Chicago Teachers Must be Supported
September 12, 2012
A LaborPress Editorial By Neal Tepel, Publisher
Right now 30,000 Chicago teachers and support staff are on the front line in the fight for a decent living and a good education for all of Chicago’s 350,000 students. Health benefits are among the many take aways being demanded by the Chicago School Board (CSB) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Union members from around the United States need to support these heroic teachers.
The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front line in a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, Language Development and appropriate staffing levels to help students achieve. Teachers, parents and community supporters in Chicago have fought valiantly-marching, filling auditoriums at hearings and parent meetings, and participated in daily rallies.
On the other side, the Chicago Board of Education has pushed to add two weeks to the school year and 85 minutes to the school day, eliminate pay increases for seniority, evaluate teachers based only on student test scores, and slash many other rights. In addition, The national education privatizers, backed by some of the nation’s wealthiest people are out to break the Chicago Teachers Union. They are running radio ads, increasing press attacks, and mounting a PR campaign to discredit the CTU and the benefits of public education.
While the Chicago Teacher Association are in a struggle for survival, it’s critical that labor organizations throughout the U.S. support these educators. People are needed for rallies and money for media campaigns. Donations can be sent by credit card through their web page or checks can be sent directly to “Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund” and mailed it directly to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60654. It would also be important to write letters of support and send emails to both the union and local Chicago legislators.