For now most of the national focus when it comes to union rights is concentrated on Chicago, where school teachers are demanding their rights be respected, and a contract that is fair to the profession be negotiated and concluded.
Too often workers are timid and reticent about standing up for their rights. Workers jump as high as the employer wants, and never seem to understand their real place in the workplace is more important than the ones who call themselves ‘boss’. Let the boss try and make it all come together without the workers.
Therefore, I am very proud of the efforts and resolve of the teachers in Chicago who are working to make sure their rights are protected.
Having said that I also am very much in support of the efforts made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lengthen the school day and the school year. It is imperative such reforms are made in order for our students to become as competitive with the rest of the world which often takes the education of their children far more seriously than we do.
I am very much in favor of efforts to make our students better educated and ready for the world they face. But I am also very aware that teachers need to be paid for the services they provide.
Already Chicago teachers, even before the longer school day goes into effect on Tuesday, are actually averaging a 58 hour work week, far beyond their contracted instructional time.
That is not right.
Now I know there are those workers who have the ‘good doobie syndrome’ which makes them think they should work all hours of the day and night at no extra pay or benefits. They are the ones who make it hard for the other workers who have a life to live, and a code of personal respect for themselves they wish to honor.
I am proud of the Chicago teachers who have gained a winning record of a 90 percent strike authorization vote if a contract is not negotiated by September 10th.
It should be noted the strike anger is not just about the future hours and workload, but the fact that the mayor also stripped away a 4% pay increase that had been worked out prior to his taking office.
That is not right.
All are watching to see if an 11th-hour agreement can be reached.
If not I have little doubt there will be a strike.
If it takes place it will be nasty.