Chicago Teachers Union threatening a strike

I’ve posted several times that I utterly despise Karen Lewis, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union. Next week , the union will vote on a possible strike. I hope the union comes to their senses and votes against this very ill advised strike.

The CTU has been sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. They endorsed the anarchist Black Friday protest last week and now they’re calling for a civilian oversight board to monitor the police force. It’s no secret that Karen Lewis has her eye on the mayor’s office and she certainly would have run this year if not for health problems. Instead , she backed a hapless puppet, Chuy Garcia, who was resoundingly defeated by Rahm Emannuel.

This strike is simply to further Lewis’ political ambitions and to try to capitalize on the hysteria surrounding the Chicago police department.

What are the stated goals of this silly proposed strike? “Good schools and a fair contract.” Well, that’s nice. What’s their definition of fair?

A $15 per hour minimum wage for all school employees? That’s not going to happen.

They also will push for an elected school board, obviously so they can try to pack the board with their candidates. I’m totally against an elected school board. Elections have consequences even when you don’t like the result. Rahm Emannuel has been elected Mayor of Chicago twice and he gets to pick the school board members as a duty of his office.

The last strike ended embarrassingly for the CTU but it satisfied Lewis’ massive ego by giving her numerous tv appearances. I’m sure this next proposed strike is more of the same.

I always assume the employees who get to vote on strikes know more about their best interests than I do, so I generally support whatever they decide to do. I also support their right to be wrong.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell them to get it right, though. I am surprised - somewhat pleasantly so - to see the teachers’ union calling for higher pay for non-teachers, though maybe Chicago’s union represents non-educator staff. I’m also not sure that $15 per hour is unreasonable in a giant city like Chicago where the cost of living is very high.

Oh no! Horrors! A civilian review board to monitor the police force. What kind of monster is she? Do I have to point out that police officers are civilians and agents of the civil authorities, or do you just not care?

I don’t support a civilian review board especially one that’s supported by an avowed opponent of the current mayor. The police are accountable to the judicial system as well as their own internal affairs division.

Plus, there’s no reason for a teachers union to take a position on the police force. What’s next, foreign policy positions?

Doesn’t the Chicago Police Department have officers stationed at most or all of the city’s high schools (and maybe jr. high/elementary by now) to provide school security?

No, the cops are accountable to the citizenry. We hire them, we pay their salary, they work for us, just like the garbagemen and DMV clerks and teachers. A garbageman doesn’t have to break the law to get fired from his job collecting garbage. A cop doesn’t have to be convicted of a crime to get fired from his job as a cop.

As for being accountable to internal affairs, you wouldn’t trust the teacher’s union to investigate and decide what happens to teachers accused of misconduct, would you? Conservatives can easily understand why we don’t give teachers sole authority to supervise other teachers, and tell taxpayers and citizens to fuck off. So why is it so hard for them to understand why leaving cops to police the cops will lead to the same self-dealing? It’s mind boggling.

You don’t support a civilian review board? Why on earth not? They work for us, they should be responsible to their employers. As out of character as it may seem for a union president to think so as well, I support and endorse her position. A civilian review board is such an obvious necessity that I wonder about the motivation of people who would oppose it. How do you justify saying “It’s not my employer’s business how I do my job?”

I went to look for more information on their position regarding civilian police oversight. Regrettably , I found their own publication full of Black Lives Matter propaganda.

Pdf link

Why regrettably?

A civilian review board sounds like an excellent idea.

The problem is that the judicial system is dependent on the police for prosecutions, and internal affairs investigators are still cops, and will be moved into other departments eventually. So, no, they’re not really accountable.

I wouldn’t try snake handling with the BLM vipers. They’re just as likely to bite you. A group of students could organize a protest by boycotting classes because some white administrator hadn’t checked his privilege to the satisfaction of some activist.

Teachers unions should focus on eduction issues, not the pet political causes of their Dear Leader.

The proper name of the internal affairs division in many cities should be the white wash department. That was my experience with them.

San Jose had a good head of the Independent Police Auditors (IPA). She monitored and help citizens with police complaints that IA wanted to close in the departments favor. She questioned the Chief’s action. But the mayor was a good friend of the chief. She was fired. The mayors first choice for her replacement, a retired police officer from outside the city. Turns out this office had a large file with IA about citizens complains and some of then settled not in his favor. The newspaper published the mayor’s candidate’s history, so he did not get the job. But now you don’t hear much about the IPA unless it is point out how the department is trying to handle the load.

I agree with you. My union local makes recommendations each election. The criteria for any endorsement what is the candidate’s stand on things that will affect the working class. The union does not take a stand on social issues that are not work related, as an organization that is their concern.

dalej42, I would be curious to hear your response to this charge that having the police in charge of their own oversight is about as smart as having teacher in charge of their own oversight. It makes sense to me; does it make sense to you? If not, what is the difference? Any interest in addressing this?

I think this is also a relevant question to this debate. If the police are integrated into the majority of schools, it makes sense for school officials of whatever stripe to pay attention to what the police are doing and to desire some level of oversight. Right?

Not really. From my experience, in school police officers spend their time giving, “Drugs are bad” speeches and educating students on DUI and other traffic laws.

It may be an answer but too often these review boards are nothing but stop magnets for politics and those who have no understanding of how anything works.

It’s not to say it’s bad, but it must work and work correctly otherwise it becomes a huge barrier.

I work with a lot of state agencies that have become so politically correct that they are barriers and they don’t help in the least bit.

How would you like it if every single decision you made at work was double guessed by someone who, with no experience in your field, was telling you how to do your job better?

I am not opposing a civilian review board, but it has to be done correctly.

The people most directly to gain or lose are the strikers. I expect them to know the stakes regardless of the suspected motives of the leaders.

But say it’s true and what they’re asking for is unreasonable, dalej42. A failed strike doesn’t go in the ‘win’ column of someone running for higher office in the future.

The fact that this thread has turned into a discussion about police oversight instead of schools is why the union shouldn’t be involved in issues outside its mission.