After a one week hiatus, Hitting Left was back live on Friday.
Erika Wozniak came by. She is a CPS teacher and Chicago Teacher Union activist. Erika ran for alderman against the corrupt James Cappleman and is co-host along with Jen Sabella of The Girl Talk, the wildly popular monthly live talk show at The Hideout.
Also joining us on the radio broadcast was Council member Susan Sadlowski Garza.
With the election of Lori Lightfoot, Sue replaced former alderman and Rahm floor leader Patrick O’ Connor as chair of the Council’s Workforce committee. She also was elected chair of the Council’s growing Progressive Caucus.
We asked Erik to join us to explain the importance of school social workers and the fact that CPS has for years been failing in understaffing schools with social workers.
While professionals recommend a normal ratio of 1-250 social workers to students, CPS has a ratio of more like 1-1200.
This is a current bargaining issue between CPS and the union and it is an issue close to Erika’s heart. It was an issue she ran on for alderman.
Sue Garza is an old friend and previous guest on Hitting Left.
She is a leading voice in and out of the Council for working class Chicago.
As chair of the Workforce Committee on the Council she is responsible for guiding two important issues and make them ordinances.
One, simply require large business to establish work schedules with two week notice that employees could depend on.
No telling workers not to show up and not paying them.
This is a big deal for workers in hospitals and fast food who get jerked around all the time by their bosses who have no respect for the fact that working people has lives outside the workplace.
We also talked about moving the City’s $15 an hour law up to 2012.
A bill recently passed by the Illinois legislature doesn’t schedule the $15 an hour requirement until 2025.
We wondered about the new Socialist Caucus in the Council.
“They’re all members of the Progressive Caucus,” said told us.
Then what’s the role of a socialist caucus?
“You will have to ask them,” Sue shrugged.
We talked with Erika and Sue about other stuff too.
When we brought up the issue of ICE and immigration and the impact on her east side ward, Sue got pissed.
She promised us she wouldn’t swear.