Getting It Right?

As you probably already know, the House of Delegates surprised many -- including perhaps CTU president Karen Lewis herself -- by rejecting the offer on the table and refusing to return to work, to which Mayor Emanuel responded by threatening an injunction.  News coverage and a bit of commentary below -- I'm sure there will be more.  I'm guessing more than a few folks assumed school would be back in session today, and we'll know more about the injunction later this morning.

Mayor seeks legal action as Chicago teachers union votes to continue strike WBEZ:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to take legal action to force teachers back into the classroom immediately. The decision comes a couple of hours after the governing body of the Chicago Teachers Union, its House of Delegates, voted to continue its strike.

Delegates speak out on decision to continue strike CLTV:  Hundreds of Chicago teachers union delegates filed out of the nearly three hour long meeting Sunday afternoon.

Chicago Teachers Union Infighting: "You Sold Out" NBC4 Washington: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago teachers union, departs a news conference after her meeting with the union's House of Delegates Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in Chicago. Lewis told the delegates that a "framework" was in place to end the teachers strike.

If the teachers say no ... Tribune (editorial): In a stunning turn of events late Sunday afternoon, CTU delegates refused to go back to work. They chanted "Get it right!" They demanded more time. CPS has to make it clear to teachers that the deal on the table isn't ... going ... to ... get ... better.

Mayor wants injunction to stop strike, union wants more time to consider deal Catalyst: Filing an injunction is a risky move for Emanuel. If he loses in court, he would further anger teachers and make them more suspicious of the deal.  If he wins, forcing teachers to end their strike could anger members of other unions.

Chicago teachers strike continues, Emanuel says he will sue to force end Tribune: What was thought to be a done deal unraveled Sunday as Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was unable to sell union delegates on ending the strike.

Teachers Union in Chicago to Extend Strike Into 2nd Week NYT: The Chicago Teachers Union extended its strike into a second week on Sunday, after significant divisions emerged among union delegates over a deal that only a day before had been described by the union's leader as “a good contract.”

Parents have mixed reaction to continued Chicago teachers' strike The Republic: Parents of Chicago Public Schools students have mixed reactions to a continuing strike in the nation's third-largest district.

Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review: 9/14 Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists discuss the week's top headlines.

David Brooks Gets the Chicago Teachers Strike Very Wrong Chicago Magazine (Carol Felsenthal): The New York Times columnist's infatuation with Rahm Emanuel blinds him to the realities of the strike—Karen Lewis is outfoxing the new mayor, who's caving just like his predecessor.

School reform by the numbers Reader (Michael Miner): I've never had a boss who didn't have a pretty good idea how well I was doing my job. If schools were run along the lines of most workplaces, principals would reward their best teachers and get rid of the worst ones, and no one would question whether they should all be held accountable for the education of their students.…


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  • THIS IS GROSS NEGLIGENCE BY THE DELEGATES! Union members continue to get paid their regular pay checks and have a good time, while nearly 400,000 mostly poor and minority students and their parents are left scrambling. I see the teachers on the train going to and from rallies (while I am going to work with my kids bouncing between friends houses). The CTU members think this is fun with little regard for the consequences for our children. I supported the CTU until now. Now you look like a bunch of spoiled brats who expect the taxpayers to fund your unearned raises while not wanting to be held to any measure that determines whether you are any good at your job. I hope Rahm destroys your stupid union, so "REAL" teachers can be in front of our children.

  • In reply to district299parent:

    Agreed! I also hope Rahm is successful in his latest strategy through the course system.

  • Really? I'm a plain, old parent of a kid in CPS and I don't feel or believe this at all. I see that CTU members need to read and digest the contract before ratifying anything. I hope Emanuel does not prevail in court. CTU teachers are "real" teachers, IMHO.

  • In reply to district299parent:

    Umm, Teachers are NOT getting paid while they are on strike, get your facts straight!

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    In reply to district299parent:

    Hey, you know what Gross negligence is....KAREN LEWIS's DIET

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    In reply to James Johnson:

  • In reply to James Johnson:

    So funny. Go to a picketing school and tell the joke to a striker you coward.

  • In reply to district299parent:

    CTU members DO NOT get paid during the strike. CTU members DO NOT receive any money from the CTU during the strike. The court injuction won't be heard until Wenesday.

