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Renegade

Chicago Teachers on Strike

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What do you think about the Chicago Teachers' Union strike?  Is anyone on this board from Chicago?   I know Elizabeth Warren supports the striking union members.  But, on the other side we have a progressive mayor and Democratic elected officials who have made seemingly fair offers as they try to run a city.  It's not like there are penny-pinching Republicans or (or even moderate Democrats) in charge.  The strike has been going on for 10 days now.  300,000 kids need to get back to school.

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After the Republican financial deceivers moved all the good paying jobs out of Chicago (and most other cities) to China,

and the ones that didn't get moved have wall to wall illegals working in the factories,

with all the children of the low income workers still in Chicago,

what the heck should people expect?

The tax base decreased,

and the effort to educate the children increased.

 

Local school districts should be abolished.

All of the tax dollars collected for education should be put into one big State, or Federal pot.

EACH STUDENT should receive the same allocation from that pot.

Minimum standards should be set for class size, school nurses, counselors, days in class, and teacher salaries tied to a local cost of living for an area.

If the higher income neighborhoods want "better" schools, they should pay extra taxes for them.

 

One of the most immature, dopiest woman that I ever knew was making a salary way above what the Chicago teachers are asking for, MANY YEARS AGO.

She was teaching in an up scale income area.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Renegade said:

Does that mean you think the teachers should get what they're asking for?   Or not?

It means that I think that the system is too screwed up for me to waste my time having an opinion.

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22 minutes ago, Cecelia said:

I stand with my fellow educators.  

 

I respect that.  I personally believe teacher is the most important job most of us would ever have the opportunity to do.  It boggles my mind trying to imagine what teachers would be paid if it was based on the value they add to society. 

 

But there are a lot of teachers to pay and the raises have to come from somewhere.  The average Chicago teacher earns $79k.   The city has made an offer that would raise that to nearly $100k in 5 years.  To offer more, should the city raise taxes or cut other services?

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It's not just money they're asking for though.  They want class size reductions (which the city has offered, but it'd only affect a small percentages of schools) and they want more prep time too.  

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8 hours ago, Cecelia said:

It's not just money they're asking for though.  They want class size reductions (which the city has offered, but it'd only affect a small percentages of schools) and they want more prep time too.  

 

To reduce class sizes and give more prep time, they'll need to hire more teachers, right?  Doesn't that also require more money from the city?  

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14 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

To reduce class sizes and give more prep time, they'll need to hire more teachers, right?  Doesn't that also require more money from the city?  

As I stated,

attempting to fund Chicago schools,

while stopping the taxing at the city limits,

is screwed up.

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1 minute ago, peter45 said:

As I stated,

attempting to fund Chicago schools,

while stopping the taxing at the city limits,

is screwed up.

 

You said you'd fund schools with one big statewide pot.  Teachers in Chicago already make more than other Illinois teachers (also well above the national average).  Chicago has a much better tax base (taxes per student) than the rest of Illinois.  It seems to me that statewide funding would result in Chicago teachers making less money, not more.   Teachers in southern Illinois might like this, but I don't think the ones in Chicago would be very happy. 

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13 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

You said you'd fund schools with one big statewide pot.  Teachers in Chicago already make more than other Illinois teachers (also well above the national average).  Chicago has a much better tax base (taxes per student) than the rest of Illinois.  It seems to me that statewide funding would result in Chicago teachers making less money, not more.   Teachers in southern Illinois might like this, but I don't think the ones in Chicago would be very happy. 

"and teacher salaries tied to a local cost of living for an area"

 

Re-read what I originally stated.

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8 minutes ago, peter45 said:

"and teacher salaries tied to a local cost of living for an area"

 

Re-read what I originally stated.

 

If you tie teacher salaries to the local cost of living, then those rich suburbs you're wanting to include will still qualify for high teacher salaries.  They're small in comparison to Chicago anyway.   Chicago already has some of the best-paid teachers in the USA, even after adjusting for the cost of living. 

 

It doesn't matter whether the system you pick is Chicago, Chicago plus suburbs, or all of  Illinois, unless you bring in new money, it's a zero-sum game.  The only way to raise Chicago teacher salaries is to cut other public spending or raise taxes.  

