JB signs two bills and I have concerns.

As a long-time, now retired teacher, union activist and elected local leader, I totally support the Governor signing the bill expanding what are mandatory subjects for bargaining between the Mayor of Chicago and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Sure. It may make it tougher for the Mayor. But she can deal with it.

Limiting Chicago teachers – and only Chicago teachers – to what must be negotiated was always grossly unfair.

The truth is that when the late CTU President Karen Lewis first negotiated with Mayor Rahm and then led the historic 2012 strike, she never let the restrictions on subjects for bargaining get in the way.

“You want to talk to us about salary and benefits, then bargain with us on working conditions and more,” the leader of the CTU told the Mayor of Chicago.

And after over a week of striking, that is exactly what he did.

Still, it’s better when we have the legal right to expansive mandatory subjects of bargaining. Our teacher unions should never be forced to bargain with one hand tied behind our backs.

Some have complained that the same legislators who voted to expand mandatory subjects of bargaining when it comes to teachers want to limit bargaining rights for the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.

I support those efforts to remove certain due process language out of the category of mandatory subjects of bargaining with the FOP.

The due process language of the contract between the City of Chicago and the FOP is an obstacle to legally prosecuting cases of police brutality, misconduct and murder.

No union contract should have that kind of reach into the criminal prosecution of wrong-doers on the CPD. No other union contract has that kind of reach.

No mayor should be forced to negotiate with the racist FOP over how the criminal behavior of any employee should be dealt with.

Comparing the bargaining rights teachers have won with shielding police misconduct is just wrong.

I have questions about the bill Governor Pritzker signed last week increasing Chicago fire fighter pensions.

To me it seems Mayor Lightfoot has a point in asking where the money is coming from. No money for this

I’ve been fighting for public pensions for a couple of decades. But to me this is just the same old same old.

Public employees earn their pensions, as Chicago fire fighters certainly have.

But the state takes no responsibility for funding them.

Instead they invent new categories that reduce the benefits and lengthen the time until public employees must work to qualify.

It seems to me that the Governor wrote a check on somebody else’s bank account.

3 thoughts on “JB signs two bills and I have concerns.

  1. Thanks for keeping us informed. What’s the status of IL teachers receiving an extra year credit this year for all the additional work and responsibilities they’ve undertaken in these difficult times?

  2. What a bunch of lunatics…and it’s not the teachers.
    Editorial: When will CTU stop clout-building, and start thinking of the students?

    APR 09, 2021 AT 3:46 PM

    …Perhaps CTU leadership has been emboldened by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signing of a bill that makes it easier for CPS teachers to go on strike. That bill repealed a section of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act that in 1995 imposed limits on topics that the union could negotiate. Now that the bill has become law, CTU’s expanded array of issues it can bargain over include class sizes, subcontracting and staff assignments — not just traditional issues such as pay and benefits…

    The last thing the city needs is a teachers union empowered to broaden the clout it already wields. We’ve seen the issues that CTU brings to the bargaining table that have nothing to do with education — defunding police, affordable housing, rent abatements. Their tether to schooling is solely a CTU concoction.

    Right now, CPS’ biggest priority is to give students and their parents the opportunity to return to some degree of in-class instruction, and begin to repair damage to academic growth that the pandemic — and remote learning — inflicted. The extent of that damage is disturbing. Students have been failing at greater rates than last year. Overall attendance has dropped, and preschool enrollment is down. For Black and Latino students, the trends are only worse.

    There’s a difference between ensuring a pandemic-safe environment for students and staff, and sidetracking movement toward in-class instruction solely for the sake of exerting leverage on CPS and Lightfoot. Health safety protocols similar to those used to allow K-8 students to return to in-class learning will be employed at the high school level…


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