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State strike law is 0 for 2

Friday, Sep 27, 2019

* Remember when the state passed a law requiring 75 percent of Chicago teachers to vote in favor of authorizing a walkout before a strike could happen? It didn’t stop the CTU in 2012, when 90 percent of teachers and 98 percent of those who cast ballots voted to authorize a strike, and it didn’t stop the CTU this time, either

The Chicago Teachers Union voted in overwhelming numbers to authorize a strike, union officials announced late Thursday. The union is planning to set a strike date next Wednesday. Teachers likely will walk out in mid-October if no deal is reached by then.

CTU leaders said 94% of members had voted in favor of a strike, surpassing the 75% threshold required by law. Some 90% of the ballots had been counted Thursday night.

* Sun-Times

The earliest the union’s 25,000 teachers could strike is Oct. 7, though indications from the CTU are that a walkout would come closer to mid-October. […]

With the vote, the CTU joins more than 7,000 members of SEIU Local 73 who already voted in favor of a strike. SEIU represents school support staff workers at CPS who include special education classroom assistants, bus aides, security guards and custodians. Park District workers have also authorized a strike, possibly putting a dent in the city’s usual plan during a teachers’ strike of sending the about 300,000 students at district-run schools to Park District buildings. […]

“We’ve had a very successful launch of the start of school,” the mayor told reporters at a South Side event. “Our kids are involved and engaged in their extra-curricular activities. They’re bonding with their teachers. Having a strike would be catastrophic for the learning environment for our kids. We can’t lose sight of that.

* Tribune

“In our schools, there’s lots of different pieces that go into making that ecosystem the kind of learning environment where our kids can be successful and thrive. Of course teachers are a big part of that but, fundamentally, we’ve got to focus on our kids and keeping them in school,” Lightfoot said. “We know that kids who stay in school are much less likely to be victims of crime and much less likely to be perpetrators of crime, so putting 360,000 kids on the street when a deal is right here at our fingertips, how does that make sense? It doesn’t.”

Davis Gates challenged the mayor, saying the city doesn’t adequately fund after-school programs.

“To immediately go to crime and to try to shift blame to teachers for crime and to label our students as perpetrators is absolutely irresponsible,” Davis Gates said. “… She is out of line and she needs to apologize to our members for making such a gross offensive statement, and she needs to apologize to our students and our families for labeling them as criminals.”

…Adding… Five presidential candidates support the CTU…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    The state law was dumb, and all it did was make the teacher’s union more homogeneous in their views because they feel under attack by the state.


  2. - bhartbanjo - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    Bad bosses make for strong unions, and actively trying to limit rights for employees is a sign of bad bosses.


  3. - South of Sherman - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    So three strikes and it’s out?


  4. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    Are we allowed to root against both sides?


  5. - Dr. Ruth Love - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    City Zen for the win. Mutually Assured Destruction is the optimal solution.


  6. - Ed Equity - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    Where is the mea culpa from the advocates for SB7?


  7. - A Young Person - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Bravo South of Sherman


  8. - Bruce (no not him) - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    If you consider that the point of the law, was to stop strikes, yep 0-2
    I actually like the idea of 75% to authorize a strike. As an over 30 year member of a different union, if you go on strike, it better have more than 51% supporting the action.


  9. - Steve - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    As long as there’s the right to strike: there will be strikes.


  10. - JB13 - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    All about the children. As always.


  11. - Frank talks - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Lori’s response is getting on the edge of KY Governor saying children were sexually abused because of teacher walkouts.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/abc13.com/amp/politics/ky-governor-claims-teacher-protests-caused-child-sex-assault/3346324/


  12. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    3D Checkers is correct.

    Not only did the initial strike law move CTU into a reactive position, it requires the CTU to take a more extreme position in order to build consensus.

    Lightfoot’s strategy of essentially arguing teachers are greedy is not working, and it does not matter that she got three editorial boards to repeat it because that actually had CTU digging in deeper — which is what trying to negotiate through the media always does.

    She is essentially in the same position Rahm found herself in 2012. And she is about to learn the hard way that the anti-union sentiment rests largely on racist stereotypes that see Karen Lewis as the typical teacher and paint black women as lazy, incompetent welfare grabbers. Only in this case the “welfare queens” rely on a public paycheck instead of a welfare check.

    That all changes when the nightly news is flooded with images of white teachers walking picket lines and interviews of smart, likable, moderate, selfless teachers of all races and genders.

