Day Three Countdown

Strike prep, contract updates (merit pay is dead), and lots and lots of opinions about who's right and wrong are today's education news.  And of course it's also still the first week back at school for most of the city.  Teachers still don't know kids names.  Kids still aren't sure where the bathrooms are.  Parents aren't sure the bus is coming.  When does school end, again?STRIKE PREP

Other unions plan to stay in schools if teachers strike Tribune: If teachers strike, Chicago Public Schools officials will rely on other unionized school employees to keep an eye on students who come to school buildings kept open around the city, according to briefings given to aldermen Wednesday that revealed ...

Parents make back-up plans for possible teachers strike WBEZ: When Amy Sprenger's youngest child starts preschool on Monday, she’ll have the house to herself for the first time in a while. That is, unless Chicago public school teachers go on strike."I’m convinced I’m going to have 2 big kids at home and one little kid in prescho

Aldermen hear details of CPS' strike contingency plan Tribune: If teachers strike, Chicago Public Schools will rely on other unionized employees to staff school buildings that will be kept open around the city, according to briefings given to aldermen Wednesday that revealed additional details of the district's ...

CPS, CTU: Open up! Tribune (Eric Zorn):  Maybe we — I have two children in the Chicago Public Schools, so I do mean "we" — ought to be calling Lewis and putting pressure on her to, say, stop fighting for the right of teachers to continue being able to "bank" unused sick days year after year and then cash them in. Or to stop asking for more money from a system that's awash in red ink.


Days before strike deadline, CPS negotiations in high gear Tribune:  Ten months after contract talks began and just days before a possible teachers strike, Chicago Public Schoolsand the teachers union are finally turning full attention to the most contentious issue on the table, pay raises. The two sides have left the most critical ...

Chicago Public Schools teachers: Monday strike date still on Sun Times: CPS didn’t budge from its May offer of four years of 2 percent raises, but for the first time it formally dropped the requirement that the fourth-year raise be tied to a form of merit pay and “differentiated compensation,’’ Chicago Teachers Union officials said. “I have some reasonable news: The board has moved off of merit pay.’’

CPS makes new salary offer, CTU calls it "unacceptable" Catalyst: CPS officials have given up their hope of getting merit pay or what they call a differentiated pay scale in this contract and they will continue to reward teachers with salary increases for getting more educational degrees, said CTU President Karen Lewis on Wednesday.

Convention notebook: Duncan, Jarrett, hugfest Tribune: Arne Duncan, Obama's education secretary and a former Chicago Public Schools chief, was asked by reporters about the possibility of a teachers' strike back home in the nation's third-largest school district. “I'm very hopeful folks will work this out ...

CTU Charges CPS With Unfair Labor Practices NBC Chicago: In a new twist that could complicate negotiations just days before a threatened strike, the Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday filed unfair labor practice charges against the Chicago Public Schools.

Bill Daley defends brother's record on schools after Emanuel jab Sun-Times: Bill Daley recalled that his brother, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, was similarly “criticized and beat up” after the Illinois General Assembly gave the mayor control over Chicago Public Schools in 1995. Bill Daley and Rahm Emanuel are longtime friends and ...

Emanuel: Teachers strike 'not necessary' Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today he didn't want to "set expectations" about whether Chicago teachers will strike next week, but he did say a walkout is "not necessary."

Dem Convention Notebook 2 Beachwood Reporter:  If Rahm Emanuel's address to the DNC matched his efforts as Chicago mayor, he would have called for breaking the teachers' unions, building more charter schools, cutting taxes on corporations, privatizing more public assets, hiring financiers to run government more like a business and closing down mental health clinics "we can't afford." And he would have also been right at home at last week's GOP convention.

Clash in session RedEye Chicago: The job of a teacher is under the microscope this week as educators gear up to strike over their contracts after months of negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools. The union has set Monday as the walk-out date.

Union bullies Tribune (opinion): The welfare of our children is being threatened by the Chicago Teachers Union. Is it not abusive to lock students out of their school and ban them from an education? I hope Mayor Rahm Emanuel has the courage to break the teachers union when it strikes.

Unions' enemy Tribune (opinion): September 04, 2012. I hope the Chicago Teachers Union can avoid a strike and can compromise with the administration. I say this as a person concerned with the status of unions in this country. I think unions have been their own worst enemy, not ...


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    Alex - what do you mean merit pay is dead - this is a big development - can you point me in the right direction to read about you mean that it has been "renamed" to something else like differentiated pay.?

