Union Rejects Report, Too

For the last few days the news has been all about CPS and City Hall rejecting the findings from the Benn report -- too costly, class size increases/layoffs  -- but on Wednesday CTU joined CPS in rejecting the report, too.  From the outside, it seems like a strange turn of events, though I'm sure someone will explain it to me here. Lewis quoted as saying that the report didn't address class size or longer school day extras (art, music).  But that doesn't seem to me like enough of a reason to reject the report unanimously. Was it the report's findings about previous salary raises CTU has negotiated in the past?  Was it a tactical move?

Fact finder gives report — school board, teachers say no thanks Sun Times:  The long-awaited fact-finder’s recommendation on how to solve “toxic’’ teacher contract talks was finally made public Wednesday — but nobody wanted it. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked school board and the Chicago Teachers Union both promptly rejected it. School board president David Vitale said “quite simply, the board did not have the resources to accept the fact-finder’s recommendation.’’

CPS, CTU reject fact-finder Catalyst: Benn called the relationship between CTU and CPS “toxic.” He pointed out that teachers received hefty raises over the length of the just-expired contract, at a time when the economy was in free-fall and wages in general were stagnant. Yet he rejected the district’s call for merit pay and put the blame for the current stalemate on the district.

Chicago school board and teachers union turn down mediator's report WBEZ:  Chicago got closer to a possible teachers strike Wednesday afternoon as the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union rejected the recommendations made by an outside mediator in the ongoing contract negotiations between the union and the financially strapped school district.

School Board, Union Reject Arbitrator’s Report CBS2: “There are many other issues related to improving the education of Chicago’s children that have yet to be resolved. The school board’s failure to offer us fair compensation, or even consider measures to retain qualified and experienced teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians in our schools are very serious issues,” Lewis said. “However, those do not trump our concerns about reducing class size so that we can adequately address the varying education needs of each child.”

Teachers, administrators, parents weigh in Sun Times:  “It’s stressful for everybody, the teachers, the kids, the city, the taxpayers. I don’t know if there are going to be any winners in this. The mayor pitted himself against us when he tried to do the [longer school day] waivers on the heels of dropping the 4 percent raise. If he had money to offer teachers to support that, where was that money all along? And doing it illegally has left a really sour note with teachers and pitted us against each other, which is a shame, because we’re all supposed to be on the same side.”

Aldermen want voters to weigh in on electing school board Sun Times: Aldermen representing as many as eight wards across the city are maneuvering to place advisory referenda on the Nov. 6 ballot asking their voters if they want to make the switch to an elected board.

Back to School campaign launches despite doubts over start date Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean Claude-Brizard kicked off a huge Back to School campaign Wednesday — even as doubt surrounded whether schools will actually open on time. It comes before School Board members and teacher union delegates officially weigh in later in the day on long-awaited recommendations from an independent fact-finder that district officials contend could trigger layoffs of “upwards of 4,000 teachers” and cause massive increases in class size.


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  • The real problem is that the report weighs heavily on the side of the CTU. Kinda like a double edge sword. The proposed raise is fair, however CTU doesn't want to be responsible for the possible layoffs the CEO and Rham suggest will happen. So what do you do in this type of situation?? Create a smoke screen and appear to be more concerned about Art, Gym, and Home Economics. All in all the Fact Finding report was very clear in the salary proposal. The CTU should not consider anything less. The money is in the CPS budget. Perhaps CPS should cut corners with the charter schools and reduce their funding.

    Edwin Benn's Recommendation
    12.6 percent raise in year one
    2.25 percent cost-of-living
    3.41 for extra years of experience.
    35.7 %.total for four years

  • I am disappointed in CTU leadership for agreeing with the board that this an issue of pay raises verses job cuts. As Benn suggests in his report, this is instead an issue of pay raises verses the longer school day and year. The CTU should not accept a longer day without proper compensation. It is arguable that Benn's suggested raise does not compensate the teachers enough. Certainly, shouldn't accept less.

  • I think that the money is not really the issue here. SB7 stipulates that both sides must agree to the deal otherwise it's dead on arrival. Also in order to retain the authority to strike the CTU cannot approve it. So, if the CTU were to accept the deal and CPS to reject it the CTU would be forced to accept whatever CPS's last best offer was. Now, CPS has rejected the offer (killing it) and the CTU has retained the leverage to strike in order to bring CPS back to the table. This is just another example of the SB7 debacle. Interestingly, even when the fact-finding report comes out, in part, in favor of the CTU SB7 has managed to make them look like the bad guys. When, in fact, all they are doing is forcing the continuation of collective bargaining.

  • In reply to Evan Velleman:

    Well said. I loved JC on Chicago Tonight dodge the question about whether or not he has been at the negotiating table... I plan to be. Wow, what a sad reflection on leadership. CPS won't budge on a unfunded and ill-researched longer school day (the silver bullet) and CTU won't budge on recall position. SB7 slaps everyone in the face. Open up the bargaining!

  • In reply to Evan Velleman:

    According to a press release from the Illinois General's Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force, UIC cited "security concerns" in cancelling tonight's scheduled meeting at which CEO Brizard was to answer questions for the Task Force.

  • Headache299
    “The purpose of the task force is to ensure that school facility-related decisions are made with the input of the community and reflect educationally sound and fiscally responsible criteria.”

    Hmmmmmmmm! I wonder why he cancelled?

  • This is awful^^. I don't know why but I'm completely shocked with the way Rahm/Brizzard have handled this entire matter. Rahm started the entire process wrong, demoralizing the teachers, pitting schools against each other and ignoring our voice/opinions. I don't have an adjective to describe how dumb Brizzard looks as the mayor's puppet, having to do a swift 180 because there is a new "script". Between this, ALL of the new Principals, AP's and teachers this school year could be a disorganized nightmare. Never thought I would say this....but I miss Daley

  • Rahm just gave the Educational Facilities Task Force the finger.
    (How you like him now State legislators?)
    Security, my ars. Besides this sounding made-up:
    CPS's own security that can be called to be there, on duty now
    UIC also has a large force, on duty now
    Rahm can get the CPD to come since he used the teachers 4% to pay them, on duty now (no dig to CPD intended)
    CPS brass would be driven by trained security driver, on duty now Teachers/students/parents go to their schools with "security concerns" everyday -- Why can't they?

  • Brizard answers to the Board (let's pretend)
    the Board answers to the mayor
    the mayor answers to the tax payers (let's pretend)
    the aldermen answer to the citizens of their wards (let's pretend?)
    Time for an elected school board and no more Rahm control
    Time for our legislators to give the schools back to the people
    Springfield complained about Blago's personality and look at dictator Rahm! Not a peep. Wht does Rahm got on the?

  • fb_avatar

    Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel wasted no time in sending out a celebratory statement, calling it a "historic victory" and planning a public appearance to comment at Kenwood High School in Hyde Park. The passage of this bill will make some of his agenda easier to implement, most notably lengthening the school day.

  • In reply to JohnKugler:

    I remember that

  • "Tethered to reality": Clarification I simply want to clarify that they reason the proposal is "not tethered to reality" is because Rahm asserts working a longer for less pay is acceptable, and also expected. (That is what is not "TETHERED TO REALITY."

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