  • "The Chicago Teachers Union is striking over mandatory subjects of bargaining such as compensation, evaluation procedures and the conditions within our classrooms. If this was an illegal strike the Chicago Public Schools would have sought injunctive relief on day one. The law provides that if a strike is illegal only the labor board has jurisdiction to stop a strike. CPS has never filed any claim with the labor board that our strike is illegal," said CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin.

  • In reply to district299parent:

    No union member is getting paid for any of the time we are spending picketing or going to rallies.

  • anniesullivan
    Karen and her team have done a great job-no one trusts Rham after he stole our 4% raise last year. The delegates want a SIGNED offer and ALL of it in writing. Why would the CPS attorneys want the children out longer-they had to know only idiots would approve half an offer. The teacher delegates are not idiots! ALL of this could have been finalized in the summer but CPS played games and refused to negotiate until now.
    Three thousand teachers who signed an irrevocable retirement (get rid of the veteran teachers) offer last year and retired this summer will have shorter paychecks for the rest of their lives because Rham stole the 4%.
    Teachers need to make sure they can support their families!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "ALL of this could have been finalized in the summer but CPS played games and refused to negotiate until now."

    No it couldn't. The salary now negotiated was unacceptable before the strike.

    Sometimes ya gotta strike. This was one of those times.

    I though the strike might end up actually improving communications between teachers and management, until I read the Karen Lewis op-ed in the SunTimes last Thursday.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Can we stop with this nonsense that anyone "stole" a 4% raise! The CTU agreed to a contract that gave the Board the right to cancel that raise in the event of a fiscal emergency. Unless you have been living in a cave, you may know that since 2008 has been one of the roughest patches for the economy since the Great Depression, including the financial services meltdown, GM bankruptcy, double-digit unemployment and the foreclosure crisis. Illinois has been forced to raise taxes, the Board has raised its property tax share to the maximum level, and the Board has dipped in to reserve funds (to the howls of protest from fiscal watchdogs). It is hard to imagine a more perfect (and awful) storm justifying the decision on the 4% raise.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS declared a financial emergency and then ended with a surplus. Shenanigans with payments to charter schools and CPD were dishonest.

    I know we are in a financial crisis, but I still see a mayor, board and the 1%ers they represent getting richer. Remember, these are the very same people who caused this crisis. We are not Cambodia. The good ol' U$A is still wealthy. Problem is the wealthy don't want to pay their fair share. The 1% control business, government, and the media.

    For the love of GAWD cease and desist with the generic talking points.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    ...and who is going to pay for my family to survive once all of you are done taking from me? I am so sick of this city and it's unions drawing every drop of blood from the taxpayer with little in return.

    Hey Chicago, could we wake up and try a more conservative approach after all these years? Our liberal ways still ain't working! Get it yet or we don't care because most are sucking off the system?

  • when you've lost mark brown, you've definitely lost.

    "If you don’t take this deal, you might as well dump Lewis and her team and start over because their credibility will be gone at the bargaining table. Waiting to see all the written contract language? Nobody waits for all the written contract language unless their union leaders tell them to wait for all the written language."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You claim some dumb hack from the Sun-Times is the voice of reason?

    The judge already decided in favor of the teachers. The entire premise of his fantastical pseudo-memo was proven wrong.

    It appears he is unfamiliar with the concept of democracy just like Vitale and Emanuel.

    Mark Brown may be into "swallowing", but not me. I refuse to be raped.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I typically don't like Mark Brown. He's a goo goo. I don't trust his opinion precisely because he initially supported the strike and seemed to believe that the teachers running the CTU are sane and rational people, not ideological warriors. That's why I say, when you lost him, you lost even one of the CTU's more deluded supporters in the local media.

    As far as the judge deciding in favor of the teachers... no decision has been made as I understand it. The judge just isn't adhering to his timeline to decide right away. But this ultimately isn't really a setback for him. Mark Brown took the bait, you can bet a lot more parents will too because he's the one who looks most ready to put an end to the strike especially in the media right now. You takes your chances... The longer the CTU delegates run out the string, the less CPS has to concede because they no longer are responsible for the strike and CTU loses the battle for public opinion which is the only real leverage it has in the negotiations.

    As far as understanding democracy, I think it's you and the CTU that needs to study up. Everyone and their mother doesn't get to decide what congress passes. You vote for your representative and you trust him or her to represent your interests at the negotiating table. Clearly, you don't trust your representative. But no respectable politician, let alone Rahm, is going to negotiate with 800 or 30,000 individuals. That's just herding cats and you're all going to make yourselves look bad if you keep up the pretense that every member has to be involved on every level of the negotiations. Don't forget, teachers are agents of a democratic system as public employees. You lose the sympathy of the voters, you lose your legitimacy and power. Don't think the mayor, the city council or the state government won't take advantage.

