Ear Hustle

Chicago Teachers Asked To Take A 7% Pay Cut…They Can’t Be Serious!!!


The Chicago Board of Education has asked teachers, social workers and other union members to take a 7 percent pay cut in its upcoming contract, according to the Chicago Teachers Union, an opening move in negotiations that has sparked discontent among the powerful teachers union.

CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said teachers were “highly insulted” over the proposal. Union president Karen Lewis accused CPS of being “broke on purpose.”

“Once again, the board has created a fiscal crisis in order to justify its continued attack on our classrooms and communities. By citing its so-called $1.5 billion deficit, the mayor is proposing a reduction in teaching staff which will result in larger class sizes and the loss of teaching positions,” she said in a press release.

CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey could not immediately say how much money such a cut would save the district burdened with a $1.1 billion deficit and at least $9 billion in pension obligations.

Late last week, the board told the union it would not offer an optional fourth year of its existing contract that expires June 30, saying the district could not afford the $105 million in raises guaranteed in that deal.

On Friday, the district also released its smallest ever proposed capital budget, a mere $160 million compared with more than $400 million the year before. Individual school budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1 have not yet been released.

“I hate to keep repeating myself but that’s the harsh reality that we definitely need Springfield to step up and do its part in light of a $1.1 budget deficit,” said interim CEO Jesse Ruiz, who was recently appointed in the wake of a federal investigation into a $20 million no-bid contract.

“Beyond that, we do not discuss contract negotiations for obvious reasons, but we value our teachers and we look forward to working with them to have an agreement as soon as possible.”

The contract is sure to come up when the union’s House of Delegates holds its May meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the union lamented the district’s plans to open new charter schools, the $10 million it spends on “excessive high stakes testing” and the investigation into a local principal training company whose services the CTU had long complained about.

Source: Chicago SunTimes

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