Feb 1, 2016
Chicago Public Schools wants to take 170 million dollars a year in concessions from teachers in a new contract. At the time of this writing, we don’t know the details, but it’s clear – this is a huge pay cut.
For months, CPS has been making threats, saying that without relief, they would shut down – first in November, then in December, then in January. They threatened massive teacher layoffs again and again. In fact, it was a propaganda campaign, aimed at softening up the teachers to make them accept cuts.
CPS claims it’s short of money. Of course – the small amount they have goes to the banks for loans no one in their right mind would make – unless they were really working for the banks, not the schools.
And the schools are underfunded even before that. Huge amounts of tax money that should go to the schools gets siphoned off into slush funds called TIFs, for Tax Increment Financing. The mayor can give this money to whoever he wants – usually, to developers.
The banks get paid, the developers get paid – the schools come last. That’s CPS policy.
Chicago teachers have no interest in taking concessions – that road leads to hell. Just like the road to hell, every time you give something up, you set yourself up to give up even more. These are teachers who have stood up before, with support from parents and students. Hopefully, they will do it again.