  • I don't know... If I were a member of a union and I knew management had to close (maybe consolidate) more than 100 of my institution's/company's facilities, I'd want that process spelled out in a water-tight and fair contract that serves due process and prevents (unintended?) race or age discrimination. That's what a contract is for --- to ensure a fair deal between the employer and the workers.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    that's assuming karen lewis, let alone the hod, can dictate the terms of school closings. good luck with that agenda. but if the hod is unwilling to let its chosen negotiator speak with more confidence at the negotiating table, then clearly there's no point in the negotiation. CPS/the mayor can't expect her word to be her word and it's only going to get worse for you guys because your "leadership" clearly has no power. by all means, keep the strike going until you can dictate the terms of school closings, hiring processes, etc. That way the strike won't end at the negotiating table, it'll end in the courts and on better terms for the mayor.

  • In relation to Alexander's comment that the decision of the House of Delegates not to a accept the framework document as a basis for ending the strike was a surprise to President Lewis. It was clear by Saturday that getting the HOD to vote in favor of a fragmented document was questionable. She was not surprised I suspect.

    Rod Estvan

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    Great episode this week on This Ameerican Life about "Non Cognitive Skills"

  • At some point a deal will be reached with the CPS and CTU. However the bigger question is whether CPS can afford it without higher taxes. the CPS deficit for this year is $665 million and goes up to $1 billion next year. The following year (2014) CPS has a pension contribution bill of $334 million. CPS has already raised real estate taxes the maximum allowed by law. Without questioning whether incresed salaries and air conditioning are deserved and necessary, how does the CPS come up wiht the money? Are there plans for a City income tax or an increase in the sales tax because that is the only way I see raising enough revenue to cover the current deficit , pension obligations and cost of physical improvements.

  • In reply to ejhickey:

    It seems there will have to be higher taxes, even if some of the TIF revenue goes to the operating budget. As of yesterday, Rahm has refused to answer your question.

  • In reply to Donn:

    I find it really strange that neither side has mentioned the necessity of increasing taxes . As to theTIF revenue, there just not seem to be enough to close the CPS budget gap even if ALL of the TiF money was pured into CPS. I just think the possibility that taxes may have to be increased for Chicago residents should be part of the discussion.

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    In reply to ejhickey:

    There are more creative ways of trying to offset the inevitable rise in taxes. My family and I were discussing the whole funding issue at the dinner table last night. My two daughters (both in high school) came up with some interesting ideas. The oldest daughter suggested that, when and if, the speed cameras are installed around schools, all the revenue generated by them should go to funding education. Since the premise for them was to keep children safe in school zones, why not take it further and use the money to improve their education. My other daughter suggested that instead of using the proposed $55,000.000 to build a new park to honor Maggie Daley, a part of an existing park have a special garden created for her instead. Her reasoning was that Maggie Daley was interested in bringing fine arts to schools. She felt that taking all that money and setting up some kind of fund that could only be used by CPS to expand the fine arts in schools would be a much more fiitting way of honoring Mrs. Daley. I think I may turn over the family budget to them! I thought they were actually very well thought out!

  • In reply to 1togoplease:

    Good suggestions but I don't think they will generate enough money. I am afraid a tax increase is inevitable. however here is a bright spot . if there is a City income tax put in place , it will fall in part on the CPS teachers. I think it is only fair that they pay for some of their own raise.

  • In reply to ejhickey:

    We do pay for our own raises ! We have to live in the city and we pay taxes just like everyone else.
    Rahm would loose his next election if he pushed for a city income tax.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    are you a Chicago teacher? I hope not because the correct word is "lose" not "loose". As for taxes , you are certainly paying city taxes if you live in Chicago. that is not the issue. The question is are you paying enough? A city income tax would fall on everyone who benefits and uses city services.

  • In reply to ejhickey:

    CPS could save millions of $$$ if they closed/consolodated the area offices. Why are all these high paid and expensive areas needed when there are many schools with such high scores--what a waste of time and money. Plus, the areas have been around for over a decade now and the schools that fail are still failing under the area officers and their $$$$ crew.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It is always a good idea to cut wasteful and inefficient operations. however you are talking about saving millions when the CPS deficits are in the hundreds o millions. This is the equivalent of a person cutting out Starbuck's lattes because they are deep in debt when what they should really be doing is taking a second job or getting a higher paying job. Cutting waste and being more efficient and saving money at CPS has been talked about for decades. If it were really possible it would have been done and the budget deficits would have been going down and not up. It is time to face reality and admit the system needs more revenue and unfortunatley that means higher existing taxes and some new ones.

