Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike

School BusIt's just been announced that negotiations between Chicago teachers and the school board have broken down and the teachers will go on strike on Monday.  I'm not up on the details of the negotiations--which seems to have turned sour when the mayor rescinded a previously negotiated raise--but I predict that the union is going to lose the PR battle on this one.  Some of the announced raise demands (now 19% in first year the schools' latest offer is 4% increases over the next four years), for instance, is not going to play well in this economy no matter what the details are.  Stay tuned.


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Actually, it looks like 4% a year for 4 years. Compounded, that's not far off from 19% over 4 years.

Posted by: Tor | Sep 10, 2012 3:05:12 AM

Thanks. The article I cited to initially must have been wrong, as they removed that raise demand info in the latest version.

Posted by: Jeff Hirsch | Sep 10, 2012 7:46:54 AM

From the reporting I've seen the sticking point isn't money at all but a new 'evaluation' system for teachers that relies on standardizes tests and will be skewed by students' socio-economic backgrounds.

Posted by: Chris Davidson | Sep 10, 2012 9:14:07 AM

There are also issues relating to health insurance, longer school days and job security - Chicago has over the last years closed many public schools and opened, in their place, charter schools that hire non-union teachers. I have a friend on the picket line.

Posted by: anne | Sep 10, 2012 5:15:30 PM

This is very unfortunate as 350,000 children are locked out of schools, and this of course puts strain on employers as countless employees may not be able to make it to work due to child care concerns. Ultimately, there needs to be a better and more time-sensitive dispute resolution process incorporated into the CBA to deal with these issues before they are elavated to this level!

Posted by: Kendall Isaac | Sep 11, 2012 6:59:59 AM

As I understand it, the employer was prosing to increase hours of work and the union was asking that employees be proportionally compensated for any such increase in hours, which is only fair and is completely consistent with principled bargaining. Obviously there are other issues as well. Labor needs a win badly. Any victory here is likely to be equivocal but if you cannot win a well-organized public sector strike in Chicago, labor power has really reached a low point.

Posted by: JohnC-O | Sep 13, 2012 8:59:35 AM

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