issues, Vitale said. “We have more work to do here. The heavy lifting is over. The general framework is in place.”

Though a vote of the House of Delegates would end the strike, the contract must still be approved by a vote of the union's membership. No details have been made public.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it is good for the students, it will be good (6+ / 0-)

    for the teachers, and for all of us.  Just have to wait and see.

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 12:44:22 PM PDT

  •  I suspect it will be good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett, houyhnhnm

    I am expecting this to be a demonstration to the whole country of what DEMOCRATS do with teachers' unions and student education, and here's hoping that it is the polar opposite of what Republicans have been doing.

  •  It's a shame that the local media has chosen (6+ / 0-)

    sides on this issue, and it hasn't been with the Teachers.  You would think that in very-Blue Chicago within very-Blue Illinois, that the union position would be the default "trusted" opinion.  However, in the limited time I have seen any local TV (about 2 hours over the last week), three times have I seen an advert stating that the local print rags (Tribune and Slum-Times) agree with the School Board and are urging viewers to petition the CTU to stop what they are doing and get back to teaching.

    The nefarious part of the whole advert is leaving the implication that this strike is only because the teachers want more money for working more hours.

    -8.88, -7.77 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 12:49:54 PM PDT

    •  Parent polls are strongly with the teachers. (7+ / 0-)

      Parents and other citizens are well aware of the needs of teachers and kids in classrooms.

      CTU has done a great job making this about better education and not about salaries.

      The Trib is notoriously tipped right.

      Some superPAC has been blaring anti-teacher ads on TV, and national troublemakers have been squalking,

      but, local reporters have been honestly reporting the support from parents and other voters.

      Doesn't help the wingnuts that Lake Forest (one of the wealthiest suburbs) High School teachers are also on strike where the average salary is double that of CTU teachers and the working conditions are night-and-day away from city schools.

      And what a novel idea that if the work day is extended and the work year is extended, employees might be requesting a pay increase...

      "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Mittens, Paul Ryan, Scotty Walker, Limbaugh, pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

      by Eman on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:11:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very blue or not, We have a number of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      issues in Illinois that muddy the picture, and they spill over into just about every discussion involving government and government workers.

      Fair to the teachers or not, they operate in an environment where the state has raised taxes nearly 70%, laid of workers, and is fighting a frustrating battle over massive unfunded pension obligations.

      That's a tough backdrop.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:17:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where are you getting a 70% tax increase? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, theunreasonableHUman

        Illinois has a regressive flat income tax - one of only seven states to do so. It's a whopping 5% which means a CPS teacher earning $50,000 a year or a billionaire CPS board member like Penny Pritzker earning $50,000,000 a year pay the same tax rate.

        The state increased this flat tax a whole 1%, which if you want to be disingenuous about it, like most of the billionaires from the Civic Committee of Commercial Club of Chicago pushing (and financing) education "reform" via their mouthpiece the Tribune, you refer to as a sensational "33% tax hike".

        But even that exaggeration is not 70%.

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:14:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plain old-fashioned arithmetic. (0+ / 0-)

          The previous state income tax rate was 3 percent -- not 4.  if you don't believe me, feel free to grab some of your old pay stubs and take a gander.

          The new rate is 5%.

          Now -- here's the hard part:

          5/3= 1.66666

          That's an irrational number, so I hope you won't mind my rounding it to 1.67, or a 67% increase.

          I will admit that 67% is not 70%, but I don't think most peple would my claim that 67 is nearly 70.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:37:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Almost forgot -- what is disingenuous about the (0+ / 0-)


            The state really did increase the taxes that much -- AND -- should have increased state revenues by a like amount.

            But -- they are still crying poor, laying people off, and trying to hack away at pensions.

            What part of that is untrue?
            Even my Democratic State Senator (who works one floor above my office) says that.

            Well -- except for the crying poor part.

            Things are tough here in Illinois, and an economic recovery can't come soon enough.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:41:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whoa there (0+ / 0-)

              I stand corrected on the percentage. I still had Quinn's original proposal from the campaign stuck in my brain (3% to 4%).

              Regarding disingenuous - a "70%" increase on a small number gives the impression of an outlandish tax hike. It may be factually accurate, but it's misleading none the less.

              The reason your Democratic State Senator uses the Republican frame to discuss taxes is probably that Illinois Dems lost that fight long ago and wouldn't know how to sell a realistic tax policy to the public if it was gold plated. Or he's one of Rahm's financed candidates who probably thinks union pensions are the cause the Illinois financial woes and that the Illinois constitution's use of the word "diminish" is debatable.