  • In reply to ejhickey:

    A million $$ here and a million $$ there is a start. Don't turn that down. The issue is that though there is much accoutablity for teachers, there is no accoutability for the Board and the mayor--unless he does not win re-election.
    If we believe it is impossible--then it will be and all will be lost. However, citizens of this city are awake, even the media a little bit too, so that is progress.

  • HOW MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL CAUSED THE FIRST TEACHERS STRIKE IN 25 YEARS: 1. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that just about everything wrong with the Chicago Public Schools can be blamed on bad teachers and the CTU who protects them. Mayor Rahm Emanuel triggered the strike by provoking and demonizing the teachers. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said teachers got raises and students got the shaft, impling that teachers were lazy, resistant to change and didn't have students' best interests in mind. 2. Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled a previously negotiated 4% raise for teachers and used cash bounties to convice teachers and principals to immediately implement a longer school day (only a few did). 3. Mayor Rahm Emanuel went down the Springfield to lobby for SB7 to raise the strike authorization vote to 75% for Chicago Public Schools only. Mayor Rahm Emanuel dared the teachers to strike. 4. Mayor Rahm Emanuel use the f-word in City Hall toward CTU President Karen Lewis and the 30,000 CTU members that Karen represents. 5. Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushes parental choice, charter schools and "choice" is a code word for schools without unions. Any CPS charter school cannot belong the to CTU. 6. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stepped up his war on the CTU, using the charter schools as his main weapon. Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted that the top-scoring high schools in Chicago are charter schools, even though no chater schools are in the top ten. There is no strong evidence that charter schools are eduating children any better than regular schools. 7. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed charter school,private school advocates and charter school, private school funders to his transition team and then to the Chicago Board of Education.Chicago School Board President David Vitale previously chaired the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) and Tim Cawley, Chief Administrative Officer for CPS previously served as managing director of finance for the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL). This is a conflict of interest because AUSL received more Chicago Public Schools to turnaround this year. 8. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's education agenda fits the agenda of his wealthiest political supporters, including Penny Pritzker, a member of the Chicago Board of Education, and venture capitalst Bruce Rauner, whose wife, Diana served on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's transition team. 9. Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported efforts in the state general assembly to divert more state aid from regular unionized schools to the charter schools. Charter schools which have open enrollment policies draw puplis from across the city, siphoning away financing and the most motivated students from neighborhood schools, leaving teachers in traditional public schools to work with the most needy students. 10. Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to close, consolidate, phase-out and turnaround 200 neighborhood schools and open 250 charter schools. 11. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had CPS pay CEO Jean-Claude Brizard $250,000 per year and most of Brizard's central-office appointees more money than their predecessors were making. 12. Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants a system where all teachers, charter and union, are lower paid, at-will employees (which means you can be fired at any time) and have no say so about their work conditions.

  • I would like to see a list of the negative comments Rahm and his administration made towards teachers.

    Then let's compare that list to CTU comments towards the mayor and BOE.

  • I had mixed feelings picketing today. On the one hand I understand the perspective of the House of Delegates. They were given a 23 page summary of a 200+ page contract . The delegates wanted the opportunity to peruse this document before giving their approval. Given the teachers deep mistrust of the board, I am not surprised by their decision. Just like any contract, people have a right to see the offer in writing and read the fine print . That being said, it's a risky move in terms of the public relations battle. Parental support for this strike is not going to last much longer. And the more we drag this out the more parent's will shift their anger at teachers.
    As the saying goes "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth". I am very concerned about the coming vote in the House of Delegates (HOD). The HOD could very well reject the proposal. It's a REAL possibility given how energized and empowered teachers have become since the strike began. I fear that there are a number of delegates who want the city to offer more concessions, especially in terms of closing schools. That is the elephant in the room. But how much juice can you squeeze out of lemon. The news reports about the city's plans to close between 100-200 "under-utilized" schools next year is driving this. IF the reports are accurate, than almost 1/3 of the delegates could lose their jobs next year. It's like asking a prisoner to participate in their own execution. What's to stop the delegates from taking this to the brink. What do they have to lose? Keep in mind, even if the HOD accepts the proposed contract on Wednesday, their vote will be to SUSPEND the strike NOT END it. The latter will take place once the contract is ratified. Rest assured, this fight will not stop once the contract is implemented. The coming year will be a tumultuous one.

