I remember several occasions where we were all told that if we didn’t elect the leftmost candidate, there would be rage in the streets. The people would not stand for it! Royale tried the tactic out against Sarkozy with no success. James Carville trotted it out in 2008 as a reason that people should vote for Barack Obama in 2008. It was, you see, a vote for peace. You gotta’ share the wealth! (If you know what’s good for you.)
That brings us to the latest festivities in Chicago. Chicago has elected an effluvium of Leftist central planners and served as the incubator and cash source to fuel Barack Obama’s radicalism. The city elected Rahm Emanuel Mayor and lets Bill Ayers dabble in the local school system via “initiatives” such as The Chicago Annanberg Challenge. Peace and nirvana have descended in the form of a 400,000 employee strike by The Chicago Teachers Union.*
According to The Chicago Sun Times, the teachers turned down the following offer.
The package, which would cost $400 million, keeps increases for experience and credentials with some modifications. Vitale said the contract amounted to a 16 percent raise over four years for the average teacher when factoring other increases. And the raises could not be rescinded for lack of funds — …“This is not a small commitment we’re making at a time when your fiscal situation is really challenged,” Vitale said. A $1 billion deficit awaits the system at the end of this school year, officials have estimated. And the district drained its reserve funds to plug this year’s budget.
The teachers also seem upset that they will have to pay more of their healthcare costs and face more rigorous professional evaluation. Amazingly, despite the fact that Chicago Public School Teachers get paid a median salary of $76,000 per year for a job that doesn’t even require them to show up for 2 months, this offer wasn’t good enough. Chicago Civic Foundation president Laurence Msall tried interjecting reality into the situation.
“It’s math. It’s not really politics, as much as it gets caught up in politics. The financial situation of the Chicago Public Schools is dire. The situation of the State of Illinois – that provides significant funding to the Chicago Public Schools – is dire,” he said. “The property tax payers in Chicago are beleaguered. They’re seeing a drop in their property values, and to be asking them to pay increased property taxes, so we can fund increased salaries for employees is something that’s gonna be a very tough political sell.”
What amazes me most is that 90% of the rank-and-file voted to authorize the walkout. They really and truly don’t care about the children they profess to be educating. Their city is going broke. More people have been shot on the streets of Chicago this year than in The Afghan theatre of the War on Terror. One would think that the fate of the 350,000 children turned loose from school in a city that resembles a low-intensity conflict zone would matter a little more to the head of The Chicago Teachers Union than whether Rahm Emanuel was nice enough to her in person?
Politicians tell us all the time that we have to invest in education. We have to invest in proactive government. Like the Chicago Teachers Union, you’ve got to think of the children. Oh, that’s right! Nobody in Chicago seems to give a rat’s (decency edit) about the children. There’s money and perquisites on the table and the world just isn’t enough. The (expletive-deleted) children need to zip their soup-coolers and not be getting under foot. Remember; people were instructed to elect politicians like the ones now running Chicago to prevent discord from breaking out in the street. That worked about as well as the average prototype of The Fisker Karma.
*-Chicago’s Charter Schools (hint, hint, subtle, subtle) will be open this morning.
Correction: There are 400,000 children effected by the strike. 26,000 public employees walked off the job.