CPS Teachers Want A 29% Pay Increase! What the?

As the parent of two Chicago Public School students, I don't want the teachers to go on strike. I would like for both sides to negotiate the new teacher's contract in a reasonable manner. Both sides need to understand that they work for children. With that being said, how in the hell can the teacher's union fix their mouths to say that they want a 29% raise?  According to Crain's the teacher's union wants this raise to make up for inflation and the longer school day and year.

Have they been living in another country since 2008? First of all, I don't know any organization that gives its employees guaranteed pay increases no matter how good or bad their performance is. Since 2008 many public and private agency employees have seen their pay frozen or reduced. There are people working longer days and longer years because they are now required to work on some holidays.  This economy sucks. I realize that the teachers have a contract, but I was happy when they did not receive their 4% pay increase. Everyone is making sacrifices by taking pay cuts and furlough days to help struggling businesses to keep people employed. I know people who have not had a pay increase in years, despite getting excellent performance reviews.

Karen Lewis has stated that the teachers don't expect to get a 29% pay increase. Why the fu*k is she wasting time by asking for the impossible? They should make a more reasonable request for pay increases. The teachers should ask for the 4% that was in their last contract that they didn't receive and maybe 1% more for it being taken away. They should be paid their current hourly rate for the additional time that is being added to extend the day for next year. I don't think that teachers should get guaranteed pay increases. Their pay increases should be based on performance just like the rest of the world. The step increases just for working another year are ridiculous as well. Teachers should not get pay increases just for showing up to work.

The teachers have had such a sweet deal for so many years that they don't know how to live in reality anymore. They think that they are entitled to a guaranteed pay increase for every year of their contract. What company gives its employees a guaranteed pay increase without any regard to performance? When you find it let me know so that I can get a job there.

Salary is a major issue with the contract negotiations. I hope that the two sides can come to the table with reasonable requests so that our children's education is not interrupted. I realize that teachers have a tough job but they need realize that their previous contract awarded them things that the rest of the world could only dream of. Its time for a reality check.

I realize that this is a complex issue but the idea of the teachers asking for a 29% raise is so ridiculous.  I feel sorry for the great teachers because its their low performing peers that make people like me not have sympathy for them.

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  • Be prepared for a blog flog. You have attacked the sacrosanct, the "deserved" increases for those who choose to be teachers.

    We must do this "for the children". Yeah, right.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I don't think the children are on anyone's minds in these negotiations.

  • You agree with the 29%--here is the breakdown:
    4% = last year
    1%= your suggestion for compensation from last years freeze
    24% =24% longer day
    total 29% You have agreed with the 29%--that is the point we are trying to make.

  • In reply to UghMG:

    Not sure about your math. Please explain because I am very interested in how I agree with 29%.

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    I am sorry if I am not clear. Our day is 24% longer. You suggested we get paid our hourly rate for that time. That is a 24% more. You also suggested that we get our 4% from last year and maybe a 1% compensation from not getting it. Add them together and you get 29%.

  • Here is my blog flog: As a teacher, I actually agree. Besides the raise from last year I would love to see hourly rate based on the longer day. The board does not want to pay anything for the longer day. As for "for the children" the children must endure overcrowded classes because the board refuses to negotiate this. The board refuses to entertain having PE, Art or Music classes. The board agreed to the last contract but never did anything to fund it. That is one reason why CPS has such a great debt. I don't think the CTU is all right but the board really isn't negotiated fairly.

  • In reply to UghMG:

    Neither party, in my opinion is looking out for the children first.

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    Tracy: What do you think about the 29% breakdown I explained?

  • In reply to UghMG:

    I don't get how you arrived at 29%.

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    You agree with the 29%--here is the breakdown:
    4% = last year
    1%= Shari's suggestion for compensation from last years freeze
    90 minutes added to the day is a 24% increase in the day

    24% =24% longer day
    total 29% You have agreed with the 29%--that is the point we are trying to make.
    4+1+24=29

  • In reply to UghMG:

    If you got a 4% raise and were paid your hourly rate for an additional one hour a day your pay would increase by around 8.3%. Even if you got an extra 1% raise like I suggested it would not equal 29%.

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    I don't understand your math. That is not correct. The way I calculated it is the way the CTU is calculating it. 24% more pay for 24% more time. What am I missing. Admittedly I am not a math teacher.

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    I am happy to discuss this further but please understand. Your suggestion is exactly what CTU has requested. CPS wants more time but doesn't want to pay, what you agree is fair.

  • Unions are the only ones who think they should be paid for every minute they work. Guess what? A lot of us work extra hours without getting paid. We have to put up with questionable conditions at times. CPS should look at how successful other strikes have been before making threats. The current strike hasn't shut down Caterpiller. Go talk to the Congress Hotel employees about how successful their strike has been. You can only threaten a strike if you think you can win.