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2 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

If you tie teacher salaries to the local cost of living, then those rich suburbs you're wanting to include will still qualify for high teacher salaries.  They're small in comparison to Chicago anyway.   Chicago already has some of the best-paid teachers in the USA, even after adjusting for the cost of living. 

 

It doesn't matter whether the system you pick is Chicago, Chicago plus suburbs, or all of  Illinois, unless you bring in new money, it's a zero-sum game.  The only way to raise Chicago teacher salaries is to cut other public spending or raise taxes.  

If the tax base was all of Illinois, and the salaries were tied to the local cost of living,

Chicago teachers MIGHT receive less, and others receive more, without raising taxes.

Or,

they ALL might receive more, if the billionaires are taxed in the future.

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13 minutes ago, peter45 said:

they ALL might receive more, if the billionaires are taxed in the future.

 

While California has 163 billionaires, there are just 18 in Illinois (one more than Connecticut).  Illinois' billionaires have a total net worth of $59.4 billion.  How much do you think you could raise their taxes without convincing them to move to a different state?  States and cities face much tougher financial constraints than do sovereign nations with fiat currencies. 

 

Maybe we need to fund education at the national level?   That would certainly benefit my (relatively poor) state.   Our teachers make about half what those in Chicago make (glassdoor.com says $35,023 base pay).  With Republicans in charge, we ranked a disgraceful 47th among the 50 states in spending per pupil (Illinois was 13th) in 2014.    With national-level education funding, my state would see a lot of new cash from taxpayers in richer states.

 

I see that the strike is over, assuming the full union membership ratifies the agreement. 

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2 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

While California has 163 billionaires, there are just 18 in Illinois (one more than Connecticut).  Illinois' billionaires have a total net worth of $59.4 billion.  How much do you think you could raise their taxes without convincing them to move to a different state?  States and cities face much tougher financial constraints than do sovereign nations with fiat currencies. 

 

Maybe we need to fund education at the national level?   That would certainly benefit my (relatively poor) state.   Our teachers make about half what those in Chicago make (glassdoor.com says $35,023 base pay).  With Republicans in charge, we ranked a disgraceful 47th among the 50 states in spending per pupil (Illinois was 13th) in 2014.    With national-level education funding, my state would see a lot of new cash from taxpayers in richer states.

 

I see that the strike is over, assuming the full union membership ratifies the agreement. 

National funding would be the best.

But,

given the voting blocks,

probably the least likely to happen.

A total Illinois system COULD happen.

 

If a statewide base salary was established, and local costs of living were used to trim the numbers as required,

most of the local teacher's unions would simply disappear.

There would be little use, OR SUPPORT for them.

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22 hours ago, peter45 said:

If a statewide base salary was established, and local costs of living were used to trim the numbers as required,

most of the local teacher's unions would simply disappear.

There would be little use, OR SUPPORT for them.

 

Scrapping unions after job gains leaves workers helpless against repeat tampering with their pay and benefits.  Whether in the public or private sectors, it is important for workers to retain their union representation.

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1 minute ago, bludog said:

 

Scrapping unions after job gains leaves workers helpless against repeat tampering with their pay and benefits.  Whether in the public or private sectors, it is important for workers to retain their union representation.

The key word there was LOCAL.

If a state basic salary was established, with modifications based on the local cost of living,

the locals would be superfluous.

A statewide union would probably result.

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21 minutes ago, peter45 said:

The key word there was LOCAL.

If a state basic salary was established, with modifications based on the local cost of living,

the locals would be superfluous.

A statewide union would probably result.

 

Agreed.  A statewide union to replace smaller, unaffiliated, regional unions should still serve local worker interests.  The organizational structure for this is well established.  For instance:  I was a member of CWA, Local 1101.

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2 hours ago, bludog said:

 

Agreed.  A statewide union to replace smaller, unaffiliated, regional unions should still serve local worker interests.  The organizational structure for this is well established.  For instance:  I was a member of CWA, Local 1101.

