Friday, March 30, 2012

Did Rhambo Blink in Settlement with CTU?

UPDATED WITH NEW INFO (in blue): Friday, March 30, 9AM

From Substance:

Fight back against Longest School Day a major feature of the Board of Education meeting

The battle in Chicago over the longer -- or linger -- day will go on despite the settlement as Rhambo Emanuel wants to impose a longer day but without having to pay the teachers other than a small pittance. Earlier in the year he engaged with a pissing contest with the union, trying to go around then by offering individual schools bribes if they would adapt the longer day this year instead of next. They mmanaged to get 13 schools to vote for it (with one school reporting that a custodial worker broke a tie vote.

The union jumped in and stopped the bleeding pretty quickly which was a real defeat for Rhambo. Despire what some would consider union busting on the part of teachers at the 13 schools who voted for the longer day or were coerced into it (where's Justice Alito when we really need him) the union sued the Chi DOE violated basic collective bargaining rights.

So they settled and the teachers will get a raise. Did the union get everything? Probably not. But they didn't cave and given the assault the union has undergone in Chicago over the last 2 decades this is only a beginning. Lots of people think a strike is possible in the fall when the full implementation of the longer day goes into effect without matching pay. I'll do more on this aspect --- a whole bunch of NYC activists are heading to Chicago the weekend of May 5-6 for the Labor Notes conference which will focus on the strike issue.

Said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll: “We choose to focus on the classroom, not the courtroom and this settlement is an attempt to avoid the courtroom.”

Yes. that means they knew they would lose so they settled. I guess the CTU could have waited them out but is saving the ammo for the big fall battle. Another reason I feel is that these 13 schools in essence went against union policy and by putting some money in the pockets of the teachers at these schools is a way to win them towards the value of the union. Assume next year that Rhambo and his minions will make enormous attempts to split the union, with faux E4E groups and Teach for America spewing forth how they are about children while the union is about adults.

Here are 2 articles, the first from George Schmidt at Substance.

Chicago Teachers Union reaches settlement on pay for 'Pioneer School' teachers

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have settled a long-running dispute over CPS’s unlawful implementation of a longer school day at 13 neighborhood schools without properly compensating the teachers for the extra hours of work. The agreement was signed by both parties following the Board of Education meeting on March 28, 2012.

Flanked by parents, teachers, and community leaders, CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey (above at microphones) spoke during the protest rally prior to the March 28, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.
As reported in August and September 2011 in Substance. CPS unilaterally implemented the Longer School Day Pioneer Program beginning on September 26, 2011, with the last implementation date in January 2012, at a total of 13 schools. To induce teacher cooperation, CPS paid teachers up to $750 stipends and up to $150,000 to each school that participated in the program.

The CTU filed Labor Board charges, alleging that the Longer School Day violated its bargaining rights, and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board unanimously voted on October 20, 2011 to seek injunctive relief blocking CPS from implementing the program at any of other 600+ public schools whose staff is represented by the CTU, and referring the initial 13 schools to a hearing before an Administrative Law judge. Rather than face a court fight, CPS agreed not to impose the longer school day at any more schools this school year.

“Today’s settlement is a great victory for collective bargaining in Chicago, and a step forward for the Chicago Public Schools,” says CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “The longer school day will give CPS students the schools they deserve only if sufficient resources are devoted to making it work, including fair compensation for teachers. We have serious reservations whether CPS will devote sufficient resources system-wide to maintain reasonable class size, educate the whole child, provide robust wrap-around services, and provide quality facilities. But CPS makes its first good faith step in that direction today.”

Today’s settlement resolves the fate of the 13 schools. The agreement effectively guarantees those teachers the same salary for the 2011-12 school year that teachers will receive next school year when the longer school day is implemented system-wide. Under the agreement, CPS will initially pay over $300,000 in prorated payments of up to $1,500 for each teacher employed at the 13 schools.

CPS has also agreed that when the labor contract is concluded for the 2012-13 school year, these teachers will be paid the difference between this year’s compensation (including the $750 stipend and $1500 settlement) and next year’s negotiated salary. The effect will be that the salaries negotiated for next school year – when Mayor Rahm Emanuel imposes the longer school day at all CPS schools – will be paid to the teachers at the 13 schools retroactively for this year.

Chicago teachers, district settle lawsuit over longer school day pilot

Teachers in Chicago public schools that agreed to pilot a longer school day starting this past fall will be paid an extra $1,500 under a deal announced Wednesday.
The settlement between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union resolves a CTU lawsuit accusing CPS of illegally circumventing the collective bargaining process in its attempts to forge ahead with a longer day pilot.
CTU officials agreed to drop their suit in exchange for extra payments within the next 30 days of $1,500 for teachers in schools that started a 1 1/2 hour longer day in the fall, and an extra $750 for those who started a longer day in January.
CPS also agreed to pay teachers at the 13 schools the difference between this year’s compensation and next year’s if a higher salary is ultimately negotiated for next school year. Contract talks have gone on for several months.
The new $1,500 is on top of an extra average of $1,500 the typical CPS teacher received for working in a longer-day pilot school, starting in September. More than 200 teachers were affected, union officials said.
CTU President Karen Lewis hailed the deal as “a great victory for collective bargaining.’’
Said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll: “We choose to focus on the classroom, not the courtroom and this settlement is an attempt to avoid the courtroom.”


Professors challenge CPS push to evaluate Chicago teachers based on 'growth' models

One hundred local academics representing virtually every major college and university in Chicago and the Chicago area came together on March 26, 2012 at a press conference. The purpose was to oppose CPS teacher evaluation . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

$!,500 for working an extra 1 1/2 hours each day does not seem like a fair deal. I would totally not vote for that kind of deal in NYC. But if the Chicago teachers wanted it, that is democracy in action!