The Chicago Teachers Victory
As you may or may not be aware, the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel have been embroiled in a bitter dispute, with Emanuel backing many of the nonsensical anti-labor and school “reform” ideas that have swept the nation. Earlier this week the CTU won a stunning victory. From Diane Ravitch:
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.
That last line is the lesson that PJSTA members can take from this situation. Across the country we are facing battles on many fronts. Issues dealing with the labor movement, issues dealing with education policy. We will accomplish great things standing together. It is the only way that we can combat the billionaires funding the push to destroy public education and unions as a whole.