I don’t know Elizabeth Scalia.
From the short description at the bottom of her Trib op-ed piece I know she is a 22-year veteran teacher at Chicago’s Oscar Meyer. She teaches 6-8 Language Arts.
That is not an easy job. I was a K-5 teacher and the few times I taught middle school I wasn’t very good at it. I’m almost sure that enjoying being around 13-year olds all day needs a specific and unique DNA. I don’t have it.
Ms Scalia is also a National Board Certified Teacher. That is no easy process to go through.
So I have no intention of smacking Ms Scalia as a teacher.
But the op-ed? It is nonsense.
I have no doubt that Ms Scalia knows her stuff when it comes to leading her classes in explorations of great books.
But her Trib post demonstrates she knows nothing about unions and bargaining. That may be why the anti-union Trib printed her opinion. She writes that her union, the Chicago Teachers Union, “must compromise.”
There is this misconception about collective bargaining and collective bargaining agreements. Many people – Ms Scalia being one – view the process and the agreement as a union thing. As in “a union contract.”
I once had a principal who kept referring to our CBA as “the union contract,” as if it was something imposed on her by us.
Writing that the union bargaining team must compromise is wasting paper. Compromise is the process both sides are already engaged in. It is called “bargaining.”
Look at the bottom of any collective bargaining agreement and you will see two columns of signatures. One side has the signatures of the members of the union bargaining team. The other column has the signatures of the board.
The union “must compromise” stuff is just silly. Bargaining is nothing if it is not the act of compromise.
The old agreement expired over a year ago, and while from all reports the CPS board has not really started bargaining until recently, there has already been plenty of compromise.
Ms Scalia should be joining the rest of her members in calling for a fair contract.