    The public outcry on this will not support the teachers. I realize it's a bargaining tactic, but it's a bad one. The press on this is going to be uniformly bad. Who is advising the CTU anyway? I have yet to see anyone support this publicly. Even the teachers who supposedly voted to support this aren't standing up for this in public. When you start by making threats you back yourself into a bad corner. This is going to end badly for the teachers' union.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    I agree with you. Public and private sector jobs require people to work more than 8 hours a day! The Congress Hotel employees have been on strike long enough for the people that replaced them to have two or three new jobs. Great points!

  • In reply to Tracy A. Stanciel:

    I would like to point out that those are 2 examples and I am sure there are more. There are far more examples of successful strikes. There are literally hundreds of examples where strikes (or the threat of strikes) resulted in compromise. When I say hundreds literally, I am including strikes from other unions too. How do you think unions and strikes came to be. It is because they are a successful, and legal tool. If you don't like it challenge the legislation. They were pretty succesful in Wisconsin.

  • In reply to Shari Schmidt:

    Shari: I think most people want to be paid for all the time they work. Try questionable conditions consistently all the time. I do not want to strike. How else do we push to improve conditions for children and employees? We tried to push for lower class sizes in the past and they agreed to watch it. No more. There are countless supports publicly. Come to any of the media covered events including parents, ctu members and more.

  • In reply to UghMG:

    Low performing schools with lots of cash should change their approach. They should take their money and pay for additional teachers so that each class can have 15-17 kids in it. Stop with the reading, math specialists and computer labs that are not utilized properly. Smaller class sizes make a difference. Highly qualified teachers may not mind going to a low performing school if they only had 15 kids in a class.

  • CTU continues to push for smaller class sizes. Our legislators decided not to let it be open for negotiation and on CPS decides on class size. We would love to see this addressed as you explained. I beleive that is a dictate from SB7. I don't understand what you are frustrated with CTU about. So far CTU pursuits agree with several points, discussed above.

  • In reply to UghMG:

    Please excuse my grammer and spelling. I should not have done it so fast.

  • SHARI please respond to the salary breakdown?

  • What freakin' longer day??? When this actually happens will the teachers actually be at school in the classroom for 8-9 hours. I doubt it. How many days off? How many BS holiday/no attendance days? My kids have perfect attendance but the teacher is out all the time. I cannot tell you how many times my kids tell me they have a sub. Go to work, teach the kids! This is why you wanted to be a teacher in teh first place right? Or was it for the short days and vacations??

  • In reply to Deanne:

    Deanne,
    Ironically, the longer day CPS has suggested added very little time to children being in classroom. I thought more parents would be upset about this. Also, the system, both CTU and CPS and the state of Illinois made the laws about all this. We do go work and teach kids. I hope I get paid well, considering there are shots fired almost weekly in my school's neighborhood. My colleague was mugged and beaten one day right before school in front of the school. Yes I want to teach kids. I don't want to do with without resources and 33 children in my classroom, in a school that does not have a gym and children do not have art or music. Many teachers make due even in those circumstances. I think you should appreciate what teachers must endure. I do not suggest the CTU has the answers and certainly paying the teachers more won't be the final solution. The CTU pushes to make a longer day more meaningful, useful, resourceful. The board and the mayor are going to have to spend a lot more money for other things to change this system. I am certain the system won't change. It will ebb and flow like it always has. Both sides have merits but also flaws. Change the system, join local school council, write the mayor and congressmen. CPS responds to parents when they are loud and clear. CTU would have to also.

  • In reply to Deanne:

    FYI Deanne: Teachers who chooses to take their personal days are penalized in their yearly performance ratings. More than two uses of personal OR sick days results in a ratings drop. If a teacher were to use all of his or her sick and personal business days in a year, they would earn the equivalent of a low D or F (depending on your grading point scale) in that area of their performance rating. Rest assured your child's teacher is being held accountable in this manner.

  • It is easy to blame the teachers because someone must be blamed for this mess. There is plenty of blame to go around. Parents have a part, most of this extended day issue is to keep students off the streets longer. Why is this an issue? What part of the city’s population is having this issue? How can this be resolved? The school board has a part, what are they doing with the funds entrusted to them? If so many teachers and staff have been let go where is the money saved? The city has fault, what are they doing to ensure that money is put aside for the school system? Why is the city focusing more on the finances of everything verses the welfare and successful learning all students? Society has a part, society has denigrated the status of the teacher and now many of the supporters are complaining…teachers have to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in education, many teachers have more schooling and education than doctors and lawyers however are looked down upon. Teachers have very little authority within the classroom and the students know it, disrespectful parents breed disrespectful children. When parents disrespect teachers in front of their children, the child realizes the parent will believe them more than the teacher. When leadership and administration undermines a teacher in front of students it breeds disrespect for the teacher.

