There was a packed house at Luther Memorial Church last night for the forum on the current teacher contract negotiations. Parents 4 Teachers called the meeting and invited members of the CTU's negotiating teach along with Board Pres. David Vitale and acting schools CEO Jesse Ruiz (Byrd-Bennett is still in hiding). Vitale & Ruiz were no-shows.
CTU's Jesse Sharkey started it off, saying the negotiations are going poorly. The board is stalling. While there's a very real revenue crisis and it's questionable if the board can even afford to open schools in the fall, CPS is "broke on purpose".
|Packed house at Luther Memorial last night.|
They won't tax the LaSalle St. "gamblers", but instead are relying on illegal retiree pension take-backs and casino gambling profits for needed revenue."We're looking for 3% pay increase", says Sharkey. "They're offering 7% cut."
No room for serious negotiations here. So what kind of game is Rahm and the board playing?
Members of the negotiating team made it clear that they're putting much more than teacher pay on the table. Union demands include:
- Limitations on yearly testing, including an end to testing pre-K and kindergarten kids.
- Libraries and school nurses in every school.
- Social (restorative) justice coordinators to deal with discipline issues as an alternative to the school/prison pipeline.
- Full access to early childhood education for all kids.
- More community schools. Stop charter expansion.
- $15 minimum wage for lowest-paid school staffers.
- Save our pensions
Every union demand was greeted with cheers from the crowd of teachers and parents.