After spending an entire week undoing what decades of progress had been brought to the union movement for public employees, the Chicago Teachers Union decided that they just couldn’t leave bad enough alone. The teachers decided to continue their strike into a second week as they consider a contract that they should have ratified on the spot.
union negotiators said their strongest wishes, too, were intact in the proposal they brought to union delegates on Sunday.
Among them, according to the union: Teacher raises were maintained for those who seek additional education and for those who reach a certain experience level; the schools agreed to hire additional teachers to handle longer school days; and most experienced teachers could not be fired for the first year of the new evaluation system, which would be something of a test run.
The proposed contract — a three-year arrangement with an option for a fourth — would have given an average teacher a more than 17 percent raise if it ran all four years, above what had been offered a week ago. It was uncertain how the schools were going to pay for raises, which were predicted to cost in the “high $300 million” range at a time when the system has a significant budget deficit, estimated at $1 billion next year.
It is hard to imagine a happier group than those Conservatives who want to destroy public employee unions and now find the Chicago Teachers doing their work for them. And it is certainly impossible to find a more arrogant and undeserving group of public employees than the Chicago Teachers Unions officials who are imposing a tremendous hardship on children and parents alike.
The politics of the issue make busting this self destructive union impossible now, but in the future anti-union Conservatives who run for office in
are certainly going to try. And the
message here to the Chicago Teachers is when that happens don’t look around for
allies. You have just told your friends and supporters to
take a hike, that you don't care about them, that you don't care about the parents, that you don't care about the children and that you don't care about voters. All you seem to care about is your own selfish goals, and the irony is that in pursuing your actions you won't even accomplish those in the long run.