Chicago Teachers Strike On for a Second Week

K-12 public school teachers in Chicago are staying on strike for a second week. Some details via Businessweek:

With an average salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the nation, and the contract outline calls for annual raises. But some teachers are upset it did not restore a 4 percent raise Emanuel rescinded last year.

Emanuel pushed for a contract that includes ratcheting up the percentage of evaluations based on student performance, to 35 percent within four years. The union contends that does not take into account outside factors that affect student performance such as poverty and violence.

The union pushed for a policy to give laid-off teachers first dibs on open jobs anywhere in the district, but the city said that would keep principals from hiring the teachers they think are most qualified.

More here.

I'd be pissed if a contracted 4 percent raise got yanked, even if between 2007 and 2012 average pay jacked up by between 19 percent and 46 percent. And given Chicago's - and the state of Illinois's - finances, I'd be pretty happy to be mulling over an offer of 16 percent pay hikes over four years.

Someone's gonna get a haircut in Chicago and the fact is that taxpayers have been wearing buzz cuts for decades now. Public-sector compensation is unsustainable for many if not most municipalities. That doesn't mean change is easy, but it also doesn't mean it can keep being forestalled.

Watch "The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions," a joint release of Reason TV and the Moving Picture Institute:

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  • Marshall Gill||

    I'd be pissed if a contracted 4 percent raise got yanked

    Janine, someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

  • ||

    Someone over at the Seattle times had an interesting prediction. Obama will swoop in and mediate, complete with a situation room, loosened tie, the whole works. Then somehow a breakthrough is reached, and the legacy media plays the while thing on a repeating loop until November. I could see it happening.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    We'll truly have reached a new high in "Retard" if this happens.

    A President? "Helping" resolve a local work conflict? And people LIKE that?

    A new high in retarded, indeed.

    Can he mow my lawn next?

  • ||

    Just when you think we've hit Peak Retard, Obama makes you look like a fool.

  • John||

    That is not going to happen. He can't do that because big labor will hate him for anything short of complete capitulation. But if he swoops in and gets the union its 16% raise and no accountability, he will alienate pretty much every voter in the country who is not a public employee.

    Obama is ignoring this and praying it goes away.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Chicago Teachers Strike On for a Second Week

    Good.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Chicago Teachers Strike On for a Second Week

    Test scores skyrocket!

  • yonemoto||

    you know, the problem isn't the unions. It's that government can negotiate absurd pay schedules. How about this. We retain the right of government employees to unionize, but we restrict the government from borrowing (except, for, say war) or making any sort of contract where it doesn't have the cash on hand and in an untouchable account.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obama will swoop in and mediate, complete with a situation room, loosened tie, the whole works.

    He can e-mail the schedule for the White House tennis court every morning before things get going.

  • John||

    The union contends that does not take into account outside factors that affect student performance such as poverty and violence.

    Racist dog whistle!!

  • DJF||

    Teachers Union claim that they need a raise so they can keep good teachers and improve students performance.

    Teachers Union also claim that the students are so immersed in poverty and violence that the teachers can’t improve the students performance.

  • John||

    If you can't do anything to save these kids, why not just pay the teachers half the salary and at least fail cheaply?

  • PapayaSF||

    And all that poverty and violence is because those people never went to public schools!

    Oh, wait....

  • Heartless Bastard||

    Oh were they implying that violence has a negative impact on educational outcomes? I was wondering "if they realize the effectiveness of violence, why aren't they beating these kids harder?"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    There is no such thing as PEAK RETARD.

    The other day while eating lunch, I overheard some guy talking on his phone saying, "You know the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has limits."

  • GILMORE||

    The union contends that does not take into account outside factors that affect student performance such as poverty and violence.

    I don't recall the relative poverty or violence in my community being taken into account in my SAT scores. Its not like students are given any special consideration - why should teachers expect it?

    The union pushed for a policy to give laid-off teachers first dibs on open jobs anywhere in the district

    Oh, that makes sense: give the shitty teachers someone had the motivation to fire *special advantages*...

    These people have no shame whatsoever.

  • nicole||

    My only regret is that Rahm decided to go to court right away last night/this morning. I think week two would have been a big loss of sympathy for the teachers. But my Twitter feed last night was full of people crying "strike breaker!"

    I don't think that can actually be representative of the average person's sentiment on this--can it?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "But my Twitter feed last night was full of people crying 'strike breaker!'

    I don't think that can actually be representative of the average person's sentiment on this--can it?"

    I think the "average person" probably would like to see teachers in the class room and don't care much how that happens.

  • CE||

    How about some replacement teachers, like the NFL does for referees? They could even use the real NFL referees.

  • Heartless Bastard||

    I think it might be a pay raise for the refs and they'd only have to work a couple more days.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The "average person" probably just wants to see the government's free daycare restored.

  • meister574||

    Hopefully the longer this goes on, the more parents will realize there are other resources for their child's education. This may end up being the best thing to happen for school choice.

  • califernian||

    those kids are lucky. But the poor parents are scrambling for day care i bet.

  • Proprietist||

    Rahm: if you are reading this, which I know you aren't, grow some cojones and say "Anyone who does not show up to work by tomorrow morning is fired. We will be inviting applicants from all over the country to apply for your jobs, with your old salary and benefits packages. You can also reapply for your old job, but since you obviously think your old package was exploitative, I'm sure you'd rather test the market."

  • CE||

    Seriously? We have to log in separately to comment on each story?

  • Proprietist||

    Glad I'm not the only one having this problem.

    The squirrels are a cruel mistress.

  • CE||

    Teachers on strike? So what? Kids can learn more staying at home watching TV, reading a book or going online. If they get bored with all that, take them to a museum.

  • AliceS||

    I honestly don't get it, aren't they asking for too much? I mean +30% evy 2 years seems way too much. They are no better paid than in the most of states. While others keep on using advance cash loans , Chicago teachers are not satified with their +16% ever 4 years.

  • Ardelle||

    I was waiting for you to take issue with Volokh getting credited for that!

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