Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Union contract up for grabs as CPS board meets today

Protest rocks Chicago CFO Summit

In, the wake of yesterday's protests, the seven-member Chicago school board, hand-picked by the mayor, will meet for the first time today and  decide whether to rescind a 4 percent pay raise for teachers which was agreed on in the contract that expires next year. 18 different unions and groups including the Chicago Teachers Union, the SEIU, and a group called Stand Up Chicago helped organize the demonstration.
"The CFOs up in the building right now having a conference, collectively their companies made over $200 billion in profits last year," said demonstrator Casey Murphy. "Executive compensation and bonuses over a billion, and in the meantime it's almost 10 percent unemployment in this country." 
Participants say the corporations attending the event have taken money from chicago's working families -- homes and schools.
"We're just saying that we need to put real priorities into place. It should be our kids before the bankers and everybody else," said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. -- ABC News
Pam Coleman, a teacher at Solomon School on the Northwest Side, said attempts to deny the raise are a way to force other changes.
"I think they're using the 4 percent as a way to break the contract. Once they open the contract, all the other things will be open to discussion," such as moving to extend the school day as early as this fall, she said Tuesday at a union protest against corporations that, union members say, have gotten tax breaks and bailouts on the backs of public education. -- Tribune

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