Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A strike is avoidable if Rahm "finds" the money

Google hosted this "fireside chat" with Rahm when he was running for mayor. 
He easily finds it for corporate cronies

Rahm/Brizard have already folded in their attempt to force CPS teachers to work a longer day and year without additional pay. But a settlement in contract negotiations is still problematic and a teachers strike is still possible, especially if Rahm keeps claiming that there's no money for teacher pay increases, as recommended by the mediator last month.

Rahm keeps speaking out of both sides of his mouth, one day playing poor-mouth and the next day finding millions to lavish on his corporate cronies. Just last week, the mayor found 5.2 of those millions in TIF dollars (the mayor's personal slush fund) to give to his pal and appointed school board member Penny Pritzker, to help subsidize her new (anti-union) Hyatt Hotel.

Today's Sun-Times carries a front-page story bashing Rahm for the tax-break deal he cut with Google-owned Motorola. Rahm and Motorola promised that the deal to move company headquarters to Chicago's Merchandise Mart would produce 3,000 new jobs. Instead comes the news that Google is laying off 4,000 workers -- 750 of them at Motorola Mobility. That's 20% of the company's global workforce and rumors abound that Google is planning to sell off Motorola's cable division altogether (in case you thought it was just Bain and Romney who did that).

Since taking office 15 months ago, Emanuel has cut hundreds of good-paying, public sector jobs while relentlessly pursuing, low-paying, non-union, private-sector jobs which quickly evaporate.

Fran Spielman reports:
In the nearly three weeks since Motorola Mobility announced plans to move 3,000 employees from Libertyville to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, Emanuel has touted the jobs coup as “game-changing” proof that Chicago was poised to become the “digital capital of the Midwest.”
 Equally damaging, the corporation the mayor touted as the rock-solid anchor for the Mart’s “technology campus” has been unmasked as a somewhat shaky company in need of a turn-around after losses in 14 of the last 16 quarters.
Did someone say turn-around? Maybe Motorola needs to bring in school turn-around specialists AUSL, Rahm's go-to guys when it comes firing teachers and principals and using "school reform" to gentrify the black community.

As for money for schools and teachers pay, Rahm knows where to find it if he's pushed hard enough. If you read between the lines, he even admits it.

Spielman and Roz Rossi report:
As he has for weeks, Emanuel again declined to explain Monday where he will find the $40 million to $50 million needed to hire the extra teachers to staff the longer school day. He would say only that the system would find the money to protect his signature education initiative when it hammers out the rest of the teacher contract.
"Find the money" indeed. It's probably in an envelope somewhere in a desk drawer or file cabinet.


  1. What are you talking about? The mediator recommended that huge pay raise for teachers because of working extra time. Since the teachers will not be working any extra time, their raise should be 0. Rahm is being generous offering them 2% per year for nothing.

  2. Anon,
    For nothing? You obviously have never taught. Plus you have bought into the notion of Rahm as benevolent benefactor. He is not being "generous" because the money is not his to give. Teachers deserve a raise, not out of kindness or charity, but because they work so hard above and beyond the hours they officially put in. They also had their 4% raise they won in the last contract taken back. You need to rethink you view of teachers and of Rahm.

  3. D.J.,

    You obviously never worked in a real job, where you don't get 3 different kinds of raises just for punching the clock.
    Most people have to work hard and produce some results before getting more money, but you don't. Failing schools churn out failing students year after year, but the teachers in them get their annual increases on schedule.

    And I'm sure that some teachers work extra hours every night, but most don't, and that's why they are making so much noise about having to eat lunch at school and the additional 30 minutes they have to be on the clock.

    Finally, let's do some math. The teachers have already received 19-46% raise from the last contract, and adding 4% percent would increase that to 23-50%. Are you kidding me? What gives you the right to defraud the taxpayers like this, in the failing economy, and in the nearly bankrupt state of Illinois?

  4. Every teacher works extra hours every night. The dirty little secret about public school teaching is that it is impossible to accomplish what is necessary during the paid school day. The districts know this. They expect teachers to work at home.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.