Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago teachers strike

Chicago teachers are currently on strike. They are taking this action even though on average, they make around $76,000 a year + benefits (health care plans etc). This benefits package is the most generous teacher compensation of any major American city. 

Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, wants to make mild reforms to Chicago's rotting education system - seeking improved teacher quality control and trying to ensure that bad teachers lose the right to a lifetime job. Except, the union isn't willing to play ball. Instead, they believe that their members are entitled to unaffordable benefits, lack of standards and the absence of any responsibility to teach well. Put simply, the teacher's union doesn't give a $$$$ about Chicago children. Instead, they care about maintaining their never ending ride on the greed train. 

As if these facts didn't make the situation bad enough, Chicago also faces a severe budgetary crisis. Without any changes, this year's education budget will be around $1 billion in the red. As a 'compromise', Emanuel offered the teachers union an effective 16% rise over 4 years. Yes, you read it right. The teachers are already the best paid of any American city, the education budget is already $1 billion short and the teachers already get 3 months paid holiday each year - but according to Emanuel, a 16% rise is still justifiable. Yet, as absurdly generous as this offer is, the union refuses to accept a deal that requires higher teaching standards. Improved responsibility is something that this particular union will never stand for that.

The teacher's union is unapologetic. But they should be. Many of the children they're supposed to be educating already have to deal with terrible crime rates. Now they can't even go to school.



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