    Parents want nurses, librarians and social workers, and no one trusts anyone who says they are going to do something but refuses repeatedly to just put it in writing.


  13. - Ed Equity - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    SB7 could work with an Australian ballot; recording votes with a union leader and a clipboard will always produce votes above 75%. I am guessing there are plenty more percentage of teachers that dissent.


  14. - JP Altgeld - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    “Parents want nurses, librarians and social workers, and no one trusts anyone who says they are going to do something but refuses repeatedly to just put it in writing.”

    That’s all well and good but not something the CTU can legally strike over. As such, they have to pin the strike on wanting to get paid more.

    They will get their wish because the city and state are flush with cash and the populace continually registers their view that they are taxed at too low a rate.


  15. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    If the general public of Chicago is supportive of the strike, they should also be supportive of the property tax increases necessary to meet the CTU’s demands. As one of our favorite governors famously said, let the will of the people be the law of the land.


  16. - Enviro - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Chicago parents and teachers want the same thing that suburban parents and teachers want for their students: school nurses, librarians, social workers, and reasonable class size. But Chicago teachers can only strike for pay, so agreement on pay has been put on hold.


  17. - Roman - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    == if you go out on strike, it better have more than 51% ==

    That was Karen Lewis’ thinking. Remember, she was at the table and agreed to SB 7. (She later criticized the bill when rivals within CTU said she sold the union out.) Lewis often told people the reason she conceded to the 75 percent requirement was because she would never call a strike unless it had that level of backing from the membership, so she didn’t care if it was in the law. She then used the 75 percent rule as a rally point to fire up the anti-Rahm sentiment among members — pointing out the law limited the bargaining rights of Chicago teachers.


  18. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    === Lightfoot’s strategy of essentially arguing teachers are greedy is not working, and it does not matter that she got three editorial boards to repeat it because that actually had CTU digging in deeper — which is what trying to negotiate through the media always does.

    She is essentially in the same position Rahm found herself in 2012. And she is about to learn the hard way that the anti-union sentiment rests largely on racist stereotypes that see Karen Lewis as the typical teacher and paint black women as lazy, incompetent welfare grabbers. Only in this case the “welfare queens” rely on a public paycheck instead of a welfare check.

    That all changes when the nightly news is flooded with images of white teachers walking picket lines and interviews of smart, likable, moderate, selfless teachers of all races and genders.

    Parents want nurses, librarians and social workers, and no one trusts anyone who says they are going to do something but refuses repeatedly to just put it in writing.===

    I don’t see as much of a parallel between Mayor Emanuel and Lightfoot. MRE really put a bulls-eye on CTU. He was pretty anti-union at the time and wanted to decrease the union’s power. CTU couldn’t have backed down from MRE at the time, and CTU spent the rest of his years opposing him in basically everything. MLL sometimes makes contradictory statements, but I think she just wants to settle this contract and move on. I think CTU has some sour grapes over the election still, and they’re kind of acting like the grad student who you can’t talk to without being called racist.


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    The tail wags the dog in Illinois because Democrats fear unions more than voters.


  20. - Potemkin City - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    I am no huge fan of the CTU but I met with Karen Lewis on several occasions and really found her to be something special. She is a first class leader and eminently capable.

    Jesse Sharkey? No Karen Lewis. Not by a long shot.


  21. - Ashland Adam - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    Teaching in CPS is not currently a positive experience. Thank the status quo for that - 20 years of ‘education reform’ has led to a diminished curriculum, de-personalization of individual students via an emphasis on testing reading and math, the push-out of support staff and veteran teachers - who reflected Chicago’s diversity and had long-term relationships with families.

    Teachers are micro-managed. Witness CPS’s contract proposal to make teacher preparation periods ‘principal directed.’ This is time educators require to prepare for the next lesson, return parent phone calls, finish grading essays, etc.

    Rank and file educators know that a range of conditions impact teaching and learning, conditions which are only permissive areas of bargaining, and since teachers seldom have a chance to express their outrage, this is their opportunity to raise their voices …and hopefully bring about some improvement.

    The Chicago Principals Association issued the results of a survey this week: their members agree with teachers on what schools need, but individual principals will not risking doing so publicly.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    ===because Democrats fear unions more than voters===

    And yet, a Democratic legislature and Democratic governor passed and signed that 75 percent law.