 

Unions in nature work but have in the present been full of scandal and corruption. 

 

Don't get me wrong I still believe in Unions but we need to see reform to them to make them work like they were intended too.

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There have a lot of things wrong with the treatment of Chicago Public Schools.

 

Illinois has serious financial issues because of the "borrowing" from state managed pension funds.

 

In the early 90's the courts forced the CTU pension fund to "lend" the state $300 million to pay federally mandated abestos removal in Chicago schools.  Jackie Vaughn, then president of the CTU, was dying from cancer and rose from her deathbed to call a strike to try and stop it.

 

She said that they would default and refuse to pay it back.  And that is what happened. 

 

When the state hadn't made a payment in 20 years, the union sued for a debt of $300 million + $200 million interest, and Illinois announced they were defaulting on all debts to the pension funds.

 

The case went to the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled that the state couldn't selectively default on debt, and would have to file bankruptcy.  The court also stated that the pension funds were the one thing they couldnt default.  

 

The court also stated that the pensions would have to paid before ALL other state debts.

 

It is still a mess.

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1 hour ago, zkyllonen8 said:

Unions in nature work but have in the present been full of scandal and corruption. 

 

Don't get me wrong I still believe in Unions but we need to see reform to them to make them work like they were intended too.

 

There has been a concerted effort to denigrate unions, by those who see profits in toppling icons.  Blockbuster, anti-union fiction like On The Waterfront and Won't Back Down have helped to paint an unrealistic picture of corrupt unions.    And rare instances of union corruption, have been given publicity out of all proportion to their frequency.  Anti-union culture has played a role in the decline of union membership we are all suffering from today.  And it has enabled corporate politicians to pass laws unfavorable to both unions and labor.

 

In truth, most labor unions are not corrupt and do a great service for their members.  I was a union steward in CWA, Local 1101 for more than a quarter of a century, so I got to see the union from the inside.  During my entire career I did not see one instance of corruption by a union official. 

 

Every union official, including the lowest ranking and myself, were elected, every three years by the rank and file.  The elections were on the up and up with virtually no complaints from union members, even though the union had its share of malcontents.  The main objection from most of them was paying union dues.  As I used to say, at every opportunity, "union dues are the biggest bargain you're ever likely to see in your life.  What little your are required to contribute is returned twenty-fold in salary, benefits and self-respect".

 

What our union did achieve was to provide us all with excellent wages and benefits while preventing management abuse of workers.  And while many in management resented the union, most secretly admired and respected us.  My position as union steward required me to communicate with management on a regular basis.

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48 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

There has been a concerted effort to denigrate unions, by those who see profits in toppling icons.  Blockbuster, anti-union fiction like On The Waterfront and Won't Back Down have helped to paint an unrealistic picture of corrupt unions.    And rare instances of union corruption, have been given publicity out of all proportion.  Anti-union culture has played a role in the decline of union membership we are all suffering from today.  And it has enabled corporate politicians to pass laws unfavorable to both unions and labor.

 

In truth, most labor unions are not corrupt and do a great service to their members.  I was a union steward in CWA, Local 1101 for more than a quarter of a century, so I got to see the union from the inside.  During my entire career I did not see one instance of corruption by a union official. 

 

Every union official, including the lowest ranking and myself, were elected, every three years by the rank and file.  The elections were on the up and up with virtually no complaints from union members, even though the union had its share of malcontents.  The main objection from most of them was paying union dues.  As I used to say, at every opportunity, "union dues are the biggest bargain you're ever likely to see in your life.  What little your are required to contribute is returned twenty-fold in salary, benefits and self-respect".

 

What our union did achieve was to provide us all with excellent wages and benefits while preventing management abuse of workers.  And while many in management resented the union, most secretly admired and respected us.  My position as union steward required me to communicate with management on a regular basis.

