Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chicago teachers extend strike, mayor seeks court order

See update HERE.

Did Camille Zombro move to Chicago? It seems unreasonable for teachers to reject 16% pay rise, just because they don't want to be accountable for student test scores. And the deal that "delegates" rejected even included an appeals process! At least in San Diego Unified, the rank and file was allowed to vote--and they promptly rejected the hard line of Camille Zombro and Emma Leheny (the chief counsel for California Teachers Association). In Chicago, the union leaders won’t let the rank-and-file vote until leaders have had a chance to exert pressure on them. This certainly isn't about teachers wanting to help kids learn.

Chicago teachers extend strike, mayor seeks court order
By Mary Wisniewski
Sep 16, 2012

The confrontation between Chicago teachers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel escalated on Sunday when their union extended a strike and the mayor said he would go to court to block the walkout, risking more friction within President Barack Obama's political coalition as the November 6 election nears.

There will be no classes in Chicago public schools on Monday and Tuesday, affecting 350,000 kindergarten, elementary and high school students.

The showdown left in doubt a deal on wages, benefits and education reforms for 29,000 unionized teachers that negotiators thought they had struck on Friday to end the biggest labor dispute in the United States in a year.

It also could widen a rift within the Democratic Party between education reformers such as Obama's former top White House aide Emanuel, and organized labor, which the Democrats need to get out the vote in the election.

Chicago union President Karen Lewis said some 800 union delegates met on Sunday and decided to consult with rank-and-file members before voting whether to end the walkout...


It sounds like an excellent compromise has been reached regarding teacher evaluations in Chicago. Teachers will be paid more, and will be more accountable.

See previous post on CTU strike.

In Chicago, Outline for a Deal on Teacher’s Contract
New York Times
September 14, 2012

Five days into the teachers’ strike that has halted classes for 350,000 public school students across this city, leaders on both sides of a contract fight said Friday afternoon that they had an outline in place for an agreement that could clear the way for schools to reopen Monday.

Robert Bloch, the attorney for the teachers’ union, said that both sides were still working out the details but that union officials were “hopeful” that they could present a complete agreement to the union’s house of delegates on Sunday.

“This has been one of the most difficult labor contracts negotiated in decades,” he said when asked why negotiations had taken so long.

Emerging from the negotiating room shortly after Mr. Bloch, David J. Vitale, president of the Chicago Board of Education, said, “The heavy lifting is over and the framework is in place.” Later, he added that parents “should be prepared to have their kids in school by Monday.”

The two sides broke up for the day but plan to reconvene Saturday morning in Mr. Bloch’s office to work out the remaining details...

Among the proposed changes, according to schools officials: teachers’ raises would average 16 percent over four years at a cost of $320 million, as had already been offered, but would be distributed differently; health insurance rates would not rise for teachers with families, as had been planned, if the union agreed to take part in a wellness program; and an appeals process would be created for teacher evaluations, which have been a significant area of disagreement...

Rahm Emanuel: Rahmbo at the School Barricades
Chicago mayor and Obama confidant Rahm Emanuel explains his cool approach to the city's teachers strike.
Wall Street Journal
September 14, 2012

...Members of the Chicago Teachers Union will reportedly receive 16% raises, over three years, in exchange for accepting a new teacher-evaluation system that relies partly, but not heavily, on student test scores...

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