Democracy breaks out in Chicago. Many surprised, not having seen it before. Updated: Rahm seeks an injunction.

He’s an idiot.

I have negotiated many contracts.

We went out on strike over one.

The membership rejected one after our team brought it back. We went back and got a little more.

I never make public judgments about what the union members anywhere decide to do about a bargained contract. Their contract.

The Chicago CTU House of Delegates just voted minutes ago to take time to read the deal and vote on Tuesday.

Karen Lewis and the leadership made it clear that it was the member’s right to do. “I am only their spokesman.”

She also said that the 800 pound gorilla in the room is that teachers don’t trust the board and the fear of massive school closings.

Rahm set that into motion with comments all weekend that this contract would lead to closing schools.

He’s an idiot.

Update: Further evidence of Rahm idiocy is his move to get a judge to file an injunction, forcing teachers back to work. Rahm is claiming that this is an illegal strike since SB7 limits the right to strike to economic issues. In fact, the strike has technically been over salary and benefits, while discussions have included other bargainable issues. CTU lawyers have been prepared for this injunction all week sources tell me, and are fully prepared to immediately respond.

16 thoughts on “Democracy breaks out in Chicago. Many surprised, not having seen it before. Updated: Rahm seeks an injunction.

  1. He is blinded by arrogance and hubris. He is going to make things worse by seeking an injunction against the strike, as Catalyst Chicago is reporting.

    Given how Emanuel has already reneged on one contract (albeit, signed by his predecessor) and given how he’s bragging behind the scenes about how he’s going to %^&* teachers really good after the election with a slate of school closures, it behooves the members to get everything in writing and read them over very carefully before deciding to suspend the strike, let alone voting on this thing.

    As they say, the devil is in the details, not the bullet points.

    1. Not only %^&* with school closures, but also by ultimately insisting (the talk had already started) that the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund is broke, so messing with the pensions will begin, make no mistake about it.

      Sound familiar?

  2. I smelled a rat on Friday when on got home and the news was reporting that he planned to layoff thousands of teachers and close more school to pay for the contract, before the negotiation were even complete.

  3. This is your best headline ever. I believe I said that to you once before, but this time I really mean it. Rahm is foolish to strong-arm teachers. This will not help his buddy Barack, who’s earnestly endeavoring to ignore this entire episode.

  4. I guess I haven’t got to the module of my online course in NSL (Neospeak as a Second Language) to know what “Strike of Choice” means in English. Could anyone help me out with that?

    Besides which, I thought Rahmses was all in favor of choicey things …

    1. I think it’s his north shore accent. He actually said it’s “a strike of Joyce.” He still doesn’t know Karen’s name. Calls her Joyce.

  5. The common fatal flaw for all these reformers like Emanuel and our Supt. John White will be that they are incompetent when it comes to handling the chaos which they create. Partner that with the fact that they know nothing about education and bingo.

  6. It was Rahm’s influence that soured Obama’s presidency, and now Obama is paying for what he allowed to happen and has to keep his mouth shut. I hope that if/when he wins a second term he will eject the good old boys and re-connect with his community activist roots. But we still have to do what is right by our kids and teachers and not let up in our support. We have to do this if we do not who will?????

  7. Loved the headline! It’s about time democracy broke out in Chicago. It’s been hiding its tail between its legs–or some place–ever since I got here in 1998. When I started with the Board in that same year, I worked at Austin High School, and learned really quickly that fair and equitable were two words that weren’t in the Board’s vocabulary. After I was displaced from Austin–and I left leaping for joy–I went to Foreman High School, which at the time was run by Dr. John Garvey, a benevolent overseer who may not have run a tight ship but it was, at least, friendly and peaceful. Soon, our boundaries changed and so did our clientele. Things got considerably worse and instead of supporting the teachers who were trying to actually teach a rigorous curriculum, despite the Board’s revolving doors on curriculum and all that entailed, the latest principal, gone now to ruin the minds of students in Denver, harassed me and other teachers and took the side of every chronic complainer and delinquent student to cross the portal of his office. Rather than lose more of my mind, I retired, reluctantly, feeling remorse that I left my colleagues behind to deal with the fallout from a new principal who was “placed” in the position, and voted in by chicanery and the zombie-like LSC, despite a teacher advisory committee that attempted to make sure the process was kosher. Didn’t happen.
    Rahm, and his handpicked campaign contributing school board, deserve every bit of karma they get.
    More power to the teachers who made the choice, for the students of Chicago, and for their ranks, to take the time to read the proposed contract instead of approving what may have been a recipe for their demise.

  8. Perhaps the $76 million (as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times) that had been earmarked for the charter schools (just get it from the Gates Foundation, the Waltons, the Koch brothers, or any number of the friends of charter schools) can go back to CPS, where it belongs? How about the TIF earmarked for the Hyatt Hotel and surrounding area in Hyde Park? Money returned to the schools–what a novel idea!

  9. This could backfire on Emanuel. Seems to me that the CTU enjoys widespread support in Chicago. It’s built a solid alliance with parents and students. Emanuel looks like a megalomaniac, power-tripping jerk. If he fans the flames, he runs the risk of turning a defensive strike into an offensive action; a strike against the State as employer into an action against the State as the capitalist executive committee. Herman Melville wrote a book about Emanuel. The character’s name was Ahab. Ahab Emanuel.

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