The radical Red-baiting of the Trib’s Kristen “Hurricane” McQueary.


My cartoon from 2015.

“But with Aug. 29 fast approaching and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu making media rounds, including at the Tribune Editorial Board, I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.”

That’s what Kristen McQueary wrote in a Trib column in 2015 causing a journalistic storm of hurricane strength.

Yesterday Kristen “Hurricane” McQueary was back at it.

First there was the Red-baiting finger waving at Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, lecturing the respected union leader to get control over her “radical faction.”

This kind of stuff is not new to the Tribune which has a reputation for Communist witch huntery that goes back decades to their “enthusiastic support for Joe McCarthy.”

I’d like to believe reasonable rank-and-file teachers …would understand it more clearly if Lewis stepped off her soapbox, stood up to the radical wing within her union and quit the red meat-slinging.

The Chicago Teachers Union is a democratic organization. Thanks to Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children and the Illinois legislature, Chicago Teachers Union members, unlike every other teacher bargaining unit in the state of Illinois must vote to strike by a 75% majority – not a simple 50%.

No radical faction decides anything.

What bout the 7% pension pick-up by CPS.

It was the result of collective bargaining and both sides agreed. It was compensation in lieu of a salary increase. Other school district do the same thing. McQueary admits this when she writes, “And many teachers in the suburbs and downstate pay 9 percent toward their pensions without their school districts picking up a portion of that.”

“Many teachers” means that other teachers down state don’t pay the full 9% as a result of collective bargaining. McQueary knows this.

To say exactly how many I would have to go and read every collective bargaining agreement in the state, but I have been told by those that know that upwards of 40% of contracts include a full or partial pension pick-up by the boards of education.

Pension pick-ups are a part of a bargained compensation agreement. Some years an agreement will result in a 2% raise. Other years it may be 4%. Forrest Claypool and Rahm’s demand that the CTU give back the 7% pension pick-up would be like Claypool and Rahm saying, “You know that 4% we gave you several years ago. We now think that was too much. Give it back.”

Wait! They already did that.

The cost to teachers of giving the 7%  is huge.

Since this year’s salary is the base for any percentage raise next year – and the year after that and so on – the 7% compounds and will cost a teacher thousands and thousands of dollars over the course of their career.

You don’t need a radical faction to see how wrong that is without getting something in return.

7 Replies to “The radical Red-baiting of the Trib’s Kristen “Hurricane” McQueary.”

  1. I wonder how much mcqueasy makes. I wonder how much of a match the tribune deposits into her 401k. I wonder if mcqueasy could live on a teacher’s salary. I wonder how much mcqueasy pays for her office supplies. I wonder if mcqueasy has a copy machine at her house to make it possible to do her job. I wonder what the world looks like on the rooftop of the tribune as the floods wash away the riffraff she would like to see gone.

  2. In Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 teachers PAY FULL 9%. The district does not pick up anything. This is why I say I am entitled to the pension for which I paid 9% out of every paycheck!

    1. Dear Anxious,
      You absolutely are entitled to your pension, as is every other teacher in the state and City of Chicago, regardless of whether they pay the 9% directly or indirectly by having the district pick up all or a portion of it. It is ALL compensation. All that is different is the form of the compensation. But one way or the other, EVERY teacher is paid for the work we do and therefore EVERY teacher pays the 9% into the pension fund.

  3. Thank you, Fred, for all you do to keep individuals informed. As the Legislative Chair of IRTA in my area, I always read your blog and use information you provide! Having checked multiple sources myself, I appreciate your truthfulness and insight! One example, ALEC. I was able to inform my unaware members about this “backdoor” organization and the connection AARP has to it. THANK YOU!

  4. Tronc will be gone long before the CPS or the CTU. It would be under water if it did not include 200 million of goodwill and intangibles on its balance sheet and I wonder if they are still counting Freds long expired subscription.I recall something about people in glass house shouldnt throw stones.,…..

  5. These two creeps are straight out of Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine. No compassion for individuals who have been hurt or victimized. All they want is for a catastrophe to happen so they can maximize their profit$.

  6. Ms. Kristen McQueary is a lightweight. I sent her an answer to her screed in c/o her e-mail. I’d love to have an answer from her. We’ll see…

    Ms. McQueary,

    You are correct about a shakedown of Chicago. However, you’re incorrect about the source. It’s not the CTU, Karen Lewis, or some supposed “radical faction” of teachers; on the contrary, the shakedown comes from Chicago’s millionaires and billionaires. You know, the people whom you cherish and support.

    Karl-Heinz Gabbey

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