  23. - Ano - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    JB13

    Work for the warm fuzzies! WHo cares if teachers can’t provide for their own biological children, right? They should work for love, just like everyone else should.

    BUt you are wrong. Part of the strike is to provide more services ala nurses, social workers and classroom aides to help those children. If you hate teachers (other than the ones who got you and your kids what they need), I guess you would have nasty things to say about any compensation they get.


  24. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    @3D Checkers -

    The 2012 strike was not over wages either.

    Lightfoot’s tone might be more moderate, but if you don’t think she is grinding her axe behind closed doors, ask Preckwinkle, Beale, Martwick, etc.

    I mean, today she is blaming teachers for creating a crime wave. I don’t recall an uptick of teen crime during last strike, do you?


  25. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    So which billionaire bidniss’ man will this strike enrage enough to plow their fortune into a run for governor?


  26. - Enviro - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    ==Are we allowed to root against both sides?==

    Please check out the links in the first paragraph of the above article. They are very informative.


  27. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    === I mean, today she is blaming teachers for creating a crime wave. I don’t recall an uptick of teen crime during last strike, do you? ===

    It seems pretty common sense to me that young people who aren’t in school are more likely to be a victim or commit crime. I don’t think she is blaming teachers for anything. She is just pointing out that a strike could be harmful to students.

    Politician can grind axes, but a union negotiation is about a contract offer and whether it provides a fair wage to the union members and gives them adequate say in their job conditions. I haven’t seen anything that would suggest the City’s contract offers will reduce CTU’s power, and the wages seem reasonable.


  28. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    ==And yet, a Democratic legislature and Democratic governor passed and signed that 75 percent law.==

    Man, don’t confuse LP with any facts that contradict his bot talking points.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    If Democrats fear and cater to unions over voters, voters sure punished them in 2018. It’s just the old right wing strategy, divide and conquer, voters/taxpayers vs. unions, so-called makers vs. takers. It’s right wing boilerplate. So many reject it in this state.


  30. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==Please check out the links in the first paragraph of the above article.==

    I’m still going with “none of the above”.

    ==Five presidential candidates support the CTU==

    Means nothing until Beto’s on board.


  31. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    - Democrats fear unions more than voters. -

    The voters overwhelmingly support the unions. Remember when they voted your boss out by the widest margin ever?


  32. - Tim - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    CTU has a much better deal in front of them than they ever had before and they still can’t get to yes. Let em’ strike and leave them out. The mayor cannot afford everything they are asking for. Maybe if they gave back their raises and paid some more for their medical insurance they would have money to hire some of the other folks they want. One more item. No school board in their right mind will ever turn over the setting of class sizes to a union. That should continue to be a hard no.


  33. - Generic Drone - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    =because democrats fear unions= Tell that to Quinn and Madigan who froze wages and tried to hamstring employees.


  34. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==No school board in their right mind will ever turn over the setting of class sizes to a union.==

    Not even an elected one? Oh, wait…


  35. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    === It seems pretty common sense to me that young people who aren’t in school are more likely to be a victim or commit crime. ===

    Please do not invoke “common sense.” You have not been keeping up on all the sexual assaults and CPD use of force stories.

    If Potter argued that Lightfoot was going to increase crime by refusing to put it in writing to avoid a strike, that would be no more true and no less incendiary.

    If you are trying to reach an agreement, you do not make public statements accusing the teachers of being pro-violence or unconcerned with the welfare of their students.

    Even Rahm didn’t do that.

    She wants a strike, she is going to get a strike, and its a mistake on her part to think she wins this.


  36. - Juvenal - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    === Maybe if they gave back their raises and paid some more for their medical insurance they would have money to hire some of the other folks they want. ===

    You seem confused. Lightfoot agreed to the wages and insurance and still says she plans on hiring social workers, nurses and librarians that are desperately needed. according to her, the money is out there. She just refuses to back up her word by putting it in writing.

    As the CTU points out, she had no problem putting an agreement to spend $31M on police in schools in writing.


  37. - Dybalat - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    The losers are the Chicago real estate taxpayers of course.


  38. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    === Please do not invoke “common sense.” ===

    Kind of ironic coming from Thomas Paine.

    === You have not been keeping up on all the sexual assaults and CPD use of force stories. ===

    Really, do you know that?

    You’re reading a lot of hostility coming from the Mayor’s Office that I don’t think is based in either her words or actions. And it is certainly not comparable to Rahm’s and Bruce Rauner’s actions before the 2012 strike.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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