Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In response to war on unions, the CTU prepares its troops for battle

"Our plan will eliminate the big government unions entirely..." -- Scott Walker
Gov. Rauner's war on the unions, especially teacher unions, is modeled on his pal, Gov. Walker's war in Wisconsin. Walker's plans include preventing federal workers from collective bargaining, creating a national right-to-work law and eliminating the National Labor Relations Board. He has already succeeded in taking away teacher collective-bargaining rights.

Unlike Walker, Rauner is facing a Democrat-controlled legislature. So he is holding the state budget hostage in an effort to get Democrats to crush the CTU and other public employee unions in exchange for releasing badly-needed state funds. The question is, will Dem political bosses Madigan and Cullerton go along with the sociopath governor in exchange for a budget deal. So far they have resisted. With 2016 elections on the horizon, there are not many Democrats in Springfield who are ready to go back to their districts and face the wrath of union constituents and their families.

Capitol Fax's Rich Miller writes in Crain's:
The governor cannot win this fight in the pro-union, Democratic stronghold of the Legislature. All he's doing in the meantime is making those unions even stronger as their members become more and more fired up.
CTU V.P. Jesse Sharkey tells teachers to prepare for a strike.
I hope Miller is right. But not so sure. Without strong, militant resistance from the unions and allies, the Dems may cave. Remember in 2011 when many of them took campaign money from union-busters, Stand For Children and DFER. Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law SB7 praising the bill for “historic reforms” that “put Illinois at the forefront of education reform” such as teacher evaluations standards and making it harder for the Chicago Teachers Union to strike.

Fifteen months later, CTU staged their first strike in 25 years with support coming from parents and community groups across the city.

Then Dems voted for and passed (shockingly with support from many state union officials) unconstitutional pension-theft legislation that was ultimately thrown out by the supreme court.

The next battle ground will be Chicago where Rahm Emanuel seems more than willing to appease Rauner. His hand-picked schools chief Forrest Claypool just announced (to Rauner??) that he is about to fire 5,000 CPS teachers. It's a move that will be a crushing blow to what's left of CPS and destabilize the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and their families.

Let's hope Chicago teachers respond in kind once again and that the CTU gets the support they need from community allies and local pols if another teacher strike is necessary.


  1. The fight is called. Who will answer the bell? CTU brothers and sisters, we need to fight!! Stand and fight!

  2. Both Rahm and Ruiner really want a strike, and Rahm is, I'm sure, already far better prepared than before to go to war with the CTU with the aid of his deep pocketed allies like DFER and the rest of the donor/hedge fund class. Both opf these neoliberal corporate suits get the same thing out of a strike, bloodied unions and more charter schools which will remain open and will be pumping out the propaganda. Between Rahm and Ruiner it's bad cop, worse cop.

  3. Whether Rahm/Rauner want a strike or not, CTU leaders are doing the right thing by preparing teachers for one.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.