Teachers Should Agree To Forfeit Raises

image from www.jobpayraise.comNews came out on Friday that the new budget documents didn't include the contractual raises (4 percent) for teachers (Sun TimesTribune) -- then today's Los Angeles Times reports that the teachers there agreed to cuts in order to avoid layoffs (here).  I'm sure no one will like or take my advice, but my feeling is that Chicago teachers should forfeit their scheduled raises for next year without going to war over it. My logic is simple -- simplistic, some will call it:  The recession remains in effect, there are millions of Americans out of work -- relatively few of them teachers. Teachers, like elected officials, have a responsibility to avoid the appearance of gaining advantage when others are hurting.   I don't think teaches are overpaid, actually, and would love to see them paid more.  It just seems like a really bad time to do the expected thing, which is to insist on the raises.  (Plus which, I'm not sure that such a battle would prove to be a winning one.)


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  • Last year 1200 CPS teachers were displaced with that excuse.This year because of the lawsuit, the board can not dismiss so many in the same way.

  • And a income tax hike.

  • I think I would be willing to forgo a pay raise, or negotiate a smaller one (2%?) IF I WAS ASKED. If the board wanted to discuss it with the union I would entertain it. It needs to be negotiated because a contract is

  • HELL NALL! Teachers and ESP'S keep your 4% raise!

  • I want to go back in time several months. At that time I posted several times on the idea that the CTU should attempt negotiate a loan agreement with CPS for a fixed number of years for the salary increases, and step and lane increases. This would have served several purposes. First it would have put the district on notice that the CTU realizes there is a funding shortage. Second it would have required CPS to reject the offer to loan about $170 million of its members money to the school district they work for.

    I am aware teachers would much rather have the money and a deal is a deal, but PR is also PR. CPS borrows money from bankers, and other institutions on a relatively regular basis, always paying interest. The CTU should also get interest. Alexander's solution is good for CPS, a loan is good for everyone. Other school districts have made loan agreements with their teachers. There are many ways to structure such a loan deal to protect both the interests of children and teachers. Teachers should in my opinion not just hand over raises agreed to in a contractual agreement. Part of the loan deal should be a requirement that CPS begin negotiations over a new contract with the CTU rapidly.

    In a completely different life when I was a risk manger in Chicago's commodities trading sector I negotiated structured debt agreements numerous times. In most of the cases it worked and the brokerage firm I worked for got our money with interest, in a few cases it blew up and we lost money. In no way would we ever let someone or a firm off the hook for a debt unless they had filed for bankruptcy. We didn't do these loan deals to be nice, in fact we squeezed blood out of rocks in some cases with interest rates and various lean provisions. In one case my firm acquired after years of litigation a very nice house in Kenilworth on such a deal and made money.

    Unfortunately, the loan offer from the CTU is not on the table and CPS is creating facts on the ground by issuing school based budgets that do not include salary increases. In war like in life indecision can be deadly. If one can see things are going poorly and does nothing to change the strategic situation then your destruction is inevitable. Basically you are fighting on your opponents ground.

    Rod Estvan

  • What is "minumim [sic] funding"?

  • Emmanuel made over $15 million as an investment banker just before the banks went broke and had to bailed out....he was on the board of Freddy mac just before it was insolvent and had to be bailed out...maybe he should put some his 'skin' back into the game and pay back this money he blatantly did not deserve...then he can talk about teachers not getting a 4% raise.....

  • I do not agree with the 4% give-back. IF they can pay Brizzard 20K more than Huberman ( and apparently he is still negotiating for a bonus based on test scores ) , they can pay us our 4%. With the increase in health costs,our raises are gone anyways.We are paying more at the doctor and specialists, too - besides all the costs that have gone up for everyone ( gas, food, etc). They argue that you have to pay the top people to keep them ... the same can apply to teachers. There is SO much waste at Area offices - start there !

  • I wasn't referring to the typo. I'm not a "moran" [sic] just trying to learn from this forum which is always fraught with abuse but every so often I dip a toe in the venomous water. So, from the response below, this extra money is not indicated in the budget the public eventually sees? Yes, I have seen the published budgets for our school from years past.