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    In reply to WTF$B7:

    You make a really good point - up to a 1/3 of delegates worry that their school will close. That's an important easy thing to understand and CTU needs to put it simply tot he public. And keep repeating it Rhamn style.

  • In reply to WTF$B7:

    I agree, I think the teachers have a right to really look this contract over. They should absolutely not rush into it, especially due to how the board has treated them in past negotiations. I really cannot understand why people( parents) are all up in arms over this. I mean, the kids have been out of school only 6 days. I know of some parents ( quite a few actually) who pull their kids out of school during the year to take them on vacation!! Come on, the last strike lasted 19 days for cyring out loud! Yeah, it's a little inconvienient, but thats life!

    I do not blame those delagates for being worried about school closings, after all, it is their jobs!! I am sure a lot of parents who have kids that go to some of these schools are going to be very upset as well to learn that their kids school is going to close. I stand behind the teachers in this case.

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    In reply to fedup:

    I was talking to my wife (teacher) last night - we both wished Karen was more reserved last Friday about the possibility of kids going back to school Monday. She should have been tight lipped about it - I think it was her ultra positive tone Friday that is coming back to haunt her today.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    That is a ridiculous comment to make M Wesoloskie. Karen Lewis doesn't sound "ultra positive". She sounds angry and is a terrible representative for CPS. At best, she sounds and looks uneducated, which I find ironic as it speaks to the state of the Chicago Public School system. Case closed.

  • You seem like you obviously do not know what you are talking about here. Please explain to me how Karen Lewis "looks uneducated"?? That is a very immature remark on your part.

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    By the way...if your screen name is true than you should be more concerned where the TIF moeny goes....oh wait...unless you are Penny Priztker who gets TIF money to open more hotels in Chicago instead of it going to public schools.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Yeah, I see what your saying. Also, the news media also sent the message that kids would for sure be back in school by Monday( not even knowing what was going on). When that did not happen, well everything went in an uproar it seems. I think it was wrong to make assumptions about whether school would be open or not before the delagtes even got a chance to look at the contract.

    I think they are all going to take a vote on Tuesday and if the majority says yes to the contract, then likely the will suspend the strike for now and be back in the class by Wednesday. I am not sure how it will all play out though. I am hearing that there were a lot of unhappy people at the HOD meeting yesterday. Not sure what is going to happen at this point.

  • In reply to WTF$B7:

    Your post was very well thought out. Thanks for posting it.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to WTF$B7:

    If the number of students in the system stays steady, wouldn't most teachers displaced by a school closing have to be hired somewhere else in the system (even over new teachers entering the field)? I mean, a school might close but those students from that aren't going away to any huge degree by next year. Or, will class sizes just get bigger in neighborhood schools and fewer teachers would be needed? Help me understand how CPS will address the personnel issue regarding the coming school closings. Wouldn't it be prudent to make sure this contact covers that for both CPS and CTU?

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    In reply to district299reader:

    You know I've thought the same thing. But it does make one suspicious why CPS "won't budge" on class sizes. If they even push class sizes int he schools up 20% then that is 20% less of those displaced teachers they would need. All else being equal 25,000 teachers and 150 (a split between the 100 and 200 numbers being thrown around) out of what 650 schools is 23% of schools. So 23% of 25,000 is 5750 teachers trying to follow their students to the accepting school. If we use the 20% from above under the theory that the board will try to increase class size of 20% (I just picked this number our out of the air before anyone harps on me here) then 1,150 teachers will not be able to move with their students. That is a big number.

  • Very interesting point of view and report at
    (quoting comment below)
    "1598. Todd Pytel | September 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    "Just to be clear about what the leadership, delegates, and teachers have (and don’t have), once again…

    "Delegates distributed a 23-page outline today, containing a mixture of bullet points, comparison charts, and snippets of actual contract language. (If someone’s delegates only had the 3 page short version and not the 23-page outline, then they had better ask to see it.) An actual, complete, legal contract in writing is not yet finished. NOBODY has a complete contract yet, not even the lawyers. Last night, I heard they were at 180 pages and counting. When it arrives, that complete contract will technically be a “tentative agreement” – while not yet ratified by the membership, both sides’ lawyers will have approved its language, and neither side can back out of that language unilaterally.

