Emanuel: Chicago school kids get the shaft

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today laid out some plain and tough talk about Chicago Public School teachers and what they're paid.

The school board--if Emanuel has his way and he will--could rescind a scheduled 4 percent (!) raise for teachers (at a time when other people are losing jobs or watching their own pay and benefits getting trimmed.) 

As Emanuel pointed out, many teachers, even without the 4 percent increase, will get a raise anyway because of step increases--automatically granted for years of employment. 

But here's the good part of what Emanuel said: 

The mayor said the contract between the city and the Chicago Teachers Union ensured labor peace and gave teachers raises, but asked what Chicago school children got out of the deal. "Our children got the shaft," he said.

"I can't in good conscience continue an implicit understanding between parties that left our children on the side of the road. I won't do that," he added. "And maybe they need somebody else to be mayor, but I will not do that."

Emanuel said the school board's decision not to grant the raises was consistent with the union contract, which allows the board not to pay if the school district's economic situation is dire. "The contract calls for a vote by the board because economic situations change over the year," he said.

At last, some common sense talk coming out of City Hall.


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  • This is not common sense or tough talk. Clark Street is trying to preserve their own bloated budget and protect their own patronage jobs. Take a look at the CPS budget and then ask yourself how can the Human Capital Department budget be $10 million while the Department of Libraries (which oversees every school library and librarian) gets a measly $500,000?

    Read my letter to the Tribune:

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