  • Dear "minimum funding" poster, I am not sure that schools with "friends of" groups that bust their behinds to raise large amounts of money for their schools should receive any less money because of that fact, if that is what you are implying. That is private money that parents and communities give. No one is stopping any other community from doing the same.
    I do understand your point about getting extra funding for language positions or magnet positions can sometimes be unfair. I know that high poverty populations get extra funds (though the actual amount is really not that much) and I do not begrudge them that. High poverty areas need many, many more teachers than high income areas do, because the kids are so severely behind.
    But really, all our schools need more teachers. All schools need to have what they need, based on the needs that are really there. If a school has a 70% ESL population, wouldn't it make sense to have a large number of ESL teachers? If a school has only half its kids meeting state standards in reading, wouldn't it make sense to provide an appropriate amount of reading specialists and require kids to come before school, after school and on Saturdays (and hire teachers to work on a flex schedule) to get to grade level? Politicians can talk all they want about accountability, but you can't expect a writing teacher to be able to produce results when she has no ink in her printer to print out final drafts. You can't expect primary teachers to up the reading scores without leveled readers and a teaching assistant to help manage the whole group while the teacher pulls out small groups for guided reading.

  • I taught for CPS for 32 years. I believe that around 1992 we gave up a contracted raise in return for the Board picking up the individual teachers' pension payments. Of course, now critics are complaining that CPS teachers don't contribute any cash to their pension fund. Am I remembering this history correctly?

  • Thank you for explaining!

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • CPS is going to

  • Dear 299 Readers, does anyone know where and what time Mr. Brizard will meet with a pre-selected group of principals today?

  • Remind me again why society benefits when we reduce funding to top-performing schools. Don't families who attend magnet schools pay taxes, too?

  • I couldn't agree more on all counts. As an educator in CPS I agree that our union needs to be revamped and that we should bite the bullet here and put off (with clear legally binding language) our raises for the next year. What I don't get is the demonizing of all teachers into being to blame for budget shortfalls that are the work of our politicians and banking system. You don't go into education to make money, but to help people and make a difference. Why the sudden vehemence against educators?

  • ...with a sweet pension and summers off. I hear Malta is beautiful this time of year, but I wouldn't know because I work 12 months a year. Give my regards to the prince.

  • I would NOT give up my raise!! Once Mayor shorty and CEO Buzzard forfeit thier raises I'm on board. It's evident that the CTU is in way over it's head and have dropped the ball on several issues. When will we hear the words...."Class Action Lawsuit"?? The CTU needs to step it up and flex some muscle. Otherwise Karen can kiss her next term buh bye!!

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    If the CTU gives an inch, CPS will take a mile! KEEP YOUR 4% RAISE!

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    The irony here is that it was the city that pushed and pushed for a 5 year contract rather than a 4 year contract, and they want to break it.

    I'm inclined to not give up the raise...why do we never reap the benefits of a great economy, but always have to pay the price for a bad economy. I don't ever remember anyone saying, "Let's give teachers an 8% raise this year because things are going great even though they only negotiated a 3% raise!" But I always hear the exact opposite.

    It isn't fair that the burden of the bad economy is placed squarely on the backs of the middle class.

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    great comments -- here's an email from CTU about blocking the raise rollback and an event next week:

    "CPS is talking about cutting the budget

  • I wasn't asserting a moral high ground, I was trying to be a reasonable person.

  • Rod, so true!

  • "Teachers, like elected officials, have a responsibility to avoid the appearance of gaining advantage when others are hurting."

    Why? Because they are public servants? Teachers are not elected officials. They are entitled to the benefit of their collective bargaining agreement, and voluntarily forgoing it to gain some populist street cred makes no sense.

    Teachers, unlike public officials, owe no debt to the public at large. They owe a duty to their students. That is all.

  • "No one should get a raise with this economy and people should be willing to sacrifice by working longer hours with no extra pay."
    As a soon to be displaced teacher who previously worked in the private sector, I agree with you about teachers sharing the sacrifice, but I take a strong exception to "working longer hours" at no extra pay. This is part of what has gone wrong with our society -- we have accepted simultaneous longer hours and less pay while the rich get richer. Whether we are teachers or office workers or laborers, if longer hours are needed for us to complete our jobs, than our employers should pay us more or recruit the unemployed.

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