    "Now, COULD the delegates have legally approved that 23-page outline and suspended the strike? Yes, they could have. Some of you say that the delegates should “just have faith” in their lawyers. The last time that happened was SB7. The Union signed off on a similar, non-final-language, outline of SB7. After doing so, the legislators introduced the nasty clauses that singled out CTU and attempted to restrict their bargaining rights and topics. (I don’t know the precise details here – Rod Estvan likely would.) The Union had signed off on the summary, and then got burned for that good faith.

    "So no… fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. It’s an unhappy situation all around, but the Union is not going to act in good faith that CPS has already demonstrated itself not to possess.

    "I can’t speak for every school. But our faculty was very positive about the agreement summarized in the 23-page outline and is eagerly awaiting the final, lawyer-approved language that backs that up. I look forward to returning to class on Wednesday."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Thank you for posting this. It really does sum up the situation very well. Despite all of the nasty lead-up to this (very necessary) strike, my first week of classes was the best I have had in my many years of teaching, and I am anxious to get back to my kids. But to hold off and see ALL of the language in the contract rather than just go with what amount to verbal agreements is extremely important. An old saying goes - "The large print giveth and the small print taketh away". Let's see all of the small print. And isn't the filing for an injunction (on the eve of a holiday) before the rank and file can take a few days to see and approve the contract a rather petty act for a small tyrant?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Great post district299reader. The contract page count is now over 200 pages. You correctly put things just right.

  • If the teachers suspend the strike today, could the board just decide to add things to the contract without the union knowing?

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    In reply to fedup:

    Look back on how SB7 got the language it has today.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Got a point there. Now, it is my understanding that if they suspend the strike today, since it would only be a suspension, that if the board tried some sneaky stuff, the teachers could just call on the strike again. Is this right?

    I am hoping as well as my husband( who is a teacher), that they will suspend the strike so he can go back to work. But at the same time, we are very leary of a contract that is not even completed. There are a couple things in the contract that were a bit shady.

  • In reply to fedup:

    Dear fedup, anything is possible, but no the board can't sneak anything into the contract. The strike is only suspended and if the CTU members don't ratify it, the strike will continue. The union leadership has a hard copy of the full contract which is over 180 pages long.

  • Does it occur to anyone that governing a supposed professional relationship with a 200-page contract is absurd? I can only imagine the resources wasted on negotiating, tracking and implementing such a beast.

    Let me tell you what my first professional "contract" entailed. A starting salary, a note that forms would be in the mail for health insurance and the like, and a start date.

  • I give Karen Lewis and team kudos for going against Rahm Emmanuel, and fighting for us. However, I think we should still fight for our 4% raise we were entitled to last year. Other unions have fought against Pat Quinn when he did the same thing, and they won. The raise was illegally taken away from us, and Rahm will never open up the books to show how he could not afford it. We deserve that pay.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I understand that if we accept the contract, we have to end the court case for the 4% we did not get last year.

  • In reply to teachervoice:

    Not true. That's not connected to this agreement.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Teachervoice is correct! There will be a clause in the contract (as told by a union rep that came to answer questions for us) that both parties will drop ALL lawsuits against each other. That includes the rescinded raises from last year! She was glad we asked because most union members were NOT aware of it and it's being kept kind of quiet. I don't know the legal term: something like "no ill will" on both sides. So you can kiss that lost raise good bye. If you don't believe it,call the union yourself!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    What exactly is the penalty for an individual teacher to strike illegally? And what remedies does the city have in the event of a mass sick-out?

  • What will happen if we as rank and file do not ratify it? Is the strike back on?

    Teachers at my school were vocal in their disappointment that class sizes are not being addressed. They were also hoping for A/C - at least a commitment to have it done by a certain year.

    A "committee" to investigate case loads with a budget of $500K is useless. A promise to hire social workers "if we get the money someday" is equally useless.

    We walked out with our heads held high, knowing we were doing it for the right reasons. This proposed agreement does not address the working/learning conditions that are most important to us and I believe most of our faculty will vote against it.

  • From what I can see, CPS would probably renege on class size anyway. Ditto for air conditioners - can you imagine how long it would/will take them to install/upgrade wiring, etc. Seems to me that a huge amount of what was on the table was at least somewhat addressed. It is pretty obvious that we got big wins on merit pay, evaluations, benefits,etc. plus a huge amount of good will/publicity from the public, regardless of what the Trib & Sun-Times might say. Take what we got and live to fight another day . In a couple of short years the contract will be up to negotiate again - in an election year for Rahm! Time to claim a big victory (and there is no way to see it as otherwise -the teachers won and Rahm looks like an a**hole) and get back to work. And start planning for the next one!!!

