Chicago Teachers Union Backs Wisconsin Protests

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — The Chicago Teachers Union says it is fully in sympathy with Madison, Wis., teachers who have closed schools there for two days in a row.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, CTU staff coordinator Jackson Potter calls the Wisconsin legislation a radical frontal attack on the rights of teachers to affect the educational environment for students.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

The proposal by Republican Gov. Scott Walker calls for all collective bargaining rights to be removed for state employees effective July 1, except with regard to wages. But any salary increase could not be higher than the consumer price index unless voters approve otherwise, the Huffington Post reports.

All contracts would be limited to one year, with no raises between contracts. Public employees would not be allowed to collect union dues, the Huffington Post reported.

Police and firefighter unions would be exempt.

Potter says he does not see any similar proposals coming to Illinois.

“I think that it’s different here because we were able to elect – one of the few states to elect a Democratic governor who’s responsive to the needs of children, and because of the tax increase, he doesn’t have the same budgetary restraints as Indiana or Wisconsin, so I don’t think we’re going to see that same virulent attack on teachers,” Potter said.

Potter says the union certainly would be favor joining teachers in Madison to show their support, should the walkout there continue.

Schools remain closed in Madison Friday, and also in Janesville, Wisconsin Dells and other districts around Wisconsin. In the state’s largest school district in Milwaukee, more than 600 of the 5,400 public school teachers called in sick over the protests.

Teachers also demonstrated for a third day Thursday night at the state Capitol in Madison. Thousands of protesters came to the demonstration.

“They’re tearing our teachers apart,” one woman said.

Republicans hope to advance the measure Friday, but that could tough. All 14 Democratic state senators left Wisconsin Thursday to delay a vote.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • knappydawg

    Potter, your dreaming, Illinois time is comming in spite of Quinn!! Adjustments have to take place or Illinois will be a Detroit!!

  • Mr Voter

    This is great…the American people had had enought to get out and show some guts….they should demand all state eleced officials resign…..sort out the courrption and fat, re-build the goverment, repeel the senseless laws, selling of public services and land, “Change” is getting real not the fake stuff and fluff….other countries are tried of the same old same old….we are too….these carreer political hacks don’t realize it is public serice…not a carreer, hiring cronies, lakies, giving out sweet tax payer money, why are they spending $10 million to get a job that pays $160,000 a year except that corupt and greed abuse of powwer ….stand up America, to badthe old laws changed , that we couldn’t tar and feather this courrpt cabel of thiefs and carpetbaggers!

    • Yvette

      Wow, someone is paying attention. I like it. You also notice the politicians make no move to lower their wages, few ever vote against a pay raise or lowering their pension or medical benefits or what would be more appropriate, having the same medicare and social security we do. Their private pension and medical funds don’t get thrown into the general fund as ours do.

      BTW until Grant (who died in poverty) the job of President and other political positions were unpaid for positions. It was felt that to hold those positions to govern this country the person should be able to provide for themselves. Hmmm, wonder how much we could save in salaries and pensions (which they get from one term). Would also pretty much end the idea of being a career politician.

      Anyway, keep thinking.

  • Jim

    The Chicago Taxpayers say it is time to end the fat pay and benefits for a 9 month a year job, taxpayers will not be paying any taxes until the open issues are rectified. Oh wait, that last part was me dreaming again, but us working folks are in FULL support of Gov. Scott Walker. This is change we can believe in! It’s time to do what is right for the kids and not use them as political pawns to increase your pay beyond belief. Unions have their places, but this is not one of them.

    • Yvette

      Go ahead don’t pay taxes and get the heck off my road while you are not paying taxes. Don’t waste the time of my fire dept or police dept either. send your kids to some private school. But most importantly Get off my Road!
      Again, if teachers have it so good why aren’t you one? Not that it’s a bad thing that you are not.

  • teganx7

    If the nion issue is such a problem, why are the police and firefighters, easily our two most important groups of public servants exempt?

    I am no fan of unions, and as a non-union public school teacher, I despise having to shell out $600 a year to a union that does nothing for me.

    But if people really think unions are the biggest problem, they are wrong. Teachers have been stripped of power over time by the communities. I see some parents lauding the underachieving charter schools, but what is the difference? Charter schools and publc schools test about the same … the only difference is: cahrter schools can get rid of kids for any reason, and can make demands of parents and students that used to be made, but can no longer leagally be made by most public schools (like requiring uniforms, requiring after school involvement, etc). If this is what parents want, lobby to change to give teachers power to make substantial changes.

    As for protecting bad teachers. I have known a few, but each of them could easily have been driven out if the school administration did their jobs and followed through on due process. Why is the public all of a sudden so keen on teachers not having proper due process … something any employee should have? Has their been any thought that taking such actions sends a message to young people that they shouldn’t become teachers? I love my job, and love my kids, but if this were happening 20 years ago, I doubt I would have ever gone into the profession.

    Further … doing this not only makes it easier to get rid of some bad teachers, but makes it very easy to get rid of good teachers who may have a disagreement with administrators while supporting the kids. Keep that in mind!

