To Strike, Or Not To

There were somewhat conflicting reports in the news about whether CTU president Karen Lewis was predicting a strike, or merely a strike call, or just saying that teachers were really, really upset.  (Teachers upset enough to ask for strike vote, union chief says Sun Times 'Very high' chance of strike by teachers Tribune).  What do you think is going to happen, or should happen?  A strike vote that fails would look pretty bad.  Not calling for one sort of looks bad, too.  What would CPS teachers be striking over, again?  General displeasure, or specific slights and mistakes (TeacherFit, DNH, last year's layoffs, etc.)?  Did the trailer bill make it any easier for CTU to get a strike vote or was that just face-saving?

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  • As CTU President, it is Karen Lewis' job to jump up and down and complain about the unilateral removal of the teachers' 4% raise. She needs to ensure that it does not happen in the future. After adminstrative furlough days and lack of raises, teachers were being unrealistic when they did not expect it would happen to them. They are the biggest group of personnel and personnel is the biggest item in the budget.

    Since there has not been a strike since 1987, most teachers don't understand all of the ramifications of a strike. For example, teachers do NOT get paid; in these tough economic times when 10% of the population is actively looking for a job, teachers will think long and hard about missing pay days.

    My prediction: whatever raise the teachers get next year will be tied to the longer school day and longer school year.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Anonymous writes: "teachers were being unrealistic when they did not expect it would happen to them."

    Be that as it may, I can tell you that--in my building--people were shocked the day the newly installed Board voted to renege on our 4% raises.

    "when 10% of the population is actively looking for a job..."
    Fortunately, only a small fraction of that 10% has a teaching certificate and credentials in the many specializations that state law requires to fill a teaching vacancy.

    "whatever raise the teachers get next year will be tied to the longer school day and longer school year."

    I have no doubt that will be the Board's tactic, but it won't work. It is not a raise if more time working is required. Every 15 minutes increase to the school day is a 4% increase in the amount of time worked; and every additional day is 1/2% increase. I want to be paid an amount commensurate to any increase in my working hours; a "raise" is above and beyond that amount.

    If the Board offers teachers a 3% raise to work a 16% longer day, then we will easily get 99% of the membership to vote for a strike.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Wantin' ain't gettin' . . .

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