On the Robocalls that Many CPS Parents Received this Week

Many RYH parents emailed us to complain about a robocall made by a group called DFER that went out this week. Here’s the text:

“Hi, my name is Jennifer Herron. As a parent and Local School Council Member I am worried that a teacher’s strike will hurt our children. Teachers deserve a raise. But it bothers me that the union is taking a strike vote before the independent arbitrator offers a compromise. Teachers should wait to see the deal first. Text compromise to _____ to encourage teachers to put our kids first. Wait and see the deal before voting to strike. Paid for by edreform.now.”

Thanks to a RYH parent for recording this robocall and sending it our way! We don't think the info provided in this call gives an accurate picture. A major impediment in negotiations is that the arbitrator cannot make suggestions beyond what the city determines negotiable, which is currently narrower than the teachers' list of concerns. Teachers are concerned about issues far beyond a raise.

As RYH explained last week, the vote will only authorize a strike if the two parties can’t come to an agreement in July and does not mean a strike will happen. We encourage both sides to find ways to avoid a strike. In the mean time, we are concerned by the PR battle waged in an attempt to sway parent opinion.
This robocall, specifically, does not give the full story and we have many questions: Who is DFER and are they locally based? How much did this robocall campaign cost? Who funds DFER? And last, but not least, how did they get this list of telephone numbers to call? We will work to find out who funds DFER and to understand what motivates their campaign. We believe they have corporate funding but we want to get the specifics and will share with you when we have more information. Please contact us if you have any information.
Please join us at our forum tomorrow night in Logan Square. We believe sharing information is critical to a healthy school district. We want to answer your questions, and let you voice your opinions. We have forums where everyone is welcome and we don't expect everyone to agree.
Location: Haas Park, 2409 N. Washtenaw
Time: Monday June 11, 2012, 6:30pm
Hope to see you tomorrow night!