Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike Update

  • Support by parents is still fairly strong. A Chicago Sun Times opinion poll on Monday found that nearly half of parents support the teachers, while only 39% oppose the strike. This could change, of course, particularly if the strike drags on and parents are forced to hire babysitters or stay home from work to care for children.
  • Custodians plan on joining the strike this week, KOAM TV reported. The more classified (non-credentialed staff) that join the strike, the greater the pressure on the board and CPS and the more likely they are to cave.
  • CPS is planning on extending the length of time the 147 scab “Drop off” centers will be open from 4 hours to six starting on Thursday. These schools are being kept open ostensibly to provide lunch and other services for low income students. However, they are staffed with uncredentialed district staff and volunteers from religious organizations who have little or no training in education or childcare. The scabs have been told by CPS (See Fred Klonsky’s Scab Toolkit) to bring pencils, stickers, puzzles, games and magazines (so the kids have something “productive” to do during the day), be firm and respectful to students and don’t yell at them, as well as other useful tidbits of guidance. They have also been told to be prepared for classrooms without A/C or functioning clocks, which ought to make the scabs want to join the strike if only to help teachers fight for safe and functional classrooms for the children.
  • Though Illinois law currently prohibits teachers from striking over the recall of laid-off teachers and compensation for a longer school year, CTU does not intend to sign an agreement until these matters are addressed, according to union president, Karen Lewis.
  • Jesse Jackson tried to mediate today, but gave up, claiming both sides were too "dug in" to even "hear each other," which is to say he expects the teachers to compromise and believes that CPS has valid or reasonable expectations (which they do not).

No comments:

Post a Comment