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Chicago is a union town. Teacher bashing doesn’t work here.

September 13, 2012

“Look up. Look down. Chicago is a union town.”

I have read some analysis lately that tries to discuss the issue of teacher bashing.

Some have tried to make a link between the current Chicago teachers’ strike and a spreading attack on teachers that they say exists among the broad population.

I don’t see it. Regular Chicago folks  support the teachers and the union. Rich folks? Not so much.

It’s not that I haven’t had my run-ins with parents over the years.

Or with a teacher or two, for that matter.

But from my experience, people like teachers. They like their kid’s teachers and they like their school’s teachers.

Current polling in Chicago over who supports who: Rahm loses. Teachers win.

News this morning that there may be a breakthrough in bargaining suggests that Rahm may be sensing this.

I understand that most folks want their kids in school and want this thing to be settled. But there is not a lot of anger at teachers out there.

Except for the guy the local news keeps putting on who is complaining that he has to spend $120 dollars a day for a nanny to watch his kids, my personal polling (I ask people) suggests wide teacher support. When I have been at local school picket lines there is the constant sound of horns honking in support.

There is a thin line between attitudes towards teachers and towards their union.

I got a haircut and a shave this morning and I asked Joe what his polling shows.

“People hate King Rahm.”

Some will try to make a distinction between teachers and their union. A blogger at Huffington claimed she supported the teachers but not the union.

And the corporate reformers at faux think tanks like the Illinois Policy Institute will try make hay on that.

Make no mistake. The IPI doesn’t give a snot about teachers. Their real goal is destroying the teachers’ union.

Why? Because we’re pretty much the last man and  last woman standing.

Private sector unions have been beaten back.

Public sector unions are what is left of the union movement in this country. With the NEA’s three million members and the AFT’s one million member, we are the biggest that there is.

To win, the corporate bullies must get past us.

So they try to discredit teachers because teachers and the union movement are pretty much what is left.

They just picked the wrong place.

Chicago is a union town.

If the big fight was going to happen, I’m glad it is happening here.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Maureen permalink
    September 13, 2012 10:58 am

    I’m glad it is happening here, too, Fred.

  2. siglisowski permalink
    September 13, 2012 11:47 am

    We must stand together or we will perish alone. What we do now, we do for all, not just now but for the future. We are under extreme assault. Why are we be revisiting women’s rights? Voting rights? Civil rights? Privacy rights? WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! The Kochs are coming!

    • ReTiredbutMisstheKids permalink
      September 13, 2012 11:45 pm

      Yes, the Kochs are our Cossacks.

  3. filly4rrights permalink
    September 13, 2012 12:09 pm

    “I support the teachers but not the union,” is a false choice. I commend the CTU for demonstrating that the union’s fight is for better conditions for the children as well as for their own members. Without standards everyone is subject to arbitrary conditions at whim, which contribute to a low morale environment. Parents and teachers *should* be demanding better, instead of bowing to mediocrity and an uncertain future. Keep honking those horns!

  4. Tim permalink
    September 14, 2012 4:43 pm

    I’ve been going back and forth from your blog to your brothers. Thanks for the great insightful
    reporting you do. Great drawings by the way

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      September 14, 2012 4:50 pm

      Thanks Tim.

  5. ReTiredbutMisstheKids permalink
    September 15, 2012 12:56 am

    Great photos, too. I missed these kids last time–cute AND good artists!

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