No, it's not the end of summer yet.
No, it's not time for the World Series yet.
No, it's not time to put away the white shoes quite yet.
In Chicago, it's teacher-bashing time.
A year ago, Rahm Emanuel started his campaign against teachers. The teachers contractual 4% raise was not given to them because the city is broke. Because of poor language in the last teachers' contract that was the end of that. No discussion, no debate.
The City that is Broke then spent millions of dollars to bribe schools to pilot Rahm's pet project of having a "longer school day". As the school year progressed, holidays that have been part of Chicago's history for years, Columbus and Pulaski Day, were taken off the calendar for the new school year. Only those deemed worthy to celebrate by those at the top stayed on the calendar. Then the teachers were told they will work longer hours and not get paid by the City that is Broke.
Jumping ahead to June... After almost one year of negotiations were held and getting as far as a slug might get in the Chicago Marathon, the teachers took a strike authorization vote. Well, after Senate Bill 7 was passed last year, with a main purpose of limiting the union's power, it was thought the teachers would never vote to strike. As you may recall, a school reform activist named Jonah Edelman arrogantly stated in 2011. "The unions cannot strike in Chicago.They will never be able to muster the 75 percent threshold necessary to strike." Well, never say never...an overwhelming 90+% of the teachers voted to strike if necessary. Click here for full story on Edelman
So here we are at the end of August, and Rahm's big win of the kids getting a longer school day without teachers working longer has gotten off to a less than stellar start in many Track E schools. What are some of the Boards other proposals:
- A 2% raise for the first part of the contract and MERIT pay for the remainder of it.
A rise in healthcare costs that is equal to a 100% increase from last year's contributions. So much for that 2% raise.
- An evaluation system for teachers that will have 40% of it based on standardized test scores (and we all know how reliable those statistics are).
- Teachers who pay out of their own pocket for a higher educational degree will no longer be compensated for having that degree. So if I have a bachelor's and you have a master's degree we will both get the same pay. How fair is that? The Board claims to want what's best for the children, but having a highly educated staff obviously is part of that plan.
And the list goes on... Click for other Board proposals
In the meantime,
The City that is Broke can give a million dollars to Ceasefire to help stop the killings. (Did anyone see the latest count for August?)
The City that is Broke is planning on spending over 90 million dollars on bike paths for a city where bikes can't be used safely for almost half of the year because of inclement weather and the other half because of congestion and construction. Click for full story on Rahm's bike-a-thon
The City that is Broke is now putting together a plan to make sure if the teachers "choose" to strike the children will be taken care of during the day...the amount for this is undisclosed at this time. Click here for full story
If The City that is Broke spent it's money wisely, we wouldn't be in this situation. The teacher's would be offered a fair contract and all would be well.
Afterall...it is all for the children!