Even for an opening demand/request/offer in labor negotiations, the 30-percent wage increase sought by the Chicago Teachers Union is a stunner.
Undoubtedly, the union argues that the huge hike is needed to compensate for the longer school day imposed on them by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Illinois Legislature. Nonetheless, when you combine the other standard requests for smaller class size (23), extra teaching positions in each school and so forth, you witness a totally boinked union leadership, blind to city, state and federal financial realities. Not to mention the financial realities of the taxpayers, many of whom are struggling.
In a communication with members, CTU President Karen Lewis already is prepping rank and file for a strike, urging them to make personal financial preparations for a walkout. Does Lewis really think that this is just another year, in which parents will not see the union's demands as utterly selfish and unrealistic?
Okay, so it is the first proposal on the table; as a former union officer I know how this process works. But 30 percent? What the hell, why not make it 50 percent.