According to the Chicago Tribune key issues separating Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union:
SALARIES AND BENEFITS. The district offered 16 percent increase over four years and “modified step increases that both reward experience and provide better incentives for mid-career teachers.” The union said it’s closer on pay but is still concerned about rising health care costs and other benefits. Teachers sought a substantial raise in the contract’s first year because of the longer day and want to keep raises for experience.
This is insane. There is no one in the private sector who’s planning on seeing a 16% increase in their income over the next four years. Plus these people make tons of money already!
A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said average pay for teachers, without benefits, is $76,000.
via CBS Chicago.
The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Considering a regular school term of 40 weeks, at 6.25 hours per day…. The way I figure that’s $76,000.00 / (6.25 * 200) = $60.80 / hour. Plus they get benefits — excellent benefits.
So what we have is a group of people who on average make over $60/hour — the highest paid teachers in the nation — and are complaining about it.
JOB SECURITY. The union has pushed for a system to recall teachers who have been laid off when new openings occur. This has become important because of rumors the district plans to close up to 100 schools in coming years. The district says teachers displaced by school closings will be eligible for a job at new schools if there is a vacancy — or may elect to take a three-month severance.
I got some news for the CTU: CPS is dying. For the second year in a row, CPS is taking the maximum possible increase to property taxes permitted by law. Further, Chicago is shrinking and here.
There is no job security when you’re product is crappy & overpriced. People do not want to live in a place where they’re taxed to death to fund under-performing public schools. At CPS just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading and only 56 percent of students who enter their freshman year of high school wind up graduating. If you want job security you need to excel at what you do… not completely suck at it.
TEACHER EVALUATIONS. The union wants to lower how much student performance contributes to evaluations. CPS has said the new evaluation system, created in collaboration with teachers, was negotiated and settled in March under state law.
I happen to know a few people who are tight with a couple of principals in the CPS system. The first things they will tell you is that it is impossible to get rid of a bad teacher. Everyone knows this. So to improve schools CPS and CTU sat down and came up with a system to evaluate teachers back in March. Now, CTU has decided that it doesn’t like the system it already agreed to.
Not only is the Teachers’ Union is specifically fighting to keep bad teachers in the classroom but it breaking a promise it already made.
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The only possible explanation for all this is that CTU cares very very little about education. There is no talk about reducing class sizes, getting new blackboards, reimbursement for further education, or improving safety in the schools. Nope. It’s all about money & clout. Money & clout. Protecting their own at all costs.
CTU is nothing but a bunch of bullies. Rahm should treat them as such.