Chicago Teachers Union Strike!
Last night I watched Rahm stumble through his address regarding the imminent Teacher Strike. I knew this was only one side of the story, so this morning I walked to Senn High School to speak with some striking teachers.
What I found was that there was lots of support coming from honking cars and parents either walking in step with the teachers or registering their children.
For the most part one associates a union strike with pay and benefits. Pay and benefits were on the table and rightly so with an extended school day and less teachers to go around, but that is not why the teachers went on strike. The teachers I spoke with said they decided to strike because of Senate Bill #7, which strips the unions of negotiating anything other than pay and benefits- lopsided class size and teacher evaluations based on standardized tests. With Karen Lewis, the union President not allowed to talk about anything besides pay and benefit negotiations without warranting an injunction by CPS, I don’t know how the general public, let alone the parents will hear truth from both sides.
I’m not sure how long they will be on the line, but the teachers I spoke with were optimistic that the CTU and CPS will come to an agreement shortly. Lets hope so.