Chicago is a union town, charter schools are no exception.

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I heard this morning that the teachers at Passages charter in Chicago won a late night agreement on a union contract. If they hadn’t, Passages would have been the first charter school strike in the United States.

“Chicago has become the epicenter of charter union organizing in the country,” complained Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.

We’re number one!

Andrew should have known. Chicago is a union town.

WBEZ reports that the Passages contract gives their teachers a 21% pay increase. More details will be released later.

Chicago Tribune:

“It’s not about destroying charter schools,” (CTU President Karen)Lewis said. “Charter schools are here; they’re not going anywhere. So the key is, how do you make them a bitter pill to their management companies? It’s the management companies we have the issues with, not the charter teachers, not the students, not the parents. The key is, organize people to fight for fairer conditions of work, and then that’s good for everybody.”

The CTU, which represents traditional public school teachers, is supportive of the separate union representing charter schools. That union is the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, a branch of the American Federation of Teachers and a statewide affiliate of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Chris Baehrend, president of Chicago ACTS Local 4343, said, “A growing number of teachers are coming to a realization that when they are organized, we are in a better position to protect conditions in the classroom.”

The Chicago charter union said it represents about 1,000 teachers at 32 charter schools in Chicago, which is about 25 percent of charter schools citywide. That’s double the national percentage: About 12 percent of charter schools nationwide are under a collective bargaining agreement, according to Aviva Bowen, spokeswoman for the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

If the school privatizers are going to use charter schools as a weapon to destroy teachers unions, Chicago is as good a place to make our stand as any.

We are a union town.

6 thoughts on “Chicago is a union town, charter schools are no exception.

  1. If teachers prefer Union over professionalism, that’s fine. But no Union should enjoy a government-enforced monopoly – teachers or ditch-diggers.

    Of course, a Union without government protection is not going to attract a high level of membership, as right-to-work-law states prove. Is it?

    • Nobody forced Passages charter teachers to join a union. Their working conditions did that. As usual you have turned reality upside down and inside out. Right to Work is a case of government protecting corporations from unions. Your libertarianism is phony.

    • Oh, please, stop with the stale and false Glibertarian talking points, which is instantly revealed by your bogus contradiction between professionalism and being in a union.

    • Dear Akivida,
      “If teachers prefer Union over professionalism…”

      Are being a union member and a professional mutually exclusive? Please prove your assertion; or at least, explain it! Your moldy, cobweb-shrouded mind seems to be stuck in the late 19th century’s “Gilded Age” with the “robber barons,” as are the minds of today’s Republicans and libertarians (Republicans on steroids. Think Koch Brothers.)

      Since you seem to enjoy “intellectual” give and take, here’s an intellectual question for you: Can you name a clan, a tribe, a county, a duchy, a kingdom, an empire, a modern nation, or any socio-economic entity in the last 10,000 years of human history that ever produced a successful libertarian (socio-economic?) system? Validate your answer(s) and convince the rest of us. The cop-out answer, “it’s new and never been tried before,” is unacceptable!

      What makes you and people like you tick? Are you serious or just a troll? If you’re truly serious, I’d gladly recommend a great psychiatric hospital to you. It’s called “Happy Acres” and it’s located in the middle of nowhere, where you can act out your libertarian fantasies without intrusion; or conversely, without wrecking the lives of the sane majority.

  2. Thanks Fred for allowing people a place to voice their opinion on all teacher related issues. Keep sitting hard on Rahm. We’ve gotta get this guy out of here.

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