First off this vote is a vote to authorize (give permission to) our union to go on strike if, when, should the need arise. This is NOT a vote to strike as soon as the ballots are counted. That being said here are a few points that keep coming up in the media...
SPIN: Brizard said many times that we are in negotiations and teachers should wait until the process is complete before this vote tomorrow.
FACT: CPS and CTU had been in negotions for one year. There wasn't much give and take, BUT under the dictionary definition "negotiations" did take place. A few weeks ago, with negotiations at a stalemate, CPS and CTU entered into MEDIATION. The negotiaton portion is OVER!
SPIN: If teachers vote YES for the authorization to strike the children are going to be the ones who are most hurt by this decision (making it sound like we are going to walk out of the classrooms by the end of the week).
FACT: If teachers vote YES for the authorization to strike that gives us the leverage to get a FAIR contract before the start of the next school year (without actually having to strike). If that doesn't happen, then and ONLY then would the teachers go on strike.
SPIN: "It's premature. It's insulting to teachers. We all know they deserve to have a raise. They're asked to do more, they deserve to get more," said Brizard.
FACT: What is insulting is that they expect teachers to work upwards of 90 more minutes each day and 10 days longer a year without fair compensation. A 2% raise during the first year and raises in the next 4 years tied to STUDENT TEST SCORES is insulting. If (and this is a big IF) there is NO money to compensate us, then the school day/year should NOT be increased.
In the last year Brizard has gone from this...
He and all those in charge would be wise to remember that actions speak louder than words.
The coming days will be most interesting to say the least.