Though the district is trying to close a $200 million budget deficit, and has reneged on a negotiated 4 percent raise for the teachers, that is not the rallying cry for the district. Instead, CPS sends out notices trumpeting the fact that teachers at individual schools are voting for longer school hours, succumbing to the siren call of 2 percent bonuses offered by the district. If all of the schools voted that way, it would cost $100 million ... which would pay for the raises. So far, nine schools (out of 650) have taken the bait, even though it undermines the only weapon a union has to advocate for its members - solidarity.The Defender editorial sees the assault on the CTU being partially connected with race and gender issues.
Why target CTU? Hopefully it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that 76.6 percent of CPS teachers are female. Hopefully it has nothing to do with the fact that 29.6 percent of CPS teachers are African American (down from 40 percent in 2002).
Seeing members of the Pastors United for Change cozying up with Ald. Richard Mell (one of the [racist faction that opposed Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington--M.K.] Vdrolyak 29) was particularly disheartening. Even some of the city’s labor union heads - most of whom don’t send their kids to Chicago Public Schools - came out in support of a longer school day.