              The reason things are tough in Illinois is that those in Springfield are inept, and hell bent on maintaining an unsustainable tax policy on the backs of their base who they are doing their best to alienate. The policies Democrats are championing in Springfield are only going to hurt Illinois middle class and deepen the recession, not spur an economic recovery.

              Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

              by michael in chicago on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 04:37:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're the one trying to mislead. (0+ / 0-)

                If taxes are intended to collect revenue, then 70% is the right frame of reference.

                Math is math, no matter how much you try to argue that it's  moonbeams and carousels.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 07:15:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If taxes are only intended to collect revenue (0+ / 0-)

                  Then why do Illinois legislators continue to maintain a tax policy that only six other states use and that is totally regressive?

                  Why do they continue to focus on tax breaks for corporations earning billions in profit instead of focusing on raising revenue with a graduated income tax like the majority of states?

                  Why do Democrats like your state senator go around using Republican frames of "67% tax increases" that only builds public resentment by sensationalizing a small increase when they could instead highlight the benefits of a graduated income tax that would reduce taxes for the majority of Illinois tax payers AND increase revenue?

                  if Illinois were to adopt the same graduated income tax rate structure as Iowa, Illinois would raise $6.3 billion more in revenue than it does from its current five percent flat rate, while 54 percent—over half—of all taxpayers would pay less in state income taxes...
                  If that's "moonbeams and carousels" to you, then no wonder Illinois Democrats are in trouble.

                  Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                  by michael in chicago on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 09:35:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why do you make things up out of thin air? (0+ / 0-)

                    I never said that my Senator talks about 67% tax increases.

                    You are fabricating at will.
                    To be expected, I suppose, from someone who can't accept the  truth of arithmetic.

                    Even creationists can buy into that.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 02:58:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Project much? (0+ / 0-)

                      If I made this up out of thin air, what exactly did you mean by this:

                      Even my Democratic State Senator (who works one floor above my office) says that.
                      Which is in a response you wrote to your own comment explaining how it was not disingenuous to sensationalize raising Illinois income tax rates all of two percent as a 67% tax increase.

                      Hey I agree with you that economic recovery can not come soon enough to Illinois and the larger US economy. But let's remember that Springfield politicians who created the problem and continue to ignore solutions that would benefit Illinois' working and middle class are digging the hole deeper with this type of rhetoric and their focus on "solutions" that don't solve Illinois structural revenue problem and will only make the Illinois' economy worse.

                      You got anything other than ad hominem attacks that are disproven by your own comments on this very thread?

                      Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                      by michael in chicago on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:44:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As I go back and re-read my post, I can (0+ / 0-)

                        see why you took it that way.

                        My Senator does not talk about 67%, but he does have to deal with the pension problem and the layoffs.  Worse, he has to talk to people who supported him in the election.  The reality is that we've raised the state income tax significantly, but the state is still in financial trouble.

                        By the way -- you may not think 5% is a very high tax rate, but go looking through states with higher rates.  How many of them have a single regressive one-rate-fits-all tax?

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:51:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That's the problem (0+ / 0-)

                          Of the flat-tax states, Illinois is right in the middle of the pack at 5% with a couple higher and a couple lower. All other midwestern states have graduated income taxes that top out above Illinois' 5%.

                          But it really doesn't matter if Illinois is the top or the bottom of the list of states with flat tax rates - it's like winning a best of the worst contest. Flat taxes are regressive and tax those who can afford it the least and do not generate as much revenue as graduated income tax structures.

                          Rather than focus on the "pension problem" - that those in Springfield created and that won't solve the state's revenue problem - legislators should be dealing with the structural deficit that Illinois' tax policy perpetuates. It's a revenue problem, not a benefits problem.

                          If Springfield politicians like your state senator are serious about fixing Illinois' economy, they will stop pushing "reforms" that will only hurt working and middle class families who didn't cause the problem and kill Illinois' economy in the process, and instead turn their attention to reforming Illinois tax policy. This would include moving toward a graduated income tax, reforming TIF districts, eliminating corporate give aways, and restructuring the debt.

                          Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

                          by michael in chicago on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 12:32:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Pensions are a real problem in a state (0+ / 0-)

                            that doesn't lack for real problems.

                            Politcally speaking, it's real hard for people who have to win elections to go before the electorate and say,

                            "Yeah, I know we imposed a huge increase in our revenues -- and your taxes -- but we now want to collect even more without making any effort to reign in our past mistakes."

                            Sounds like a loser to me, especially in a state that is battered by the economy and losing population.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:33:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Corporations are anti-union, therefore the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      corporate media are anti-union. (True in at least 90% of all cases, and the other 10% are the exceptions that prove the rule.)

