Teachers Strike Extends Into Week Two
September 17, 2012 7:37 am
Despite reaching a “framework for a deal” on Friday, it is now being reported that Chicago Teachers will remain on strike until at least Wednesday morning due to a failure to come to a final agreement. For the strike to come to an end, the teachers’ union House of Delegates must vote to wrap it up, and despite the best efforts of CTU President Karen Lewis, the 700 delegates are still refusing to end the labor stoppage. The delegates are asking for more time to review the details of the proposed contract.
Lewis spoke to the Chicago Tribune:
“They’re not happy with the agreement. They’d like it to be a lot better for us than it is,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (pictured above) said.
The Teachers Union released details of the proposed contract late Saturday, which includes the following provisions:
- Secure Raises & Ensure Fair Compensation: The CTU wants a three-year contract. It will secure a 3% raise in the first year, 2% raise in the second and 2% raise in the third, with the option to extend to a 4th year by mutual agreement at another 3% raise.
- Defeat Merit Pay: The CTU successfully fought the star of national misguided school reform policies. The Board agreed to move away from “Differentiated Compensation,” which would have allowed them to pay one set of teachers (based on unknown criteria) one set of pay versus another set of pay for others.
- Provide A Better School Day: The Board will hire over 600 additional ‘special’ teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes to ensure students receive a better school day, a demand thousands of parents have called for since last year
- Ensures Job Security: Creates a “CPS Hiring Pool,” which demands that one-half of all of CPS hires must be displaced (laid-off) members.
- Adds An Anti-Bullying Provision: No more bullying by principals and managerial personnel. The new language will curtail some of the abusive practices that have run rampant in many neighborhood schools.
- Racial Diversity: The CTU continues to fight the District on its lay-off policies that has led to a record number of African American educators being laid off and eventually terminated by the District. The new contract will ensure that CPS recruits a racially diverse teaching force.
The proposed framework strikes a middle ground on scheduled raises, removes heavy reliance on test scores for teacher evaluations, and does right by both laid-off teachers, via the hiring pool, and students via the provisions for a more diverse curriculum. In addition, the anti-bullying and diversity provisions are innovative steps.
Regardless of the progress, the delegates aren’t satisfied, irking Mayor Emanuel.
“I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union. This was a strike of choice and is now a delay of choice that is wrong for our children. Every day our kids are kept out of school is one more day we fail in our mission: to ensure that every child in every community has an education that matches their potential,” Emanuel said in a released statement. …
“I have instructed the City’s Corporation Counsel to work with the General Counsel of Chicago Public Schools to file an injunction in circuit court to immediately end this strike and get our children back in the classroom.”
So close, yet so far.
Image from here