Friday, October 18, 2019

Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Conditions for Students and to Protest Decades of Anti-CTU Policies | janresseger

Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Conditions for Students and to Protest Decades of Anti-CTU Policies | janresseger

Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Conditions for Students and to Protest Decades of Anti-CTU Policies

After 94 percent of its members voted in late September to authorize a strike, and now, after two more weeks of intense contract negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) went on strike yesterday.  WBEZ’s Sarah Karp reports that differences remain over manageable class size and teacher assistants’ salaries, along with chronic shortages of support staff needed to serve Chicago’s children—school nurses, librarians, counselors, and social workers.
Chicago’s teachers are striking for the second time in a decade—fighting to turn back a quarter century of school policy that has demonized teachers and their unions and substituted corporate-style governance reforms, school closures, and the expansion of charter schools at the expense of the traditional public schools where they teach.
In his 2014 book, Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity, Micah Uetricht describes Stand for Children’s executive director, Jonah Edelman bragging (in a videotaped interview) at the Aspen Ideas Festival about how, in 2011, his Oregon-based, astroturf organization hired lobbyists in Springfield, Illinois to ensure passage of a law crippling the Chicago Teacher’s Union by requiring a 75 percent vote by a union’s membership to authorize a strike: “‘In effect, they wouldn’t have the ability to strike,’ Edelman says matter-of-factly in the tape. ‘They will never be able to muster the 75 percent threshold.'” (Strike for America, p. 61)  Edelman’s taunt only challenged CTU’s membership, which authorized the 2012 Chicago Teachers’ Strike by 90 percent of the union’s members.
Edelman’s effort was the second time in recent decades when corporate reformers in Springfield lashed out specifically at Chicago’s teachers union. In a 2016 book, A Fight for the Soul of Public Education: The Story of the Chicago Teachers Strike, University of Illinois CONTINUE READING: Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Conditions for Students and to Protest Decades of Anti-CTU Policies | janresseger

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