Tag Archives: ctu

Chicago Teachers Union, Laborers Local 1001 & Local 9 File Suit

Lawmakers this year enacted only one pension reform measure: a new law aimed at keeping private-sector employees out of public-sector pension plans. The purpose was preventing employees of public worker unions from joining the pensions of the workers they represent. The Chicago Teachers Union, laborers’ Local 1001 and Local 9 of the electrical workers’ union filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County saying the new law violates the state constitution’s prohibition on reducing benefits of those enrolled in pension plans.

 

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Brizard Out as Chicago Public School CEO

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, one of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s top hires, resigned Thursday after 17 months on the job. He was the school system’s fourth CEO in four years and leaves in the wake of a seven-day teachers’ strike during which Brizard largely was absent.

 

Are Charter Schools REALLY the solution?

So, you think charter schools are the answer to a public school system that fails many of its students? Pull out your stats and put up your dukes, says Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader.

Retirement Benefits for Teachers

Cuts to cost-of-living adjustments must happen now to insure retirement benefits are there when current teachers retire, says the head of the state’s largest pension plan, Illinois Teachers Retirement System. Without a change, TRS chief Richard Ingram warns, “’It’s likely that benefits are impaired today, that we’re looking at the possibility in the future of not being able to pay them.” One-fourth of TRS benefit payments are for COLAs, Ingram tells Crain’s Chicago Business. 

 

 

Chicago Teachers Union vs. Emanuel

The Chicago teachers’ strike made Chicago the focus of national attention as a powerful Democratic mayor squared off against an equally powerful teachers’ union. Today the Chicago Teachers Union is set to vote on the contract at the center of the strike. Whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel or the CTU “won” is open to debate. Who didn’t win? Students, who lost seven school days. 

Illinois owes $670 Million for Teacher Pensions in next budget

Illinois will have to come up with another $670 million for the teacher pension system in the next budget after a retirement fund panel crunched the numbers and adjusted its assumptions, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Fixing Illinois’ budget crisis begins with understanding just how much money comes in and how much money is spent in a given year. Yet tracking the state’s massive budget is much more difficult than it seems, especially because of convoluted accounting practices. This lack of transparency matters because, in addition to contributing to the budget crisis, incomplete information makes solutions harder to find. Understanding the state’s true fiscal situation depends upon how clearly, consistently and broadly budget information is presented. Illinois faces two main transparency problems: “time-shift” budgeting and an overemphasis on the General Funds budget, according to economist Richard Dye in an op-ed for the Sun-Times.

Emanuel and the new Teachers Contract

Mayor Emanuel could go a long way toward paying for the new teachers contract — without closing schools, raising class size or laying off teachers — by reversing financial maneuvers he ordered last year to prop up the city budget, according to the Sun-Times. Emanuel stripped teachers of a previously negotiated, 4 percent pay raise and used the $80 million in savings to pay the Chicago Police Department retroactively, going back to 2009. The question now is whether Emanuel is willing to reverse that maneuver to help defray the $295 million, four-year cost of the new teachers contract and ease pressure on a school system that has drained every penny of its reserves and faces a $1 billion shortfall next year.

Chicago Teachers Strike

There are endless reasons why Chicago teachers say they went on strike. Pay, charter school growth, unfair evaluations, teacher recall, the over-use of standardized tests, the “privatization” of public education, poor teaching and learning conditions, anger toward Mayor Rahm Emanuel and on and on. But for many a Chicago teacher, no reason was more pressing than the prospect of mass school closings in this city.

The Sun-Times has reported rumors (http://bit.ly/SeCyNn) of as many as 100 school closings, while the Chicago Tribune cites sources saying 80 to 120 schools will be targeted on the South and West Sides, which have seen significant population declines. City and schools officials adamantly deny these estimates, but refuse to offer a firm number. CPS’ spokeswoman says the scope and timing is still being hammered out. It should go without saying that the more open and inclusive CPS is as it heads down this difficult road, the better.

Where do things stand with the CTU Strike?

Reboot Our Schools – Confused over where things stand on the CTU strike? No one knows for sure when it will end. But parents have two chances in the next two days to see the strike end. The union’s House of Delegates could vote Tuesday afternoon to suspend it, or a judge on Wednesday could grant a city motion and halt it.

If the two sides had a deal, why didn’t the House of Delegates call off the strike Sunday? Because they had the “framework’’ of a deal. The delegates wanted to see more written contract language and get feedback from the teachers they represent before deciding to lift the strike. The roughly 800 delegates will have that chance at a meeting that begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Chicago Sun-Times answers more FAQs.

Illinois Watchdog

Chicago public school teachers are on strike, rallying for better pay, benefits and working conditions. That much we know. But what about the parents sick of a failing school system? Who will address their needs? When can they strike and demand a better education for their children? They can’t, reports Illinois Watchdog.

“Teachers get to walk out and demand better conditions, better pay and better benefits. But parents cannot walk out and say, ‘We want more and better things for the money we are giving,’” said Joy Pullmann, an education research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

All that leaves parents without the means to send their children to expensive private or parochial schools left with is one option: charter schools.

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