After 25 Years, Chicago Teachers Are Officially on Strike!

Chicago teachers could not reach a decision between the city and the union and will be on strike for the first time in 25 years, Monday, September 10, 2012.

The Department of Education is going to be the next item on the menu of the campaign trail for President Obama as well as Mitt Romney.  There’s been a lot of talk about the country’s deficit, but not how each state in the country’s education system is falling by the wayside in the wake of our economic woes.  Let’s face it, there has always been one complaint or another about our schools from overcrowding to poor conditions.

But now Chicago’s public school system is buckling under a tug-o-war of the city’s resources that have been promised to them, then re-negotiated away by President Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff gone Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.  The union went to bat for the teachers, but to no avail, the items that were on the table were denied.  One of the most important issues was a pay increase for the teachers.

Last year, Emanuel promised a four percent pay increase, but rescinded the offer explaining there were budget issues preventing that promise from being fulfilled.  The district offered a  two percent pay raise and the union found that unacceptable and countered with a 30 percent pay raise over two years, but negotiated down to 19 percent in the first contract year.  Still, no cigar!

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis came away from a full day of failed talks saying:

“This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could have avoided,” she said. “We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve.”

Power to the students!!  Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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