Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Update: Spin VS Fact about those bad CPS teachers!

Arrggghhhh!!! I am dizzy from all the spinning in the news about the upcoming Strike AUTHORIZATION Vote. I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but I think that the teacher's viewpoint is certainly one that is NOT being heard in the mainstream media.

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...

To 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.


  1. The email all Cps teachers received from the CEO who has students best interest at heart? Just made me sick! Thanks Lisa for clarifying the facts.

    1. This seems to be the Chicago way...First we get an obnoxious email from Brizard basically telling teachers how to vote. Then CPS made calls to Union members' homes via a pre-recorded condescending voice message telling members they better read their email before they vote. No wonder they're always talking about bullying...they are so good at it.

      And now it's not only "for the children", he also wants us to know that everyone in his inner circle was a teacher. "I was a teacher, my wife was a teacher, both my parents were teachers, and many of the members of my leadership team are former teachers." I think the most telling part of that quote are the words WAS and FORMER.

      Let the voting begin...

    2. Sorry Lisa but your post makes my blood boil. Unemployment and SERIOUS underemployment is rampant in the Chicago area and to hear teachers complain about not getting RAISES when most "working families" are facing CUTS in their pay, layoffs of those around them, and serious work stress really is like fingernails on the chalk board. I have spoken to many teachers and when I ask them HOW will Chicago PAY for raises when they are faced with a massive hole in the budget of ca 400 million dollars their eyes just glaze over as if that is beside the point. Most teachers make FAR above the "working family" income in Chicago and the state of Illinois. If you make 60-70k per year that is FAR above the average person in Illinois. I have friends and family in the system and KNOW you work hard - but guess what everybody works hard!

    3. I re-read my post and I wasn't complaining about not getting a RAISE, I am complaining about not getting paid for being expected to work an extra 7.5 hours a week and 10 more days a year.

      "With the massive hole in the budget of ca 400 million dollars", maybe the City of Chicago should not extend the school day/year at all. There was a massive hole in our budget last year too... so much so that CPS could not afford to pay the teachers raises...fine, we didn't get our raise but ironically they had money to bribe schools (millions of dollars)to extend their work day. How about we stop entitlement programs for those people who don't work hard or better yet don't work at all. Why should you and others who work hard always have to pay for those who don't WANT to work (not those looking for a job).

      What the teachers are asking for is compensation "for the time they will be working". And if there is no money, then leave the length of the school day alone and make it work better. Why do I have to spend part of my day having breakfast in the classroom DURING what should be instructional time? There is much more to the teacher's contract proposals than money, but you don't hear much about that in the media.

  2. Every day this week via the news, phone calls, emails, and letter sent to parents, Mr. Brizard keeps repeating that he cannot understand why the teachers would take a strike vote now. Why would he understand? When the mayor hired him, he immediately gave him a raise based on the idea that Mr. Brizard would be asked to do more than the previous CEO. He was shown respect and made to feel wanted and valued. When this same mayor looked at our contract, he took away our 4 cents on the dollar cost of living increase and this year announced that we will work a Longer School Day and year.

    So to summarize: Brizard – pay raise (base on idea that he will work and do more), respected, & valued by the mayor. Teachers/Paraprofessionals – miniscule increase taken away, will work longer hours and more days, and treated as the root of all the problems with CPS.

    Why would Brizard understand?

    Milton Katsaros