Fighting back in a time of Rauner and Trump. Low-paid workers strike at O’Hare last week.
Teachers in Skokie District 65 voted to ratify their collective bargaining agreement yesterday. They have been without a contract since August. The vote was 579 in favor and 101 against, according to Paula Zelinski, DEC president.
The details of the CBA will be released to the public following another ratification vote by the District 65 board of education.
I don’t know anything about the results. No matter. I never comment on the results of somebody else’s bargained agreement. I have bargained plenty of them. It is difficult stuff. These are difficult times. I hope the teachers did okay.
And teacher contracts are mainly about local stuff.
It is getting close to Winter break and to my knowledge there has not been a single teachers strike in the state of Illinois where there are roughly 600 school districts with way more than that many contracts. I would guess maybe a third expired and had to be bargained this past year.
I follow this stuff pretty closely and I can’t recall a year in recent history without at least a couple of teacher strikes in Illinois in the Fall.
Is that a sign of labor peace or labor fear?
Every situation has its own particularities. Nobody likes a teachers’ strike. Certainly not teachers. But it is a part of the process and once in a while a strike is needed.
Maybe just not this year.
Or maybe it is a sign of fear and playing defense in the era of Rauner and Trump.
Like the Carrier deal, which allows hundred of jobs to get sent to Mexico, but maybe keeps the Indiana plant open for a while.
Sarah Palin called it crony capitalism. I don’t even know what the hell she is talking about. What kind of capitalism isn’t crony capitalism these days?
Bernie Sanders was way more accurate when he wrote that it gives permission for every corporation to demand a bribe to keep from moving to cheaper labor.
The United Steelworkers Union, which represents the Carrier workers, applauded the deal even though they weren’t consulted and hadn’t seen the details. Democrats called for 800 more deals just like it. And the national media got played by Trump once again.
I’m thinking about the last week in the Illinois legislature where on consecutive days the House failed to override a veto by Rauner, our little Trump, of a budget agreement for CPS but passed a bailout for ComEd.
Progressive friends – and they are friends – tell me that the bill contains money for green technologies and needed changes to regulations which we wouldn’t have gotten if we didn’t give ComEd the bailout.
What I know is that in a state that can’t pay its bills, that doesn’t begin to raise enough revenue to keep its public schools from being last in the nation in state school funding, where retired public employees have had to spend hundred of thousands of dollars for legal fees to protect our contractual and constitutionally guaranteed pensions, which hasn’t had a budget in two years, legislators just gave ComEd a bailout.
I’m sure there were good intentions. But the road to hell may well be lit by by the solar power of good intentions.
Some of this is just old news. Same old same old.
Or maybe we are seeing a trend in fighting Raunerism and Trumpism.
I don’t believe we can win this way.
Resisting Trumpism is going to be difficult but all the more necessary at a time when union leaders and Democrats are saying we should give Trump a chance and corporate bailouts are called wins by even progressive legislators.