Socialists Stall Contract Agreement in Chicago

Parents growing 'increasingly frustrated'

CTU Strike / Wikimedia Commons

High expectations and an ideologically divided union have kept the Chicago Teachers Union strike from ending, the Chicago Tribune has reported.

While the "mood on some picket lines Monday … was not as strident as days past" and parents are growing "increasingly frustrated," socialist factions of the union blasted union president Karen Lewis for failing to disclose the full deal to members. A socialist leaflet distributed on Sunday accusing her of issuing a "package" summary of the deal to sell it to ignorant members.

The socialist statement accused the union leadership of conceding too much to the school system, allowing, for example, evaluations that "victimize teachers."

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Other union members faced a negotiating reality that does not match the massive expectations that the union initially set. Teachers entered negotiations last fall seeking a 30 percent raise over two years, but they are now facing an offer of a three percent raise for next year and two percent each year after that.

As negotiations continued over the past year, the union, joining with the Occupy movement, embraced more aggressive tactics, staging "protests, rallies and school sit-ins to call attention to inequities in the public school system," the Tribune reported.