Jun 18, 2012
Chicago parents received a blitz of propaganda asking them to pressure teachers not to strike. An organization called Education for Reform Now, based in New York and with no office in Illinois, made robo-calls in English and Spanish urging parents to text the Chicago Teachers Union that they were against a strike authorization vote. And the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Jean-Claude Brizard, sent home a letter to parents criticizing the strike vote.
An Illinois law passed last June requires the Chicago teachers to have 75% of all their members vote Yes to legally authorize a strike. This law was promoted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Board of Education and Stand for Children, based in Oregon and financed by hedge fund operators. Its spokesman Jonah Edelman said, “the union cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75% threshold needed to strike.”
The teachers defied them all: 89.7% of their members voted to authorize a strike. They are mad that the mayor and Board of Education are asking them to work a longer school day without more pay and to have pay raises after the first contract year vary by teacher based on how well their students perform.
The teachers gave a warning that they will not be ignored.