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.