Rahm’s threatening to get involved. What’s he been up until now? An innocent bystander?
As of this morning the Chicago Teachers Union has not yet given their legally required ten-day strike notification. Schools will open September 4th.
I would still give better than even money that Chicago teachers will walk out. The earliest it can happen now is September 7th.
Yesterday, the Mayor was threatening to get personally involved. Like he’s not personally involved now? I believe that’s why they call it mayoral control of the schools. What has he been claiming to have been over the past year?
An innocent bystander?
When I was President of the Park Ridge Education Association we walked out on strike in November of 2003.
We had been bargaining since February. We bargained through the summer and were heading for Thanksgiving when 97% of our members voted enough was enough. For a long cold November week we walked the picket lines.
When we finally settled we got less than we wanted but more than we would have gotten if we had not walked out.
Prior to the strike we tried a week working the contract hours. Every morning we would all gather in the parking lot. Some folks would bring muffins and donuts. We passed around mugs of hot coffee. At 8:20 we would all walk in together, the start of our contractual work day. It was the hardest thing for some teachers to do who were use to getting to work an hour or more early to prepare lessons and grade papers, meet with parents, students or each other.
I had never seen some of our people look so unhappy. Even a muffin didn’t help.
On the other hand, lots of our members didn’t like the idea of going back to work in August without a contract.
So we made yellow buttons that looked like road construction signs.
“Caution. Teachers working without a contract,” they said.
This pissed some parents off. They didn’t want their children to know about strikes.
On the other hand, a lot of parents didn’t even realize there was a contract dispute going on until the buttons came out.
It certainly got their attention.
Some experts advised us that teachers walking out on strike would cause irreparable harm. They warned us that it would take twenty years to rebuild good relations with the community.
And there were certainly some hard feelings. Even after things got resolved.
Parents don’t like teacher strikes. Of course, neither do teachers.
But a few years later the community passed a referendum.
And for a while after the contract was settled there were pretty good relations between the school board and the teachers.
That may have reached its limits.
My old colleagues are bargaining a new contract now. School has started and the teachers are without a contract again.
The district is running a 140% fund balance.
I’m not sure what their problem is.*
It doesn’t seem that they are short on cash.
*Disclaimer: I have no inside information on the bargaining going on in District 64. I’m just a retired teacher who blogs.