    Everyone has a part in the blame to include those doing the blaming, where were you when decisions were being made? Are you part of the local school council or PTA? How often do you go up to your child’s school and volunteer? How many of your child’s friends that are in single parent homes do you mentor?

    Be a part of the solution.

  • In reply to Really:

    There is a lot of blame to go around. I stand by my comments regarding teacher pay. To answer your questions.............
    I was on the LSC at my children's school for 6 1/2 years. I was on the design team for a high school that was started 3 years ago. I have volunteered and mentored teenagers at that school for the past 3 years. I have been voicing my opinions to all of the central office people that I know. I hope that I have made it clear that I am part of the solution!

  • In reply to Really:

    Reminder: read CPS's proposed schedule. It only provides 15 extra minutes for children in school.

  • Your particpation is great. I wish every parent would do this. I am sorry to harp on this but 2 points. The longer day is for staff. Of the 90 minutes the board wants only 15 minutes is for children. The other thing, Tracy, is that I don't understand how you stick by your comments about teacher pay. I am sorry but you do not understand the salary issue. The board has not considered paying teachers for a 24% longer day.(hourly or other) CTU would be happy to get paid their regular hourly pay for the additional time. CPS refuses (so far) to even consider this and is the only party in the process that can open up this for discussion, per Illinois law. Once again, though, the longer day is primarily for staff not children. I, personally don't think that is what will better our students. Reducing class size, providing playgrounds, gym, music etc. are more likely to impact this. Lastly, it sounds as if your school is pretty responsive to you as a parent. Try the schools at the bottom, especially in low or no income neighorhoods where families are struggling to keep housing and provide food for family. (Forgive me if that is your case as well but I see far more reluctance to engage the system because it doesn't consider so many other factors). I promise not to suggest that only the CTU can push this but we have some power and are trying to encourage CPS to look closer at those more important issues.

  • Tracy,
    I find it incredibly sad and disappointing that you have not yet educated yourself on the breakdown of the teacher salary issue. This is the title and the main basis for your argument, yet when a sound mathematical breakdown is provided for you, you "don't get" it. I am also curious as to why you are relying on a third party (Crain's) for information instead of keeping abreast of the situation and using figures from the sources- either CPS or CTU.

    In addition to the 90 minutes of in school time teachers will be required to work, there will be an addition of 10 instructional days added to the school calendar. (This totals an additional 77 hours just for those days, plus the daily time increase of 375 current to 465 planned minutes which is 255 hours. I won't attempt to break that down for you mathematically into percentages since it will be much more complex than the previous explanations.) Overall, teachers are being asked to add 332 hours to their annual work schedule, and the current offer on the table from the board is a 2% raise FOR ONLY THE FIRST YEAR. after that there will be no guaranteed increases in the contract. No reparation for the increase that was denied us. A decrease from the previous salary increase of 4%. No increase in pay for the 322 added hours.
    Your initial suggestion in the article was "The teachers should ask for the 4% that was in their last contract that they didn't receive and maybe 1% more for it being taken away. They should be paid their current hourly rate for the additional time that is being added to extend the day for next year." So you think I should get a 5% salary increase this year. You also think I should be compensated for the extra hours I will be working. I currently work 1,062 hours a year- on the clock. 1,062*.31= 329. So 31.% (the .31 in the previous equation) is the amount being added to my working hours. We are being told to work an hourly increase of 31%. Add to that your suggestion of 5% increase and we are looking at a pay increase of 36%. I would love for you to advocate and take those suggestions to the board. If you need further clarification on these calculations PLEASE take this to your child's math teacher or your accountant.
    The recent "negotiations" and dialogue are far from what I teach and model for my own children, and you should know that there are many others out there just like me who feel that concessions should be made on both sides.
    In closing, I want to be completely transparent about my own position regarding the school system and the union. I am a CPS teacher and union member embarrassed not only by the actions of the city and the school system, but by my own teachers union. I was willing to forgo my own 4% salary increase without argument, and even felt that it was only fitting with the economic state of our nation and our state.

    On a more personal note, I would suggest that in the future you write articles with less antagonistic fervor and crude language so as not to pollute your point. I nearly didn't take the time to respond, but as I continued to read the comments you played both sides How can you claim to be "part of the solution", yet standing by your disparaging commentary that generalizes an entire group of educators?
    Please, I beg you to educate yourself before you continue to feed into and spread the propaganda of teacher entitlement. It takes away from the true issue at stake. We as teachers are struggling to rely on two equally uncompromising groups- CTU and CPS- to reach an agreement as we work toward what we all know is best for the students: getting them back to school so that they can continue their education.

  • Well put,, KML. Tracy, I genuinely want to listen to your response. I assume your silence means you reviewed the facts and realized the situation. Thank you for your support.

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