Teachers Union Strike in Chicago

You’d have to be Rip Van Winkle not to have heard of the strike — currently entering its second week — by some 26,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers.

The walkout was supposed to have been resolved over the weekend, and 350,000 kids were supposed to be back in class today. That didn’t happen.

So once again, parents are scrambling to find child care, juggling their own work schedules, bringing kids to work, working from home, etc. — all because these teachers who say they want what’s best for the kids really want what’s best for themselves.

Now, I don’t live in Chicago. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’ve never been a teacher, nor a union member. I’ve never had teachers in my area go on strike, either when I was a kid or when My Favorite Domer was in public school.

So while I’d like to be fair to both sides, I’m finding my patience stretched to the snapping point.

On what planet does the CPS Teachers Union exist?

Statistics show Chicago teachers currently average $76,000 a year, for nine months of work. By contrast, the average Chicagoan makes $40,000 a year, for a full year. Yet teachers want a 16 percent pay raise over four years.

You’ve gotta be kidding. In this economy?? When the parents of the kids they teach are cutting way back and scrimping on everything but necessities?

I don’t deny teachers have a tough job, especially in Chicago. And I’d never be one to withhold wages from anyone who does his/her job.

But it’s one thing to get paid a fair wage and another to demand more, more, MORE!

Chicago doesn’t have a money tree in its back yard. And Illinois, frankly, is flat broke. So where do CPS Teachers Union members expect this kind of money to come from?

Of course there are other sticking points, too many to go into here. But there’s a bottom line, too — teachers say they want to go back to work.

Well, if that’s the case, they need to concede on some points. Stop acting like greedy brats. Be grateful they have good jobs. Accept that no job is perfect, no working conditions are ideal.

That’s what it means to negotiate. You give a little, you get a little.

Every school kid learns that in Kindergarten, assuming their teachers aren’t carrying a picket sign and they get to go to Kindergarten.