Fight Or Flight: What Should Teachers Do Next?

image from Now that the Board has decided to rescind the raises promised to Chicago teachers (see news below), what should teachers (and CTU) do in response?  Strike?  Work to rule? Quit en masse?  Go to court to contest the claims of economic distress?  Refuse to negotiate any changes in instructional time (or, even better, press for further reductions in class time)? There are a lot of heated ideas out there, but I'd love to hear from you whether you're a teacher, parent, or interested observer:  What next?


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  • CPS is the city's second largest employer, probably the largest landlord, largest social service provider, largest food service provider, etc. Whether the CEO makes 20k more or less seems irrelevant to me. The job should be financially worthwhile to the person who has the qualifications, stamina, and appetite to lead and yes, reform, this massive enterprise.

  • 20 or 40k is not relevant to the goal of reforming CPS into the best possible urban educational system. As I said leading this effort will take qualifications, stamina and the appetite to take on a task which will be extraordinarily difficult and all consuming. If indeed, the current CEO is the one who will achieve this, anything under a 300k salary is probably good value. I think it will take closing 50 to 75 less than half filled schools,convincing the capital markets to lend money for capital improvements, re-vamping procurement and technology systems, etc. The buck stops with the CEO and I want the best possible person in that leadership position. Maybe its Mr. Brizard, maybe not, its too soon to know.

  • I think he does have a performance based bonus system as part of his pay package as well. Can anybody here confirm and does anyone know what the criteria are?

  • If he averages four out of office appointments a day and each time has to deal with parking garage/walking to and from that could easily be an hour wasted. With a driver he can do email, have meetings en-route, etc. If he's doing his job at the intensity level it, no doubt, requires a driver saves money. Same for Rahm. They have four years to show results. Hurry up is on now!

  • Well, yes and no. The officers are paid based upon the teacher pay scale prorated to their 52 week work year.

    But the union's finances are not part of the public record. The CTU is a private organization.

  • The vote by the the Chicago Board of Education could eventually lead to a teacher's strike! Once the contract (Agreement) is reopened, CPS and the CTU would have to reach an impasse after a 'reasonable' period of negotiation. Then, if an impasse is reached, SB7 calls for 90 days of fact-finding and another 30 days for the fact-finding details to be made public. Under SB7, the CTU would have to convince 75% of voting members (30,000 CTU members or 22,500 members of which 23,695 are teachers or 17,772 teachers) would have to authorize a strike! P.S. 1- Does the pulling back of the scheduled 4% pay raise have anything do to do with Rahm Emanuel's desire to implement his longer school day and year before students return to class in the fall? P.S. 2- Michael Shields, president of the Fraternal Order of Police says (head person in charge of CPS security), "Who do we value as a society, the CEO's who threaten to leave to get tax breaks or the hard-working men and women who teach our children and the police who patrol our streets. This war on public employees has to stop."

  • Alexander, thank you for highlighting this sensitive issue, the first option is they must negotiate and when the probabilities end then they must go to court to contest the claims of economic distress.

  • Brown
    Or spend two days teaching your history class about Brown vs. The Board of Education.
    Then when one of the kids not deep in thoughts about sex asks you

  • Dear Need more info, because some teachers haven't read SB7.

  • The only 'shaft' the students of CPS got was when Rahm Emmanuel was elected mayor....teachers will not want to work for this system that does not honor contracts, has a bully for administrator and blames teachers for all the problems caused by administrators and corruption and graft. Audit the system and show some transparency....the people will be amazed at the waste and corruption at the Board

  • Dear Anonymous, no trailer bill yet for SB7.

  • In reply to chijas:

    Wow, I get to correct the Retired Principal. Both bills were signed into law Monday, June 13th.

    "Senate Bill 7 and its trailer bill, House Bill 1197 take effect immediately."

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Dear Danny, thanks!

  • In reply to chijas:

    Senate Bill 7 is now Public Act 97-008. House Bill 1197 is now Public Act 97-007 and it states: "Deletes everything after the enacting clause. If and only if Senate Bill 7 as passed by the 97th General Assembly becomes law, amends the Educational Labor Relations Act. Adds language concerning jurisdiction over a dispute or impasse over certain subjects with respect to the Chicago school district. With respect to school districts other than the Chicago school district, makes changes concerning the declaration of an impasse and making public the final offers and each party's cost summary dealing with those issues on which the parties have failed to reach agreement. With respect to the Chicago school district, makes a change concerning the submission of a dispute to fact-finding. Makes changes concerning the procedures whereby a dispute or impasse over certain subjects must be resolved and jurisdiction. Provides that educational employees in the Chicago school district shall not engage in a strike unless at least three-fourths of all bargaining unit employees who are members of the exclusive bargaining representative (instead of at least three-fourts of all bargaing unit members of the exclusive bargaining representative) have affirmatively voted to authorize the strike, provided, however, that all members of the exclusive bargainging representative at the time of a strike authorization vote shall be eligible to vote. Effective immediately or on the effective date of Senate Bill 7 of the 97th General Assembly, whichever is later".

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