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CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE
POSTED BY EIZ ON TUESDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER, 2012, 19:40 PM
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      posted at 2:41 pm on September 11, 2012 by Mike Antonucci. The members of the Chicago
      Teachers Union went on strike this morning. It's difficult to call this a surprise after virtually every
      voting member of the rank-and-file authorized it in ...


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CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE
Posted byo Eiz n Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 19:40 PM


 




                                                                 posted at 2:41 pm on September 11, 2012
                                                                 by Mike AntonucciThe members of the
                                                                 Chicago Teachers Union went on strike
                                                                 this morning. It’s difficult to call this a
                                                                 surprise after virtually every voting member
                                                                 of the rank-and-file authorized it in June.I
                                                                 am not best situated to opine on what
                                                                 exactly caused the strike, but it appears
                                                                 t h a t t h o s e “i n t h e k n o w”  have widely
                                                                 diverging accounts of what the sticking
                                                                 points actually are. Alexander Russo, who
                                                                 runs the Chicago-centric District 299 blog,
                                                                 suggests that maybe one side or the
      other, or both, wanted a strike for their own purposes.That’s not to say this is all a stage play – just
      that some of this stuff only rose to the level of a “strike-able” issue because of the political climate
      and the personalities involved. As Arne Duncan will testify, negotiations between the Chicago
      Public Schools and the union have often been acrimonious, but they never quite reached the
      exploding point. Few remember now that CTU members authorized a strike in 2003, but a contract
      settlement was reached soon after.What’s different now is that we live in a post-Occupy world
      where any occasion for the airing of grievances is the occasion for the airing of any grievance.
      Some CTU members are upset about pay. Some about class size. Some about standardized
      tests. Some about Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Some about Evil Corporate Puppetmasters. Since going
      out into the street and screaming is normally frowned upon, a strike is the perfect solution. Instead
      of going to work and subjecting yourself to the things that make you angry, you line up with your
      buddies and yell at the boss all day.The stars aligned when CTU members elected Karen Lewis
      and her CORE slate to power. Lewis stood for genuine union militancy at a time when previous
      regimes were considered to be sellouts.I wrote back then that “Lewis’s election may have large
      implications for the Chicago Public Schools. Her politics are significantly to the left of the machine
      Democrats who run the city and the school system. ‘What drives school reform is a single focus on
      profit. Profit. Not teaching, not learning, profit,’  she said in her post-election press conference.”I
      believed that Lewis would join a long list of union outsiders who quickly became insiders. I was
      wrong about that. Oh, she almost did, but she learned that her muscular activism filled a niche left
      empty by Illinois and national teacher union leaders. She may be AFT’s most well-known local
      president.In the short-term, strikes favor the union. Parents don’t have any pull with the union, so
      when they are inconvenienced they complain to the district and the city. The pressure on
      “management” to settle up is strong. But as the days extend into weeks, and the first paycheck is

				
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Description: Chicago Teachers Strike - The members of the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike this morning. It's difficult to call this a surprise after virtually every voting member of the rank-and-file authorized it in ...