  • In reply to anonymous:

    Good will from the public? You must live in a bubble. This was a PR disaster for the CTU and is getting worse by the day.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Please support your position with some factual evidence! Seems like the only bubble is the one between your ears.

  • In reply to Maestro:

    The best evidence is the HOD capitulating to end the strike. I give a lot of credit to the parent protests, which though small in size were growing and had a huge media impact. That and the barrage of negative opinion press.

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    In reply to anonymous:

    Agreed. I hope the HOD delegates approves taking it to the embership today and SUSPENDS the strike. They need to take this deal and walk away as the big dog in the fight. If they stay in, whatever additional contract issues they move toward their side will not be worth the price they had to pay to get them.

  • fb_avatar

    From what I've seen from the conservative poll We Ask America, there was widespread public support for the strike among anyone remotely related to the public school system, with particular support among black and latina/o parents.

    As we complete the democratic process, that takes time and some of that support may erode due to biased media--some of the journalists were fuming while reporting the story on Sunday evening.

    But make no mistake, there's a divide between the city's elite and the working class parents who send their kids to CPS neighborhood schools in terms of their view of the strike.

  • This deal far as supports for the students it's all maybes and that means NEVER in the world of CPS. Our union rep also informed us that there is a clause, should we accept this deal, that both parties will drop lawsuits against each other. That includes our rescinded raises from last year. So you can kiss that goodbye!

  • In reply to displacedteach:

    I haven't seen the new lawsuit language but here is what I saw last week:

    III. Pending Litigation and Grievances
    a. Layoff Litigation. All layoff litigation in which CTU is a party is withdrawn with
    prejudice (includes all grievances).
    b. 4% Litigation. All litigation over 4% is withdrawn.
    c. ULP Filed with the IELRB on September5. Any and all litigation, charges or claims
    arising out of the allegations in the ULP filed on September 5, 2012 with the
    Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board is withdrawn with prejudice or
    otherwise resolved and waived.

    If the CTU is forced to agree to this language that is a pretty bitter pill to suck down.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    We had a union rep come and explain the outline to us. She did a horrible job and most of her answers were " I don't know" it hasn't been talked out yet. But one thing she was clear on was as you say, "the bitter pill" we will be sucking down if this contract is accepted.

  • In reply to displacedteach:

    Anyone else think that this wellness plan thing stinks?? It says if you do not participate in it, you are automatically charged $600 per year $1200 for couples, for not participating. Not sure how this plan works, there is not even enough info on it. My husband and I both already have a Primary care doctor that we see. Do we get to keep seeing our own doctor or do we have to see one of theirs??

  • In reply to fedup:

    Yup, we were all up in arms about that one. Big brother is now watching what you eat drink and smoke! I believe you have to go to one of their clinics free of charge or you can pay a co pay for your doctor. Not only will you be writing lesson plans now, but you will also be submitting plans on getting and staying healthy. The union is still not even sure what or how CPS will implement them!

  • In reply to fedup:

    It stinks~! HR could have implemented this better. We had to wait in a garbage area with vermin and bugs while they took blood. Yuk. The other place we could choose was a CHA site! It is big brother--we have a MD we like, and cannot use him for this. If you go to Walgreens (nice $$$ for them,) you cannot go during the day-you have to take a benefit day from school, you must go on your own time. CVS sends a list of all your medications you take in the mail--to sell you more-be careful, this document has personal info on it that you do not want others to see or have access too. CVS said that CPS allows this.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Wow, this is concerning to me. My husband is at a teacher. I have a lot of health issues and am already under a doctors care for this. There is NO way I am going to some strange doctor who does not know me and have knowledge about my chronic illness. I do no understand why I cannot keep going to my own doctor. Cant my doctor just send them all my info and tests etc.... I am also worried because my health issues are NOT of my control and I am hearing they penalize people and so fourth. I did read that we have to join this plan by Jan, of 2013 or we would be penalized. This is BS!

  • In reply to fedup:

    Just heard the union delagates suspended this strike.

  • In reply to fedup:

    Are you in a PPO? You may be able to see your own MD then. if not, you may have to go to Walgreens. Also, there will be an intimate online form you will have to fill-out and get your blood results online. Do not like that either-anyone can get your results--then CPS can follow you too--they will say no, but why not? this is only for a year--so if there are enough complaints -it could go away. let there be one breach of someone's privacy...

