Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chicago teachers win a victory for all

"This was a stunning victory for the CTU. It shows what happens when a union is resolute and united, and its demands are just.". Ravitch

Diane Ravitch says it perfectly. (Go to her blog for all of it - Chicago Teachers Union Wins This One.

What are the implications for uft people based on how our union has functioned in the face of these attacks? You be the judge. Is there a chance Randi and Mulgrew have learned something? You may be surprised but I think they may have. And if they have I would join in supporting them.

As you may recall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago has demanded that teachers teach a longer school day without additional compensation.

For that and other reasons (including rising class size), the Chicago Teachers Union took a strong stand in opposition. It took a strike vote, and 98% of those voting gave their approval, which was unexpected and unprecedented. The CTU held a rally, and 10,000 members turned out.

Mayor Emanuel accepted a deal that met the CTU's demands. Its members will not have to work longer hours without pay. The school day will be extended, as he wants, and the teachers who provide the extra time will be selected from the pool of veteran teachers who were laid off.

This was a stunning victory for the CTU. It shows what happens when a union is resolute and united, and its demands are just.

Here is the CTU press release, which is the only information available at this time:


Chicago details

Norm Scott

Twitter: normscott1


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  2. Scratch a bully, find a punk. Perhaps the UFT can learn a lesson from this.

  3. As always, hope to be wrong, but I believe they have learned nothing from this.

    Weingarten's whole career is predicated on her being willing to sell out to the corporate education reform movement - from charter schools to increased testing to teacher evaluations based upon test scores to pushing a national test for teachers to take to prove competence. She gets to appear on the Sunday bullshit shows and NBC's Education Nation (brought to you by Pearson, University of Phoenix and Nabisco!) and all the other places where the corporate media can aggrandize her ego BECAUSE she promotes those things. Davis Guggenheim's inability to understand her role in the reform movement not withstanding, the pols and the corporate people know how integral she has been to all these reforms and they fete her for it. So long as she is so richly rewarded for being a "reform-friendly" labor leader, she isn't going to change her stripes. And I have yet to see the membership punish her for selling them out time after time.

    As always, hope to be wrong about this.

    But I don't think I am.

    They have learned nothing and will continue to let the corporate reformers frame the education debate, smear teachers as unprofessional incompetents, and concede issue after issue - from the teacher evaluations based upon test scores that are now sweeping the nation to merit pay based upon those same tests to the Common Core Federal Standards that the tests will be based upon.

    After all, if Randi changed her ways, wouldn't her "good friend" Joel Klein be disappointed in her?

  4. Reality Based Educator is correct. Norm, whatever insider info you may have at the this time is probably unintentionally "hyped" via CTU members. You know all too well how charming and well intentioned Unity/AFT might be in given situations. I expect nothing to change. The ability and willingness to strike in Chicago is a far different scenario from NYC and the Taylor Law. The CTU is also much smaller than the UFT. Sadly, so many of our members are not even aware of the Unity caucus or union politics. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    There may be an opportunity for change when the Unity elders retire or pass away. That's why the work that MORE is beginning to do may reap rewards and benefits down the road. However, if anyone thinks for a second that Randi and Mulgrew will change their ways, sadly, it's pure fantasy.

  5. This is a solid victory. A strike might have been counter-productive for social-justice unionism at this time, but strikes are usually not necessary. As Michael said, "scratch a bully, find a punk." The threat of a strike is usually enough, and by threat I mean sufficient mobilization of the rank-and-file to show support for a work stoppage, making a strike possible if management does not negotiate in good faith. I really do hope Unity learns a lesson from this, although like RBE I am not very hopeful. We will see though. Maybe a leopard can change its spots once in a lifetime.

  6. Rahm got stuffed, serves him right for being such an ass. Our own little man syndrome John King is at it again in Buffalo this time imposing his Distinguished Educator "Judy" Eliott of LA "buyout and get the hell out" fame on Buffalo for what amounts to no more than 25 days at a higher rate of pay than anyone in the district, approx. double the pay of our new Superintendent. As a fellow wag described Dr. Eliott " an unfunded mandate in the form of a persona non grata." And whaddya know the same Board who called Phil Rumore and BTF obstructionist because we told King to stuff his SIG money when he tried to use absent kids test scores in our evaluations is now having the same stunt pulled on them and they HATE it. They followed Phil Rumore and BTF's footprints more out of hubris and righteous indignation than principle but all the same they refused to sign the contract. Wait til the rest of the state gets hip to this little man and we all tell him to stuff it. He's going to run to Uncle Andrew for help with these recidivist teachers. Greehhorn mistake by a guy who never set foot in a public school as a teacher but thinks he can come stomping into the mix and tell all of us what's up. Gonna be a looooong summer Mr. King.

  7. 14 minute longer day for high school teachers with no extra pay is now a big victory? Chicago Teachers Union looks like they are learning from Randi and not the other way around. If this happened in NYC, would you be happy?

  8. Maybe there is a different context in Chicago. The press reported: "In recent months the mayor has lost several rounds to the teachers. He tried to stop the union from taking a strike authorization vote in June, but teachers voted anyway, and nearly 90 percent of them backed a walkout. Then, last week, the arbitrator's report came out and was weighted largely in favor of teachers.Tuesday's agreement was the latest sign of Emanuel's political pragmatism. In April he made a concession to opponents of the longer day by shaving 30 minutes off the original plan for a 71/2-hour school day for elementary students."

    Have you ever seen an arbitrator in NYC on a contract weighted in our favor? Is it a total victory? It is psychologically for Chi tchers. Here in NYC when Unity tries to turn things into victories people laugh.

  9. This might be interesting. A history of Chicago teachers and strikes:


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