Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicago prepares for possible strike

Chicago teachers on strike in 1967
Chicago hasn't had a teachers strike since 1987. But strikes were once a common occurrence here. The CTU led nine strikes from 1969 to 1987. In those days, parent and community anger was often directed at the striking teachers. As I remember it, back in '69 even lots of teachers wouldn't show up for for picket duty because they thought such actions were beneath their dignity.

Times have changed. Yesterday's 90% strike authorization vote is but one indicator of how widespread and how deep the anger of teachers has grown in response to the Rahm-led aggressive assault on their collective bargaining rights and on the very future of their profession.

Just as importantly, many parents and community members get it. I've been to two meetings in the past two days, just in my neighborhood alone, of angry parents and community groups. Only this time around, parent anger isn't directed at the teachers or their union, but at the mayor, his hand-picked board and CEO J.C. Brizard.

Parents voice support for teachers at neighborhood meeting. Called for an elected school board.  (M. Klonsky pic)
At yesterday's meeting of the Raise Your Hand Coalition, parents and teachers began to plan for a possible strike. Many signed petitions calling for an elected school board and others planned for community-based child care and education programs along with strike support. As I pointed out in my post below, parents are furious about the barrage of robo-calls attacking the teacher vote, which they received in the past week. The calls came from anti-union groups using phone numbers of CPS parents given to them by Brizard's people.

The violation of their privacy rights has not only led to possible legal action against the board, but has backfired and has pushed parents and teachers that much closer. 

 Don't miss PURE's angry response to the CPS anti-teacher media blitz now going on, including their dragging out of a "CPS Mommy" on Huffington who attacks Jesse Jackson and Matt Damon and refers to teacher union supporters as "bouncers" and "midgets."

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