-By Warner Todd Huston
We’ve all heard the news of the strike forced on Chicago’s public schools by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, I’m sure. Barely open for a week, the greedy teachers are now walking off the job but the main reasons for this strike presented by the CTU really don’t stand up to close scrutiny, for sure.
The CTU wants a 30% pay raise and they want class sizes to be made smaller.
For his part, Mayor Emanuel is saying that teachers union reps are fighting his desire to allow local school administrators do the hiring of any new teachers (because they know better what they need) but the union is insisting that they do the hiring.
The union also rejected a 16% pay raise offered by the city – itself an absurdly high number that shouldn’t have been offered in the first place.
In fact, these teachers don’t deserve ANY raise, much less a 30% or even a 16% raise. Only just over half the kids in Chicago now graduate with a high school diploma and, worse, at $76,000 annually, Chicago’s teacher already make more on average than most other teachers in the nation.
By contrast, Chicagoans only earn $47,000 a year on average, so these teachers are already making almost double what the rest of Chicago is making!
As to this business of smaller class sizes, the schools currently have about an average of 25 kids per class. There is nothing at all wrong with this teacher to student ratio. So, why is lowering class size a sticking point for the teachers union? It is nothing but a way to get more union members hired. That is all.
The push for smaller class sizes is merely a drive for more dues money by the union. After all, if more classes are created by making class sizes smaller, more unionized teachers will have to be hired to teach those classes. That is all the union is interested in. They couldn’t care less about the kids. This is a drive or more dues paying union members.
Chicago’s teachers are failing to assist their students to graduation. They are already ripping the taxpayer off for more than most teachers make and this nonsense of smaller class size is merely a ruse for more dues money. Failure all the way around.
Finally, Chicago’s school system is already facing a nearly billion dollar deficit by 2014. Yet, these teachers think the taxpayers can foot a 30% pay raise?
The arrogance and greed of the CTU is unreal.
Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee for president, also issued a statement.
I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education. Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his Vice President last year to assure the nation’s largest teachers union that ‘you should have no doubt about my affection for you and the President’s commitment to you.’ I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them the skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that.