Listen to Hitting Left with guest Matt Farmer

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tribune's Zorn calls for union surrender

Bad advice from Eric


The Trib's Eric Zorn is way off base in calling on the CTU to surrender and withdraw it's complaint to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board regarding Rahm's fraudulent longer-school-day waiver elections. He claims:
"Losing this legal battle would be better for the Chicago Teachers Union, though it would stand to weaken its position should similar fights erupt over other issues in years to come. Graciously surrendering now would be best."
Zorn is well aware of what's going on.
Administrators have been going school by school offering incentives to staffs that vote to work a longer day. It's analogous to the owner of a unionized factory going department by department and offering bonuses and other goodies to workers who agree to ignore major parts of their labor deals. Such an effort makes an end-run around contractual rights and takes the "collective" out of collective bargaining.
So why then does he call on the union to surrender? He's worried that in winning the legal battle and getting a court injunction against this latest City Hall election bribery scam, the union would lose the PR battle. Teachers will be falsely portrayed as wanting a shorter school day or defending the status quo.

In the short run, he may be right. The mayor currently owns the embedded press corps (save a few) and the media has continued to repeat his claim that too little seat time is what's ailing the city's schools. They have all but ignored the union's counter plan for a longer school day with an enriched curriculum (missing from Rahm's more seat-time plan). And they have portrayed his wins in only 9 schools as glorious victories with hardly a word about where the bribe money has come from. That scenario isn't likely to change if the union backs off.

While the CTU could certainly stand a better PR strategy, the push-back (in the courtroom and in the streets) on the mayor's contract-busting is a good struggle, one being fought on just grounds and deserving of community support.

Thanks, but no thanks, for the advice, Eric. Teachers are fed up with "graciously surrendering."

5 comments:

  1. Graciously surrender to a 30% time increase for a 2% salary increase? After they unilaterally denied a negotiated 4% increase?

    The absurdity boggles the mind.

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  2. Mayor Emanuel's manipulation of the teacher survey vote rivals the worst voting fraud under the old Dem machine in Chicago. This could mark the end of public education as we know it.

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  3. Who is Eric Zorn? And why does he think he is the person to provide strategic advice to the teachers union? Isn't the Tribune a conservative, anti-union, newspaper? From what I hear, his own paper could use some PR advice since it appears to be on the brink of collapse.

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  4. Trib reporters quoted lawyers saying the CTU has a good case against the mayor. But a columnist think it's time to quit b/c the court of law is less important than the court of public opinion?

    Last I checked, the mayor hadn't asked parents what they thought. He hadn't asked teachers what they thought, either.

    Quitting isn't an option. It would just shove under the rug the question of whether CPS should have a longer day of real quality.

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  5. Zorn's column actually makes the case for the CTU.

    "Administrators have been going school by school offering incentives to staffs that vote to work a longer day. It's analogous to the owner of a unionized factory going department by department and offering bonuses and other goodies to workers who agree to ignore major parts of their labor deals. Such an effort makes an end-run around contractual rights and takes the 'collective' out of collective bargaining.

    ReplyDelete

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