|CPS broke on purpose. Claypool has no juice.|
As Chicago teachers take their strike vote this week, CEO Forrest Claypool and Rahm's hand-picked school board, are refusing to negotiate a contract with the CTU. In a way, it's hard to blame 'em. Broke-on-purpose CPS has little with which to negotiate and Claypool has no political juice.
The board's bargaining position has been badly weakened by a mayor who has autocratic control over the schools, but whose own credibility rating is currently lower than snail shit. Not to mention, Claypool's predecessor is facing prison time and a new federal Civil Rights investigation underway over violations by Rahm's police department.
Today, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, saying they’re ready to enlist the negotiating help of a fact-finding panel that’s part of a lengthy process laid out by state law. The union had asked Chicago Public Schools in late November to seek the fact-finder to hammer out a new contract to replace the one that expired on June 30.
Is the CTU still looking for a one-year contract as opposed to CPS’s preference for a multi-year contract?It’s irrelevant now. We’re almost halfway done with the school year. And how do you sign a deal with a broke company, broke on purpose.
What do you mean, “broke on purpose”?CPS has chosen to spend money in ways that are not the best. Take the longer school day and school year. Rahm couldn’t afford it but did it because he was determined. Or the $200 million spent on an Aramark [cleaning] contract when they didn’t even calculate square footage, and the buildings are nastier than before. CPS has not sought revenue options that are readily available. [She mentions reconfiguring TIFs, suing banks over toxic swaps, imposing a commuter tax, and closing corporate loopholes as revenue options.]
CPS CEO Forrest Claypool first announced that 500 teacher layoffs and cuts to programs would be made by Thanksgiving. Now the date has been pushed back to early February. What changed?He realized you can’t do schools with 500 layoffs. Who’s going to put the grades in? It’s just posturing. This is part of Claypool’s knowing nothing about education.
Do you talk much to Claypool?I don’t. I’ve just had a couple of conversations with him, fewer than with Barbara Byrd-Bennett, or even [previous CPS CEOs Jean-Claude] Brizard or [Ron] Huberman. Huberman was a technocrat but I had more contact with him.
I think Claypool was an unfortunate choice. He doesn’t really understand things that need to be done. It’s all about my boys and cronyism getting a residence waiver for his top guy. These guys say they have to work with their people. It’s completely opposite of what we do. We don’t control which kids are in the classroom. We have to figure out how to work with them.Let's see if the teachers' strike vote gets things moving.