Strike Out

The story so far…
Wisconsin Governor Walker eliminated collective bargaining for teachers and survived a recall this year by a greater margin than when he was first elected. Indiana became a right to work state, breaking the teachers’ union this year. Ohio almost followed Wisconsin down the anti-union path, but labor managed a rare victory. The latest front is in Michigan, where organized labor is trying to get voters to make collective bargaining a right guaranteed by the state constitution.
What is happening in Illinois is more subtle. Former Chicago CEO and charter school advocate, Arne Duncan, was not popular with the Chicago Teachers’ Union. His elevation to Secretary of Education had many Chicago teachers shaking their heads…and fists.
Last year was even worse for the union. Mayor Emanuel and his appointed school board rescinded the teachers’ 4 percent pay increase. Illinois Senate Bill 7- a bill that required 75% of all union members to approve a strike and made Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to the lengthen the school day and year non-negotiable. Teachers were ready to strike. Union negotiators talking about being disrespected only added to the indignation. It’s almost as if the union was intentionally being goaded into a strike during the Great Recession to make it appear greedy and out of touch. Another midwestern domino is poised to come crashing down in the educational deform movement’s war on public education.

September 11, 2012. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.