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Monday, September 24, 2012

Education Nation: How Will Chicago Pay For Strike Deal?

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From the Education Nation section of our local NBC affiliate:
How much will the new contract cost? Pay raises and hiring nearly 500 new teachers to implement the longer school day has a higher price tag -- as high as $295 million -- that some say could lead to higher property taxes.

The mayor, though, avoided specifics.

"We have other tough things to do," he told reporters. "I never denied that we did have tough things to do, but I can't sit here and say within the first five minutes of this contract being negotiated, that I could tell you exactly what's going to happen four or five months from now."

Chicago Public Schools said "all options are on the table" to make up for new money being spent. Teachers won a 3 percent raise in the first year followed by 2 percent raises in years two and three. The 2015 board must let the union know if it has the money for a fourth year 4 percent raise.

Teachers lost sick day payouts, severance adjustments and reduced layoff benefits. Ten holidays were reduced to eight.

Without pension relief, CPS could be looking at a deficit of up to $1 billion.

Emanuel reportedly is considering increases to the city's 68-cent-a-pack cigarette tax and the 9 percent amusement tax as a way to make up for the budget shortfall. His office has maintained he is not considering property tax hikes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

School started back today now to make up those last 7 school days

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Scene outside of Harlan last Friday
School started back today after the strike that occurred the last seven school days from last Monday to this past Tuesday. Now to make up those missed days of school back!
CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said both sides have agreed to restore the days of class lost to the strike, but they have yet to agree on when.

No ideas of whether to add them to the end of the school year or to a vacation break have been discussed, she said.

“We haven’t agreed when, but the agreement is to restore them,” Carroll said.
I hope they resolve that soon!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Looks like we have a strike...

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[VIDEO] You know I barely remember the last strike. I saw on our local Fox affiliate clips from back in 1987 which was the last strike in Chicago and with quotes from then Mayor Harold Washington and the teacher union leader from back then. The last labor strife I do remember was when school was delayed a week back when I was in the 8th grade. School started a week after Labor Day that year.

Anyway, the Chicago Public Schools have provided a listing of services during the teachers strike. Places for our young people while CPS and the teacher's union continue to hammer out more details. As you see in the video above Chicago Teacher's Union President Karen Lewis talks about those issues where the two parties were far apart.

You know in looking at this, I often wonder where my 8th grade teacher is. He seemed very outspoken on teacher's union issues and about politics in general. It wasn't too difficult to find out where his political leanings were. And at that I found out years later that he represented Bennett-Shedd for the teacher's union.

FYI, Bennett-Shedd is located in zipcode 60628 and there are a few places that provide services during the strike. Hopefully in the near future (preferably tomorrow) where I can list them all. You can also check out this posting over at The Sixth Ward.