Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Emanuel: Chicago Teachers' Strike "Totally Unnecessary"
Chicago public school teachers hit the streets to picket Monday during their first strike since 1987. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Chicago's teachers' strike "a strike of choice" when talks broke down late Sunday night. “This is totally unnecessary. It’s avoidable, and our kids don’t deserve this,” he said.
While Chicago schools are almost off in a different universe from District 300 and D158, teachers there, too have been operating without a new contract since the start of the year so everyone's watching Chicago with some apprehension.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the union and school district officials found common ground on compensation but that cuts to health benefits remained a sticking point. “This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could have avoided,” she said.
David Vitale, president of the Chicago Board of Education, said officials offered teachers a 16 percent pay raise over four years, which was double the amount of a previous offer. He described the negotiations as “extraordinarily difficult.” The Chicago school district is grappling with a $700 million budget shortfall.
There's been no report on how local contract negotiations in either D300 or D158 are progressing since both went into arbitration last month.
You can read Jayette's full report at: http://watchdog.org/55829/il-taxpayer-advocate-says-chicago-teachers-salaries-out-of-the-world/