Chicago teachers (paras, too) went out on strike one week ago this past Monday. Their issues–performance evaluation, length of school day, salary steps and lanes–are well-known to all of us. They reached a tentative agreement on Friday; over the weekend, Sunday, their House of Delegate assembly, 800 in all, voted to keep the strike on pending discussions with, and feedback from, their building membership. A copy of their tentative agreement can be found here (PDF). As of last evening, the Delegate Assembly voted to end their strike.
Last Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented publicly on the BTU settlement, chastising the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) for striking while the BTU had settled its differences peacefully. He was comparing apples to oranges. The CTU strike came about for a variety of reasons and issuessome of which
|Chicago teachers rally on Saturday|
are not germane to issues we faced. The comparison was therefore ill-advised and inappropriate, and the BTU took out an ad in the Chicago Sun Times (PDF) on Friday of last week to offer support to the CTU as well as a response to Mayor Emanuel.
Based on a unanimous vote of the BTU membership — over 450 attended our meeting — the BTU also sent the CTU $1,000 and a statement of support. The CTU has expressed its thanks formally through its leadership, and dozens of members via Facebook and through emails and telephone calls have sent their thanks and appreciation.
We have tried to do what we can to help our colleagues in Chicago, and we have done it with pride. The AFT and Randi Weingarten have similarly expressed their thanks to our efforts.