View Full Version : Deplorable

10-02-2016, 01:26 AM
"CTU (Chicago teachers Union), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, is gearing up for a strike. It would be the union’s second in four years, despite the fact that the median salary (https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160916/edison-park/what-are-chicago-teachers-actually-paid-crunching-numbers) for a teacher in Chicago is $78,169. When you add another $27,564 for various benefits, the total compensation for a teacher – good, bad or middling – becomes almost $106K per annum. (Please keep in mind teachers work 180 days a year, while employees in other professions typically work for 240 to 250 days.) In retirement, the average Chicago teacher receives a hefty $50,000 a year.

The main sticking point for the union and the Chicago Public School system (CPS) is the so-called pension pick-up. Teachers there (and elsewhere) have what’s called a “defined benefit plan,” whereby in retirement – come hell, high water or recession – a teacher’s pension is not affected. In most places, teachers and the school district share the contributions equally, but not in Chicago and some other municipalities in Illinois. Teachers there are supposed to chip in 9 percent of their salary to fund their own pension. But as things stand now, teachers contribute just 2 percent, with the school district (read: taxpayer) picking up the remaining seven. The city, which is in dire fiscal straits, is asking teachers to pay the full 9 percent. But lest the poor teachers need to reach for the smelling salts because they are being asked to kick in more for their own retirement years, Chicago is offering them an 8.7 percent salary increase (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-schools-budget-teachers-cps-ctu-lewis-emanuel-edit-0714-jm-20160713-story.html) over four years to help offset the teachers’ pension payment.

So, as the union demands more and more money, the schools end up with less and less. As reported by the Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-schools-budget-teachers-cps-ctu-lewis-emanuel-edit-0714-jm-20160713-story.html), CPS still needs to come up with at least $300 million to balance its fiscal 2017 budget. “The school system still faces huge, $700 million-ish teachers pension payments this year and annually into the future. It still has too much real estate to serve its dwindling number of students. And its credit is maxing out.” As a result, Moody’s has just downgraded CPS further into junk status (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cps-bond-rating-downgrade-met-20160927-story.html).

As if the union’s insistence on yet more money is not deplorable enough, there is a new addition to their basket. When CTU held its strike vote last week, it didn’t do it the traditional way – by secret ballot. Nope, the union had its teachers authorize a strike via “petitions (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-teachers-union-strike-vote-edit-20160921-story.html)” circulated at schools, meaning that everyone knew how everyone else voted. Think there may have been an intimidation factor at work here? And why on earth would they need to resort to such strong-arm tactics? The teachers voted by a 7 to 1 margin to strike in 2012 – when voting was done in private. As it turns out, the margin this year was 86 percent affirmative (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-teachers-union-authorizes-strike/), just about what it was in 2012."



David W Pratt
10-02-2016, 02:00 PM
What kind of job do they do? Are Chicago schools good?