The Trib’s Kristen McQueary handles the paper’s union-bashing beat. She’s not the only Trib reporter writing anti-union crap, but she may be the most unbearable.
Maybe John Kass.
I go with McQueary.
Today she writes about a teacher whose name I won’t mention who in 2016 crossed the picket lines during the CTU’s one day strike. He’s crossing the picket lines again this week.
Kristen McQueary found the one guy who is never going to be remembered in song as another Joe Hill.
I don’t know the guy, but I knew guys like him.
There was one in 2003. He was just a terrible teacher and to my ever-lasting regret, as union president I worked really hard with administration, his principal and his colleagues to save him.
Ironically, McQueary probably would have wanted to fire this guy right away. We tried to save him.
And then in November of that year we went on strike because family health care costs to employees got too damn high.
Around the second day I was walking the line in front of the board of education headquarters when the guy came running up breathlessly to inform me that he was doing this great thing. He was calling the parents of his students to give them homework assignments.
Ironically, if McQueary heard that he was scabbing, she would have reversed course and written a glowing column about him.
“Do you understand that we are on strike?” I asked him. “Do you understand that being on strike means we withdraw our labor. No homework assignments.”
The truth is that this guy was such a terrible teacher that aside from the fact that he was scabbing on his colleagues, my intervention probably saved his students from a week of having to do some really stupid homework assignments.
The guy left town the following year.
Like the educators in the CTU, our folks had voted 90% to authorize our strike.
It was the hardest thing they ever did. Someone needs to try and explain to McQueary that nobody goes into teaching not to teach. It would probably be a waste of time explaining that to her. It would be like explaining to my guy that a strike means withholding labor.
The terms of the contract offered were fair and not worthy of a strike, as both major newspapers in Chicago have opined, including the one owned in part by union interests.
But the strike-hungry teachers union and its 25,000 members called one anyway, which has now blocked 300,000 kids from instructional time in the classroom.
Wonder why CPS is losing students by the thousands? This is why.
Strike-hungry teachers are why CPS is losing students?
Don’t that beat all?
After eight years of Rahm Emanuel’s privatization schemes, neighborhood disinvestment and school closings, to blame the teachers for CPS’ enrollment decline takes some chutzpah.
To Mayor Lightfoot’s credit, she has not resorted to demonizing striking teachers.
But we have the Tribune for that.