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Chicago Teachers Union strike suspended, students returning to school


On Monday, September 10, members of the Chicago Teachers Union took to the streets to protest scandalous proposals such as merit-based pay raises, teacher evaluations, and a paltry 16% salary increase. As a result, 350,000 Chicago students were kept from learning. After more than a week of very public whining and foot-stomping, an agreement has apparently been reached between the CTU’s House of Delegates and the schoolboard.

Strike suspended, Chicago Public School students return to class tomorrow.

— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) September 18, 2012

CTU President Karen Lewis says vote to suspend strike was 98%-2%.

— CenterSQJournal (@CenterSqJournal) September 18, 2012

A summary of the contract terms went out to all delegates, and it included this statement:

“Our brothers and sisters throughout the country have been told that corporate ‘school reform’ was unstoppable, that merit pay had to be accepted and that the public would never support us if we decided to fight. Cities everywhere have been forced to accept performance pay,” the statement said.

“Not here in Chicago. Months ago, CTU members won a strike authorization, one that our enemies thought would be impossible. Now we have stopped the board are imposing merit pay! We preserved our lanes and steps when the politicians and press predicted they were history. We held the line on healthcare costs. We have tremendous victories in this contract; however, it is by no means perfect. While we did not win on every front and will need to continue our struggle into the future, we soundly defended our profession from an aggressive and dishonest attack. We owe our victories to each and every member of this rank and rile union. Our power comes from the bottom up.”

Among the terms of the tentative agreement is that evaluations of first-year teachers won’t affect tenured teachers. Additionally, CTU Delegate Dave Hernandez, who teaches at Social Justice High School — yes, Social Justice High School — was thrilled at the prospect of teacher pay being irrespective of job performance:

The defeat of merit pay — something other urban districts have instituted — as well as the preservation of “step” pay increases for additional years of experience and “lane” increases for additional degrees also was seen as a plus, Hernandez said. So were special pay hikes for the most veteran teachers.

Hernandez et al. must be so proud of themselves. Accountability? They don’t need no stinking accountability!

CTU’s supporters are lavishing praise upon the striking teachers:

In all seriousness, good for the #CTU. Nice to see a group of educators not get pushed around.

— Tim Baffoe (@TimBaffoe) September 18, 2012

Way to go #ctu!

— the table (@cornerofthecafe) September 18, 2012

Huge.RT @ramsincanon: That a union with CTU's level of democratic control was able to fight so effectively is an important lesson for labor.

— Lori Jablonski (@Lori_Jablonski) September 18, 2012

Democracy unleashes the creative powers & cooperative instincts in people. CORE, and CTU, proved that.

— Ramsin Canon (@ramsincanon) September 18, 2012

From Sacramento, deep gratitude to CTU heroes. In standing for yourselves, you stood for your kids, my kids & our mighty profession. Ahead!

— Lori Jablonski (@Lori_Jablonski) September 18, 2012

Thanks to CTU, parents, students, community, and all who supported Chicago teachers during the strike. We felt the love!

— Gregory Michie (@GregoryMichie) September 18, 2012


— IG DJCITI (@DJCITI) September 18, 2012

That guy sounds like a walking, talking argument against the Chicago Public School system.

Here's to the Chicago teachers who work hard at a difficult,essential job.Hope this agreement is all it should be.U deserve the best. #ctu

— Kathryn Pensack (@katpen6) September 18, 2012

#Dissent #Solidarity #Democracy – 3 important lessons the #CTU taught its students over the last 7 days. @CTULocal1 @P_LaborAlliance

— Anne Senecal (@femrhetprof) September 18, 2012

CTU drew a line in the sand for public education. #CTUstrike helped Chicago's school children by pushing #CPS to truly put students first.

— Carlos Daniel (@CDRosa) September 18, 2012

Oh puh-leeze. Students first? First off the cliff, maybe.

Teachers returning to the classroom already have instructions from CTU president Karen Lewis:

Delegate tells us Karen Lewis suggested teachers tell students about the value of standing up for yourself.

— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) September 18, 2012

Call us crazy, but Karen Lewis is the last person who should be doling out educational advice. Contrary to the badge of victimhood she displays so proudly, it’s the children of Chicago’s public schools who have suffered during this debacle.

@richardroeper Did CTU Prez Karen Lewis suggest they teach students to get in front of camera as much as they can, too? #15minutesoffame

— Mike Arimond (@RadioArimond) September 18, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/09/18/chicago-teachers-union-strike-ending-students-returning-to-school-tomorrow/

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