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Friday, June 19, 2009

Historic victory in Chicago

No, I'm not talking about the Cubs coming back from 7 down to beat Cleveland.

It's all about teachers at Civitas Charter Schools voting 73-49 for their union. The vote represents a major breakthrough in the nationwide struggle by charter school teachers for previously-denied collective bargaining rights.

The teachers had to overcome some slick maneuvering by the for-profit charter company. They had their initial union card signing effort stalled when Civitas, a private subsidiary of Chicago International Charter Schools, went before the NLRB and claimed they were a "private employer" and therefore charter school teachers were not public employees like all other public school teachers and that their IFT bargaining unit shouldn't couldn't be recognized. The NLRB agreed and forced a secret-ballot election. The rest, as they say, is history. Congratulations, Civitas teachers.

Chicago's school reform "miracle" not for everyone
Mary Ann Pollett, principal of Moses Montefiore Special Elementary School, testified before the City Council's Committee on Education and Child Development that officials have discouraged teachers at her school from reporting students' disabilities because it is too expensive to deal with them. (Chi-Town Daily News)

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