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Raise Your Hand coalition explains why the CTU strike authorization vote is happening today

In the middle of all the cacaphony about the strike authorization voting being done on June 6 - June 8, 2012 by members of the Chicago Teachers Union, parent groups have been explaining how they feel, while the public is being bombarded with expensive messages from Astroturf groups like "Democrats for Education Reform" (DFER) which get their money from millionaires and billionaires. One of the real grass roots groups in Chicago, "Raise Your Hand," put out an explanation of what's going on to its members, most of whom are real parents (who are really active in real public schools), and it's worth reading. Of most important note is that Stand for Children is exposing the fact that the Board of Education is refusing to discuss things like class size at the bargaining table, and how the current structure of Illinois law bars the Chicago Teachers Union from negotiating over those items unless the Board agrees.

Clearly, as the following message helps show, the recent statements by Jean-Claude Brizard need to be examined very closely. Why isn't Brizard negotiating (he hasn't been at the table)? Why won't Brizard talk about class size and other major issues? (They will not be a part of the report from the "fact finding").

HERE IS WHAT RAISE YOUR HAND SAYS:

On today's strike authorizaton vote

We have received many questions on whether we support today’s strike authorization vote. Many parents are confused about what this vote means. Here is our viewpoint:

The vote today does not mean that there will definitely be a strike. It only authorizes a strike in the event that the two parties cannot come to an agreement when fact-finding is completed later this summer. We urge both sides to take every measure possible to avoid a strike.

If the CTU waits until mid-July to vote, all of the teachers who are away will be counted as NO votes. The many who are retiring won't get to cast a vote. In other words, all members will not be able to vote. Per recent legislation, the CTU now needs to get 75% of their full membership to vote- not just 75% of those who vote.

Only the city has the ability to introduce “permissible” items in the contract. If the negotiations are limited to only pay and benefits, there is much less to bargain over (class size, schedules for teachers, protecting breaks, etc.).

We are not making specific recommendations for what is included in the contract but we do think opening up the negotiations will benefit our kids. Where is the fair compromise? We are not saying the contract should remain the same as before; we are saying these parties can and should work maturely together to figure this out. Nobody wants a strike in the fall, but that is going to take leadership and compromise from both sides.

There are a lot of statements in the press from people asking teachers to wait for the fact-finders to make their recommendations. The problem with this is that the fact-finders can only make recommendations about what the city allows in the contract. All of the focus is on pay and benefits when there is much more at stake that is not being addressed in the press.

We know people often want a very clear pro or anti statement. We are dealing with complicated issues here and the details will impact our kids.

CALENDAR ITEM:

We are having a forum on Monday June 11th at Haas Park in Logan Square-2409 N. Washtenaw at 6:30pm to in part discuss this. If you want to attend, email us at info@ilraiseyourhand.org.

Support our Cause:

Help us combat special interest groups and bureaucracy that stand in the way of progress, and help ensure long-term, sustainable education funding.



Comments:

June 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM

By: Anton Antoszek

Beware of the snakes at McClellan Elementary

People to watch out for at McClellan Elementary are Local School Council Teacher Rep Joyce McNeil and the tergiversator House Slave principal for scaretron and common whore standards Joseph Shoffner.

If there is any punitive actions or punishments toward any of the staff for voting yes on this strike authorization, you can start looking in the direction of these two piles of bile.

If there are any acts of vote suppression or vote fraud, you can start your investigation with these sycophants.

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