Everyone is talking about the Chicago Teachers Strike. If you are on twitter then you have may have already seen that #CTU is trending and that is good. The problem is there is a lot of misinformation about why these teachers are going on strike.
With the majority of labor – management disputes pay is an issue. Wages have been flat nation wide for many years and these teachers are no different. They are fighting for pay raises that were promised to them.
Many other news organizations stop at the pay, saying the teachers are greedy. They do not understand that there are more reasons the teachers are on strike. Here is a short list of those other reasons. (You can click this link and read in more detail about each reasons http://bit.ly/P58nnL)
1. Recognize That Class Size Matters
2. Educate The Whole Child
3. Create More Robust Wrap-around Services
4. Address Inequities In Our System
5. Help Students Get Off To A Good Start
6. Respect And Develop The Professionals
7. Teach All Students
8. Provide Quality School Facilities
9. Partner With Parents
10. Fully Fund Education
(Additionally, here’s a statement from the Chicago Teachers Union explaining why they are on strike: http://bit.ly/PiOv2E)
Over the last few years there have been many strikes. Some small with 50-100 workers. This is strike is very different. The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 30,000 teachers working to protect the over 400,000 children in 675 schools. This is one of the most important strikes in recent history.
These teachers, have had enough. No more under funding the schools. No more overcrowding the classrooms. No more, no more, no more. This could be a turning point for labor. This could be the moment that continues to bring labor back. After monumental ‘slap in the face’ from Governor Walker, and Governor Kasich, this could be another building block in our reawakening. Or this could turn into the moment that we will talk about for the next 30 years, like the PATCO strike. Either way this a pivotal moment for Labor and Education.
I stand with the teachers, who are standing up for the children of their schools. We all must show our support and let them know they are not alone in their fight. Their issues are the same in Chicago as they are in Manchester, NH, and every other city and town in America.