Chicago's teachers are going out on strike, putting an estimated 400,000 children out on the streets at the beginning of the school year.
They are striking in spite of the school board caving in and meeting almost all their demands, including a 16% increase in pay over 4 years (about 3.5 times the rate of inflation), rehiring 500 teachers, and an improved package of benefit proposals. Currently, Chicago teachers average $76,000 per year before benefits.
The major sticking point - wait for it- was that the union refuses to consider any kind of teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores:
[Teacher's Union president Karen] Lewis said she was concerned about the possibility of a large termination of teachers under a new evaluation system.
"We are also concerned that too much of the evaluations will be based on students' standardized test scores. This is no way to measure teacher effectiveness at all," she said.
Heaven forbid that unionized teachers should undergo the same kind of performance evaluations the people that pay their salaries are subjected to.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily called this “a strike of choice” and urged the union to return to the table, saying, “My team is available now.”
But the reality is that the public employee unions own Rahm Emanuel just as they do any Chicago Democrat. They came across with huge dollars wrested willing or no from their dues paying members for campaign contributions to get him elected, they supplied the manpower on the streets to walk the polls and man phone banks, and they expect and demand that investment pays off. And they could care less that the city's budget is seriously in the red.
Rahm Emanuel knows this quite well, and he understands that after some face saving 'negotiations', he's going to have to bend over and do what the teacher's union wants.And the taxpayers and the children can pound sand.
That's the devil's bargain public employee unions and democrat politicians have been making for years. It's a corrupt scheme Charles Ponzi would have wept with greed over...the unions elect Democrats, and then 'negotiate' with these same politicians for increased wages and benefits, a portion of which gets kicked back to keep the same politicians in power next election cycle.
It has bankrupted our state, city and municipal treasuries. It has destroyed public education in the case of the teachers unions, as even many individual teachers will admit when you talk to them privately. And if any one really cared about educating our children, it would have stopped a long time ago.