* The Chicago Tribune editorializes on the Chicago Public Schools’ serious financial problems…
Meanwhile, back in Springfield: Democrats who largely set this disaster in motion with laws and policies that ruined CPS finances now hold the power to rescue the district. The cost? Reach a compromise with the state’s Republican governor. He seeks to reform governing and labor policies that have dunned taxpayers and strangled job growth in Illinois.
Gov. Bruce Rauner is ready to deal. He’s ready to help the schools. But there’s got to be some give and take, not take it or leave it, from Democratic leaders.
The strategy of House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton is to … hope that Rauner eventually caves to public pressure for a budget. But if those teachers get fired, or if the school system capsizes under debt, it won’t be a freshman governor who gets the blame. It will be Democrats, starting with those longtime leaders in Springfield and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in City Hall.
Teachers sent a loud and clear message Monday. Negotiations now should kick into higher gear. Claypool has cut central office jobs, and can — should — cut more. CPS should push to close struggling or half-empty schools. Teachers should pick up their share of pension contributions — the 7 percent that CPS can no longer afford. We understand that Springfield may contribute more to the system, but only in return for the kinds of reforms Rauner advocates.
Um, OK, when the stuff hits the fan is the governor really gonna say “I’d love to stop the city school shutdown, but I want remap reform first. And cuts to workers’ comp coverage. And a gutting of local collective bargaining rights.”
Yeah, that’ll work. You’re content with allowing the largest school system in the state to “capsize” over remap reform? Go with that.
Not saying that the governor will get all the blame here. There will definitely be an infinite amount of blame to go around. I’m just saying Rauner can’t avoid blame, except for on one floor of a certain ivory tower on Michigan Ave.
Also, notice how once again the Tribune doesn’t mention any specifics about the governor’s proposed reforms? That would destroy the narrative, of course.
* So, as a reminder, this is one of the governor’s demands which has actually been put into bill form…
Prohibited subjects of bargaining.
(a) A public employer and a labor organization may not bargain over, and no collective bargaining agreement entered into, renewed, or extended on or after the effective date of
this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly may include,
provisions related to the following prohibited subjects of collective bargaining:
(1) Employee pensions, including the impact or
implementation of changes to employee pensions, including
the Employee Consideration Pension Transition Program as
set forth in Section 30 of the Personnel Code.
(2) Wages, including any form of compensation including salaries, overtime compensation, vacations,
holidays, and any fringe benefits, including the impact or
implementation of changes to the same; except nothing in
this Section 7.6 will prohibit the employer from electing
to bargain collectively over employer-provided health insurance.
(3) Hours of work, including work schedules, shift
schedules, overtime hours, compensatory time, and lunch periods, including the impact or implementation of changes
to the same.
(4) Matters of employee tenure, including the impact of
employee tenure or time in service on the employer’s
exercise of authority including, but not limited to, any
consideration the employer must give to the tenure of
employees adversely affected by the employer’s exercise of management’s right to conduct a layoff.