Tuesday, May 3, 2016

No teacher’s strike in ‘16? I’d feel safer predicting an all-Chicago World Series

With all the back-and-forth that has occurred in recent months between the Chicago Public Schools and their teacher’s union, nobody really knows how the negotiations will turn out and whether we’ll get the sight of picket sign-bearing schoolteachers demanding more pay and benefits.

You just know that however the talks between schools and the teacher's union for a new contract wind up, we're going to find some reason to place blame on Rahm Emanuel.
The Chicago Sun-Times gave us the big headline “No Appetite For A Strike,” to support a story on Monday about Chicago Teachers Union officials saying the rank-and-file really don’t want to go out on strike. BUT they would if the administration does something to provoke them.

IN SHORT, IF there is a strike, it will be the administration’s fault, according to the union. Which issued a statement Monday saying the schools DO have enough money to provide a respectable contract, but would "rather take their fiscal woes out on the hides of educators and other school employees." Since the school administration is hand-picked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it ultimately becomes the mayor's fault.

Blame Rahm! Everything’s his fault.

Now I’m not about to predict how all of this will turn out, although it seems based on the most recent reporting that there isn’t any sort of enthusiasm for a teacher’s strike to begin later this month – one that theoretically would wipe out the rest of the school year.

Although school officials insist they’ve done enough of the current academic year that nobody in the way of students or parents would lose out. Only the teachers themselves would lose pay and benefits for that time, and any time lost off the summer break.

WHICH MEANS IF there is a strike, it is still most likely to be one that crops up come September. One that is meant to throw the 2016-17 academic year all out of whack – unless those darned administrators come to their senses and give the teachers what they want.

Which really isn’t much. Basically, they’re asking to keep as much of what they already have and not have significant cuts made at their expense in the name of balancing out the Chicago Public Schools’ finances!

Now I know the schools’ administration says that can’t be done. There are going to have to be reductions, and they’re trying to avoid having to whack the faculty staffing level to the point where there’d be a significant teacher shortage in the future.

What we had was that proposal made earlier this year by the schools, the one that officials said was the best offer they could make, but that the union rejected without even sending it to their membership for a vote.

ONLY TO HAVE an outside arbitrator rule recently that the schools’ offer may well be the best that can be done?

So there we are. Who’s going to be willing to give? Is it possible for anybody to give? Who’s going to be willing to look weak and ineffectual? And above all, would parents wind up becoming so frustrated at having to make arrangements for their kids’ day care in the event of a strike that they wind up blaming everybody in sight?

Blame the teachers! Blame the schools and their administrators! Blame societal conditions! And above all else, blame Rahm Emanuel!!!!!!!!!!!

So will there be a teacher’s strike; either later this month or some time in September? I don’t know. Anybody who claims they do know is lying to you.

I REALLY WOULD feel safer placing a bet that the World Series this year will be the long-awaited Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs match-up.

Both ball clubs began the second month of the 2016 season in first place in their respective divisions. Although anybody with sense about baseball knows Memorial Day is the point at which you first seriously study the standings to determine who started off good.

By that point, the teams could be struggling to play .500 ball.

And that bet of a Chicago defeating Chicago in the World Series for the first time in 110 years since the Sox took down the Cubs in 1906 would look as premature as the one saying the sides will agree on a teacher's contract without the need to walk the picket lines.


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