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Reported in Sun Times, sourced from CTU.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    Ok thanks. I really just wantot make sure that it's not just renaming it to something it. If thats the case then teachers don't have to "strike" they can instead just do a "work stoppage"

  • CTU STRIKE HEADQUARTERS: Starting on Monday, September 10th the CTU will open Strike Headquarters at 1642 W. Van Buren from 5:00 am the first day and 6:00 am every day thereafter. The strike would be set to begin at any time after 12:01 am on the morning of September 10th. There will be a strike hotline that you can call for the most up to date information available at 312-329-6209. The CTU's 35-member-strong bargaining team has met frequently with the Board to discuss the many open issues that remain in negotiating the next CTU contract. The big issues of salary, health care, contract duration, performance evaluation, job security, class size, and appropiate staff-to-student ratios are still unresolved matters. P.S.- On Wednesday, the CTU filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board that accuses CPS of "unlawfully" imposing restrictions on teachers who are currently working on contract (the old contract remains enforced until a new one is agreed upon). The complaint says CPS has canceled automatic pay raises tied to teacher experience, discontinued the accrual of sick leave and implemented changes to teacher evaluations without the consent of the CTU.

  • Thanks RP
    I was wondering about additional info, we had a meeting today after school regarding picket line procedures, etc....nothing else was mentioned (how far apart they are).

  • FROM THE CTU: CTU members, we must now prepare for the very real possibility that we will strike September 10th. For too long, we've been belittled and vilified for problems that are beyond our control. We didn't start this fight; it was started when this Mayor and his appointed School Board took our contractually guaranteed 4% raise, it began when the Board closed and turned around 17 schools despite unprecedented opposition by parents, teachers and community advocates, and it was after the Mayor's office attempted to ram through a longer day without sufficient planning or resources to make it a better day. This is a fight of our professional lives and our schools are threatened with massive privatization and destabilization that has already taken 15% of the system in under 10 years. Now is the right time to take a stand. Join your union brothers and sisters in our efforts to obtain a fair contract and fight for the schools our students deserve. P.S.- The CTU has the list of the 144 babysitting schools. Security guards and lunchroom workers, if you don't work at one of the 144 babysitting schools you can opt out not to work and not cross the picket lines. CPS is making robocalls to CTU members to try to get them to work at the 144 babysitting schools. IF YOU DIDN'T HEAR IT FROM CTU, YOU'D BEST ASSUME IT ISN'T TRUE.

  • from CPS

    Parents, join CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and his team tonight from 6:30-7:30pm for a discussion about the details of Children First, a plan that will provide the essential services your children need in the event of a strike. Call 888-886-6602...See More

  • CTU PICKET SCHEDULE: From 6:30 am to 10 am there will be a daily picket at your school or at a location TO BE DETERMINED where you will take a head-count, provide chants and good cheer, monitor for SCABS, spread information from the union, etc. Plan to be downtown at 125 S. Clark at 3:30 pm on the first day of the strike, for a demonstration of our thousands of members and community supporters (i.e.- RP). Be aware that an emergency House of Delegates meeting could be called at any time. Please contact our organizing department at 312-329-9100 or at, if you have any additional questions. Thanking you in advance. :

  • Another Reason to strike:

    Ranghel's UNO rides again--how far they have gone down--UNO supported the CTU strike of 1987

  • Thoughts on the $$$ law firm negotiating for CPS against CTU: Wonder why no one discusses this? Are they not accountable for these many billable hours? Is there incentive to keep this going to bulge their pockets? Is there any nepotism here or ethics code violations? (Would CPS law dept. really look into this: lawyers monitoring lawyers?)
    Does this firm have or file for a venfdor number with CPS and meet minimum govenment standards? Does this law firm think they do not have to? Will they find these questions insulting and ridiculous?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Agree that the law firm should have a vendor number.

    What about Zorn's comment about sick day banking? I certainly agree that all accrued sick days as of now should be grandfathered in, but will the CTU really continue to fight for continuing this going forward? It's a distortion of what the salary is (admittedly, on the side of teachers, which is better than the other way) but can it really be argued that this is something worthy of striking over?

    While the end of merit pay is certainly a positive, my understanding is that CPS is still demanding that step and lane should be frozen. Is this an issue to strike over? I say yes- why shouldn't a star third year teacher move to a suburban district if this is the case? Ending step and lane is regressive and despicable in that it will undoubtedly hurt children.

    Finally, why isn't there more talk about Randi Weingarden's union-based solutions to education on this blog? I understand that the CTU is of the mind that the AFT sold a lot of teachers out, but I am of the mind that a teachers' union should advocate for best teaching practices and promote them to the greatest extent possible. I think the CTU did a great job of this with the recent document about making better schools. But has the CTU acknowledged that making better schools requires making more meaningful standards for teachers and making more meaningful professional development opportunities (not just for individual teacher development but for the development of teaching itself)? This kind of PD should be driven by the union membership and supported by the board.

  • "Preference was given to sites with air-conditioning, gyms, cafeterias and computer labs"
    Shouldn't all schools have these amenities?
    One school our family visited tonight to see if we shold send them there is surrounded by construction. My children would nto even go in the playground. .

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