"We're particularly disappointed that the CTU leadership has given Governor Rauner more ammunition in his misguided attempt to bankrupt and take over Chicago Public Schools." -- CPS CEO Forrest ClaypoolRauner is holding the state school budget hostage, driving school districts to the edge of bankruptcy, threatening the closures of state colleges and universities like Chicago State, and forcing social-service agencies to close their doors. His ransom demand for release of the budget is that Democrats agree to void union contracts and bust the teacher unions entirely.
So far, Rep. Madigan and Sen. Cullerton haven't caved. But despite being personally debased by the governor, Rahm Emanuel still does his his best to appease Rauner. His 3-day furlough and Good Friday school closing, right in the middle of contract negotiations, is meant as a signal of acquiescence. The forced furlough days came after the District announced 62 layoffs, along with $120 million in cuts to its central office and school budgets.
Rather than allow this "death by 1000 cuts" or wait until they are legally allowed to strike on May 23rd, the CTU has called for a Day of Action on April 1st to protest this violation of the collective bargaining agreement and demand funding for Chicago's embattled schools. Yesterday, the union's House of Delegates voted to support the leadership's call for a walkout.
Statements of support are coming in from parents and community groups around the city. McDonald’s employees fighting for a living wage, will also be acting in concert with the CTU on this. But will the other unions will follow suit? IEA? IFT? SEIU? AFSCME? I doubt it.
The CTU says that both Rahm and Rauner are ignoring millions of dollars in “viable revenue options,” which include a financial transaction tax, a statewide graduated income tax, using TIF surplus money, and suing banks over bad interest rate deals known as “toxic swaps,” which have cost the city millions of dollars.
Instead, they both continue to try and grab teachers' pensions. Rahm's latest attempt to go after city workers's pensions was shot down this morning when the IL Supreme Court once again ruled his scheme unconstitutional.
Now, to top off CPS's capitulation, CEO Claypool is blaming the union for giving Rauner "ammunition" in his attempt to bankrupt and take over the schools. As if he needed any. The same nonsense is repeated by the Sun-Times editors.
If you don't hit it, it won't fall.