We have received many questions on whether we support today’s strike authorization vote. Many parents are confused about what this vote means. Here is our viewpoint:
The vote today does not mean that there will definitely be a strike. It only authorizes a strike in the event that the two parties cannot come to an agreement when fact-finding is completed later this summer. We urge both sides to take every measure possible to avoid a strike.
If the CTU waits until mid-July to vote, all of the teachers who are away will be counted as NO votes. The many who are retiring won't get to cast a vote. In other words, all members will not be able to vote. Per recent legislation, the CTU now needs to get 75% of their full membership to vote- not just 75% of those who vote.
Only the city has the ability to introduce “permissible” items in the contract. If the negotiations are limited to only pay and benefits, there is much less to bargain over (class size, schedules for teachers, protecting breaks, etc.).
We are not making specific recommendations for what is included in the contract but we do think opening up the negotiations will benefit our kids. Where is the fair compromise? We are not saying the contract should remain the same as before; we are saying these parties can and should work maturely together to figure this out. Nobody wants a strike in the fall, but that is going to take leadership and compromise from both sides.
There are a lot of statements in the press from people asking teachers to wait for the fact-finders to make their recommendations. The problem with this is that the fact-finders can only make recommendations about what the city allows in the contract. All of the focus is on pay and benefits when there is much more at stake that is not being addressed in the press.
We know people often want a very clear pro or anti statement. We are dealing with complicated issues here and the details will impact our kids.
We are having a forum on Monday June 11th at Haas Park in Logan Square-2409 N. Washtenaw at 6:30pm to in part discuss this. If you want to attend, email us firstname.lastname@example.org.