Friday, September 9, 2011

Teachers union chief: Emanuel declared war over longer school day - Chicago Sun-Times

Teachers union chief: Emanuel declared war over longer school day - Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Teachers Union on Thursday filed its first major legal salvo in the battle over a longer school day, charging that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his education team are waging an illegal campaign to circumvent the union.

CTU President Karen Lewis said Emanuel’s actions amount to a declaration of war.

The union’s complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board came as teachers at a fourth school — Benjamin Mays Elementary in Englewood — voted to waive the existing CTU contract and add 90 more minutes to the school day in exchange for 2 percent raises and other perks.

At other schools, the CTU complaint alleged Tuesday, the district conducted “sham elections’’ with non-union members, “intimidated” some teachers with the threat of layoffs and offered “inducements’’ to others “in an attempt to bypass the CTU’’ and the wages it already negotiated.

“They are going around us to negate the contract with our members, and that is unlawful,’’ Lewis said.

“This is just out-and-out disrespect and war. That’s what this is. This is an attempt to take down and make irrelevant the Chicago Teachers Union because if the CTU goes, they can roll over every union in the city.’’
 For the most part we already know that CPS and the teacher's union have been at each others throat with regards to their raises that the Board of Education eventually voted down. Now it's over adding 90 minutes to the school day and with now four schools to adopt a longer school day this year.

This is Rich Miller's commentary @ Capitol Fax on a potential teacher's strike:
While the union has a point about Emanuel not having any real plans for how to use a longer school day, if members do end up striking (or trying to strike) they’ll need the backing of parents. And since the longer school day is quite popular in the city, they’d better come up with a much better reason for walking.
Even Ald. Ed Burke (14th) says he's embarrased by the teacher's union:
“I’m starting to get embarrassed at the attitude of some leaders of organized labor, and especially in this instance, when the union is not trying to figure out how to get this accomplished,” said veteran Ald. Ed Burke (14th). “They seem to be obstructing the end goal that so many people agree needs to happen.”
Lewis was on Chicago Tonight talking about the longer school day and Ed Burke's comments [VIDEO] in fact she compares Ed Burke with Michelle Bachmann in the very beginning of this interview:
BTW, over at the Capitol Fax an article was excerpted with the comment that the old Rahm is back. The temperamental Mayor Emanuel that we have heard about:
The president of the Chicago Teachers Union says Mayor Rahm Emanuel “exploded” at her during a debate over a longer school day, pointing his finger in her face and cursing.

CTU President made the allegations in a Friday morning press release detailing a complaint filed by the union to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board over the ongoing battle between the union and City Hall.

“A couple of weeks ago I sat down with the mayor in his office to talk about how to roll out a longer school year and what components would go into making it a better school year for our students but he did not want to have that conversation,” said Lewis. “When I explained to him that a longer school day should not be used for warehousing or babysitting our youth he exploded, used profanity, pointed his finger in my face and yelled. At that point the conversation was over — soon thereafter we found ourselves subject to a full-scale propaganda war over a moot point.”
Are things going to get much nastier during the course of this debate?

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