      I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Blue Knight on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:34:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is what happens when you let the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    grown-ups talk and work instead of the children.

  •  No one could have predicted that Rahm (9+ / 0-)

    would throw his base under the bus...

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 12:53:21 PM PDT

    •  i mean, right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who would have predicted it?

      disturbing that he is a surrogate for Obama...

    •  Anyone coming from the Obama administration (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, 2020adam

      can be predicted to be anti-teacher, anti-union. Just look at their abysmal Dept. of Education. I'll vote for Barack, and I even sent $$$, but that's because he's not-Mitt-Romney. Administration education policies are beneath contempt - not really any different than conservative Republican ideas.

      I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Blue Knight on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:38:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Democrat's thinking is flawed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Knight, aliasalias, slatsg

        What people like Rahm think is:

        Who else are they going to vote for?
        What people like Rahm, and many Illinois Democrats currently in Springfiled trying steal pensions are missing is this:
        You're only in office because your base voted for the top of the ticket, but they went out and got you the votes down ballot races as well.
        If Dems keep screwing their base, there's going to be a lot less people getting out the vote, let alone talking nice about the Democratic party to their friends, neighbors, family and social networks.

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:52:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The hedge funders will live to fight another day. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Loved seeing teachers in the streets! (8+ / 0-)

    I got to work from home today. And, although I saw the massive demonstrations where I work downtown, it was even better to see my son's own teachers walking around the neighborhood with their signs and red shirts.

    Their visibility was really important, I think, and I wonder if they shouldn't do that sometime as a simple exercise in "we are here for you."

    Because just seeing the teachers helped me realize how many there are and how much a part of my community they are  (my son goes to a neighborhood school, not a magnet or selective enrollment).

    People without kids or even working parents who don't get to spend much time in the school building often don't see the faces of all the people who touch their lives.

    That was one of the best parts of this strike.

    That said, I am excited that it looks like they'll be back in school soon!!

  •  I'm a product of the CPS (4+ / 0-)

    Graduated in the early 70's from a south side high school. Things were tough for teachers even back then. I can only recall one teacher's strike and it only lasted a week. Back then I never would have believed that a city like Chicago could hold labor unions in such contempt. It was almost blasphemous to undermine the unions. After all, most of us in the neighborhoods had family or friends that were union members. Things have certainly changed since then.

  •  If you want to know what's at stake (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ydice, aliasalias, JayRaye

    Watch this excellent video.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:44:29 PM PDT

  •  THIS is what was posted on my Facebook wall by (0+ / 0-)

    Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign .

    Do NOT listen to any mainstream media "reports" about an agreement being reached. Only the CTU House of Delegates can vote to end a strike, much less ratify a contract agreement. The HOD is meeting this afternoon. Please wait for an official announcement from the CTU and refrain from spreading misinformation or unsubstantiated claims.

    That concern may be over but I've seen that posted several places and until I hear about a vote taking place I'll reserve my excitement over any news of a settlement.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:36:29 PM PDT

  •  Breaking on TPM (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, rosarugosa, houyhnhnm, chicating
    TPM Editor’s Blog

    JOSH MARSHALL SEPTEMBER 14, 2012, 5:52 PM  90
    Wisconsin judge strikes down Gov. Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law.

    More to come.

  •  I am sending prayers now that this all will work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    out and will somehow save our excellent, under-appreciated, public education system in this country.

    Atheists, please don't feel upset that I am typing about prayers, I am married to an agnostic and I respect your non-belief, however, this is how I express my deepest feelings and desires.

  •  Chicago teachers are gods to me (0+ / 0-)

    They are warriors who are standing up for all of us.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 05:33:31 PM PDT

  •  The Big Picture (0+ / 0-)

    I caught Bill Mahr last night (9/14) where Bill interviewed John Legend (singer/activist).  Bill asked Legend about the strike in Chicago and Legend gave the usual statement (not that I am criticizing him) that the strike is and should be about the kids and that principals/administrators need control over personnel in the school.  I agree with both.

    However (there is generally a caveat), everything that I have read on the subject indicates that there is no exact way to measure teacher performance.  Additionally, the focus on student test scores leads teachers to teach to the test...which is not education.  Somewhere, somehow, the interested parties need to develop criteria to move toward measuring teacher performance while also putting in place career development systems.  This does not sounds like an impossible taks.  Another note-everyone should watch Rahm (and Dems like him)...Privitization is not the answer to everything...whether its schoools, parking meters, bridges, etc.

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