The Chicago Teacher’s Union is refusing to work until its members receive more generous compensation packages.
Members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union have plenty of excuses for why they are going on strike for the third time in seven years. Even so, it’s hard to believe that the union truly cares about the welfare of the kids given the fact that union leaders are refusing to even come to the negotiating table. Rather, they are spending time picketing, giving news conferences, and whining on social media instead of talking to city officials and looking for ways to come to an agreement. Furthermore, liberal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has already offered a lucrative package the city can’t even afford but it’s still not enough to meet union demands.
The CTU says that the strike is about improving pay and benefits for teacher’s aides, school clerks and other school staff workers who earn less than $35,630 a year. It is true that this is not much money for those living in an expensive city such as Chicago. It’s also true that many of these individuals have to work two or even three jobs to earn extra income. However, what strikers fail to note is that many of these individuals work less than 40 hours a week at school, which means that they cannot realistically expect to be paid as much as a full-time employee.
What is more, the city has already offered to boost pay for these workers by 16% over the next five years. This is in addition to the city’s offer to raise wages for teachers by 24% over the next five years. Furthermore, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said that deductibles, co-pays and other healthcare-related fees for those who work in public schools in Chicago would not rise for the next five years even though the district’s health insurance expenses are expected to rise by about 6% a year.
Given the fact that Mayor Lightfoot is a Democrat who clearly puts a premium on sub-par, defunct public-school systems, it’s hard to understand why the teacher’s union won’t come to an agreement with her. It’s also hard to understand why those who claim to “care about the kids” don’t mind leaving 300,000 children in the lurch as they protest. Included in these children are numerous special needs kids who desperately need special educational assistance on a regular basis.
The sad fact is that, no matter who wins or loses in the strike, it will be the children and the city of Chicago overall who come up short. Children will miss valuable schooling, while parents scramble to hold down their jobs while making sure their kids are well-cared for at the same time.
Any deal that Mayor Lightfoot and the extortionist CTU agrees to will put a massive strain on Chicago’s finances. The city has one of the worst credit ratings in the nation, and residents are already struggling to cope with massive tax increases imposed by the city’s former mayor, Democrat Rahm Emanuel.
Chicago’s population has shrunk for four years in a row, and will most likely continue to do so as liberal policies tear the metropolitan area apart. The city’s unfunded retirement debt stands at a whopping $150 billion, and the funding rate for the Chicago Schools’ pension fund stands at a measly 50%.
Sadly, a Democrat-controlled Chicago faces massive problems that won’t be solved with a labor strike — or any deal that would follow.