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I get my blood drawn at my doctors office every month as it is! This new wellness program will have to be happy with a copy of the results I get from my doctor on the blood work as far as that goes! Sorry, I am not going to a walgreens nor a library for someone to take my blood!
    They cannot put your information online unless you give permission for that( Hippa law). They cannot be that stupid, they would be sued and fined like you could not believe. The way I see it is, yeah you have to join ( unless you want to pay $600), but you do not have to agree to put your info online. I mean I see it like this, I see my regular doctor often due to other health issues so I am being proactive in my health. That is what this is all about, so they cannot hold it against me if I choose to have my blood drawn with my regular doctor, or if I choose to not have my info put online. That is my choice.
    I do not smoke, I am not overweight, and I have low blood pressure actually due to health issues. So I have no clue why I should have to be in this program. I mean I am under a a doctors and a specialists care already for health issues that are out of my control. I think it is a bunch of crap that they are making me join this program otherwise we have to pay $600. This seems very unconstituional to me. I cannot see this lasting very long. Government has no place and no right to interfere in a persons personal life.

  • In reply to fedup:

    Wellness is not a medical plan. It is a program to get you healthy. It does not matter if you are already under the watchful eye of your doctor. It is, in theory, to get those who don't go to a doctor for check ups to be aware of health risks with your life style. You still keep your doctor and stay within his/her care.
    You sign up on line - for a family or couple that includes you and spouse. You both answer a survey. You both go to one of their sites to have blood pressure taken and blood drawn. You both get a phone call from them as they discuss your health risks. You need to log into the site at a prescribed time (i.e. one a month?).
    Just another thing you have to do or pay $600 per person a year. Big brother watching. Of course no one says that you have to change your life style as they say.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    We see our doctor regularly--it is confidential, safe and sanitary. We do not have to wait in line in an open Walgreens, while others stand around and watch you get on a scale, have your fat measured and take your blood. this company gets personal infromation on you IN DETAIL, and places it on the Internet. We value our health, (although going to a high violence area was not cool.) We value our safety and privacy more--if this programis so great, then why is it not working on the person who is making us do this? She could make working for CPS so much less stressful which would immediate improve the health of the employees in which she should serve.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If you are referring to Karen Lewis, she is not making us do it. Our mayor is the one pushing this. He is making all city employees do this.
    The minute this Wellness program breaks the HIPPA law and someone's information is compromised, there will be a revolt.

  • In reply to ladyfair:

    I am not too worried about having to change my lifestyle, I already eat healthy( I have a very limited diet as it is due to health issues), I am not overweight, I do not smoke etc... I do not see a point in me having to check in with one of their doctors( and now I am hearing these coaches you check in with are NOT even MD's. I guess I will join as I do not want to have to be fned $600. But I will Not let them draw blood from me. I will bring them the latest blood tests results from my MD. I see my regular MD and specialist once a month and get my blood drawn too much as it is! They will have to be happy with that. As far as checking in with them, what for??? I would have absolutely nothing to report to them. I cannot change nor modify my lifestyle at this point. It seems so pointless.

  • If this number is correct the teachers got soaked - this article says all the other City employees are only being docked 50 dollars a year to sit out the Wellness program -

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That article is wrong. It is $50/month everywhere. They say that the fees of the people that opt out (running 1 in 5 right now) will pay for the costs of the program. I don't think this will save any money or make anyone more healthy.

    If they could negotiate a steep discount to Weight Watchers or some smoking cessation program or gym membership it would really help. Maybe they could figure out how to get staff to use the school gyms in some way. If they were to offer healthy foods in school lunches and staff ate them, well that won't happen. Staff could bike to some schools if there were safe storage.

    City-wide there is a lot that could be done. Make the city more bike friendly. Improve access to healthy food by addressing food deserts and posting nutritional content in fast food places. Tax junk food more and healthy food less.

  • CPA-it's $600 a year and a $150 penalty if you smoke. (CTU got the smoking part thrown out.) The other unions, who represent the lowest paid employees, have to p[ay the $150 if they smoke.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Yeah, glad the CTU is protecting smokers. For the kids, right?

  • Headache299
    Yeah, glad CPS intends to close 120 more schools, forcing thousands of kids to cross rival gang territories in order to attend class. For the kids, right?!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    First, we can't set policy based on gang lines.

    Second, yes it is for the kids, because CPS needs to get the most out of every scarce dollar, and running schools half empty is very wasteful.

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