It's really sad that people will actually complain that an employee from the international level of a union organization gets 2 pensions but have nothing to say about a CEO getting thousands times more salary than ordinary employees. The whole unions protect lazy workers argument is complete horsecrap it's a problem on such a miniscule level that its probably more to do with a worker being treated unfairly by other coworkers than being lazy. If anyone wants to see the extent management will go to prevent employees from joining a union then watch the documentary on Netflix about Fuyao glass in Ohio. It is a Chinese owned company and you see just how terrible the Chinese think they can treat people and how frustrated they are by some labor and osha standards they are forced to comply with. In China Fuyao employees were forced to work overtime and most only see their families once or twice per year there are no health and safety standards required along with environment protections.

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Honestly what I think it all boils down to on the worker level is just simple resentment. People inherently don't like to see others do better than themselves only because they don't belong to a union that provides better. They just would rather complain and blame others and agree with management than do something about it like actually join a union.

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On 10/30/2019 at 11:10 AM, Renegade said:

What do you think about the Chicago Teachers' Union strike?  Is anyone on this board from Chicago?   I know Elizabeth Warren supports the striking union members.  But, on the other side we have a progressive mayor and Democratic elected officials who have made seemingly fair offers as they try to run a city.  It's not like there are penny-pinching Republicans or (or even moderate Democrats) in charge.  The strike has been going on for 10 days now.  300,000 kids need to get back to school.

Thanks Renegade for opening up a great discussion!

https://prospect.org/labor/chicago-teachers-and-staff-walk-out-for-community-needs/

 

You hit the nail on the head here. It's a big huge problem. Kids in Chicago go hungry, and we are not providing the kind of education they require - isn't that what the teachers in Chicago are really saying? What we need is a total transformation that is long overdue. 

 

You Renegade are smart, I've read some of your post. You look to the economics of efficiency, asking  - what is the price, what are the best policies we should undertake today, as well as how have we failed in the past. Where is Chicago's wealth, and should not the people who live there share in that wealth and be the sole reason for any important legislation in that large city?

 

You know there are too many city transformations when the story becomes one of gentrification. This needs to be balanced with better schools. The Finland model is one where they said heck with this. We will build a school system that is equal throughout the country, and if that means delivering food, after school programs, healthcare, and the best teachers to children whose parents are poor, so be it. The Finnish strategy has paid exciting dividends to Finland as a whole. It has been a total boost to their economy. They produce some of the most educated students in the world - all home grown. And they did this by understanding that all kids can learn. Human potential is incredible. 

 

I'm like you Renegade. We do need to understand the entire story, the full narrative of where we are, where we have gone wrong in the past, and where we want to go, before we decide the best path forward and just how to get there.

 

Peace!

 

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8 hours ago, bludog said:

 

There has been a concerted effort to denigrate unions, by those who see profits in toppling icons.  Blockbuster, anti-union fiction like On The Waterfront and Won't Back Down have helped to paint an unrealistic picture of corrupt unions.    And rare instances of union corruption, have been given publicity out of all proportion to their frequency.  Anti-union culture has played a role in the decline of union membership we are all suffering from today.  And it has enabled corporate politicians to pass laws unfavorable to both unions and labor.

 

In truth, most labor unions are not corrupt and do a great service for their members.  I was a union steward in CWA, Local 1101 for more than a quarter of a century, so I got to see the union from the inside.  During my entire career I did not see one instance of corruption by a union official. 

 

Every union official, including the lowest ranking and myself, were elected, every three years by the rank and file.  The elections were on the up and up with virtually no complaints from union members, even though the union had its share of malcontents.  The main objection from most of them was paying union dues.  As I used to say, at every opportunity, "union dues are the biggest bargain you're ever likely to see in your life.  What little your are required to contribute is returned twenty-fold in salary, benefits and self-respect".

 

What our union did achieve was to provide us all with excellent wages and benefits while preventing management abuse of workers.  And while many in management resented the union, most secretly admired and respected us.  My position as union steward required me to communicate with management on a regular basis.

 

Yes I agree with all of your statements, but big unions like the UAW have local chapters but at the top of that Union there is a big scandal right now for corruption and such. I agree that unions do make workers have more rights, get better pay and have more fair work conditions. So yes unions should be implemented more across the country. I am currently going to school to be a construction manager and I would love to work in a union... they get better pay and benefits because of the simple fact that they are in a union.

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