    • Mr. Justice

      40% of the Wisconsin teachers called in “sick” the last couple of days. What does that say to the students? The teacher’s lied! Come on!

      • Yvette

        So what are they supposed to do, just roll over and let the GOP think it can stay the course at turning us into a third world country. Wonder how you’ll feel when you are making $4 an hour and told you are lucky to have a job. I don’t want to be lucky to have a job, Frankly my employer is lucky to have me from my point of view.

    • Yvette

      Police and fire are exempt this time. Since the Wisconsin Governor has already tried to use his State Troopers as his own private Gestapo to pick up some of the Democrats, before he knew they were already out of state, pretty much tells us why he’s made them exempt, for now.

  • Mr. Justice

    Of course the Chicago Teachers Union support the Wisconsin Teacher’s Union.
    DON’T FORGET CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS ONE OF THE WORSE SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE COUNTRY. That pretty much sums it up. If the schools are bad, the students have below tests scores, WHAT does that say about the Teachers in CPD? It says, the majority of teachers in CPD can’t teach. They are there for a paycheck and that’s it. All teachers should be fired at the end of the school year, and then new teachers should be hired. And if they don’t do a good job teaching the students, then they should be fired. Almost all other jobs in America are based on merit. If one works hard, one is rewarded with a pay raise, new position, etc. The same should be true for all teachers.

    • ak

      Did you mean “worst”? LOL Were you educated in the CPS? I was, and I know how to spell!

  • southside

    I love how the union loonies hide behind “The Kids”. Guess what? A teacher’s job IS to provide a proper and thorough learning environment, regardless of if you are in a union or not. If the unions are suggesting that teachers will teach poorly because the union is not happy, that is yet another reason to get rid of the union.

    You go, Gov. Walker!

    • teganx7

      Wrong! It is the school district’s job to provide the learning environment. School district’s can choose to pay less and cram more kids into the classroom, and the result will be poorer education as the better teachers are given jobs elsewhere ,and the poor teachers left behind are unable to handle teaching 30-40 kids in a room. In the end, people generally get what they pay for. If you want a high quality education on the cheap, I think you had better rethink the idea of a “good education”.

      This, from a non-union teacher … they are a problem, but government is by far the bigger problem.

  • Sue

    I’m a teacher in Chicago. I’ve been laid off for over a year because of buget cuts. I have a Master’s in Education, bilingual certified, several endorsements, yet I can’t get a teaching job. Please let me know when the Wisconsin teachers get laid off so I can apply for a teaching position there. Unions can only do so much, but without a paycheck they are worthless.

    • Mr. Justice

      Glad to see that Sue WANTS to work and help educate our children. The unions do more damage to this country than any Bernie Madoff could do.

      • Yvette

        The unions built this country. The destruction of unions will destroy this country.

  • knappydawg

    Sue, if you 1/2 as good as you note you should be welcome in Plainfield, Naperville, Joliet, New Lenox, Frankfort etc. Most parents in these areas are truely parents and work with the teachers to insure success. Good Luck and thank you for your dedication.

  • bob

    Before everyone sides with the Wisc teachers, keep in mind they pay NOTHING towards their lavish pension and nothing towards their health insurance. Most in the private sector doesn’t even have a pension but a worthless 401k and most have to pay part of their health insurance even non-public union menbers.

    • Music

      Starting salary for Wisconsin teachers is $25,000 per year. Experienced teachers make an average of $46,000.

      • Andrea

        Those experienced WI teachers ought to move to NY where they would easily make $120K+/year for about 15 years of teaching experience.

    • Yvette

      Your comment is untrue.

  • knappydawg

    Sue, don’t forget Lockprot and Lemont also. Property taxes will be twice that of chicago and you will have to pay for water but your chances of being mugged, molested and or robbed as almoust nill, “gramps is packin” we aren’t afraid to protect ourselves, Daily sucks..

  • Chivi

    Chicago teachers!!! Clean up your own mess before trying to clean up someone else’s. Bad teachers make the union look bad!! Lazy, stupid teachers make the unions look bad because the uniions back them up. We pay taxes but you don’t see anyone trying to get us out of a hole!! I want to keep my money!!!!

  • nauseated

    We recently read about 2 Schaumburg gym teachers making $160k & $140k. They’ll get $120k pensions for the rest of their lives. Imagine $160k a year to teach kids how to run down a field or bounce a ball. This is insanity and needs to stop and maybe the taxpayers need to protest at the capital to put an end to our taxes being raised for this.

  • Dems & Unions = Corruption

    I hope Walker stays strong!!!! I also hope that people across this country start opening their eyes and getting educated on the mess these public sector unions have caused. Hopefully this will only be a starting point for true reform in this debt-ridden and over-taxed society!!!

    • Mr. Justice

      Right On !

    • Yvette

      And when you are making $4 an hour or less after the GOP has gotten rid of minimum wage, don’t come crawling to me.

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  • John P

    After seeing the abhorrent spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalization errors in the responses to this article, I’m beginning to wonder where you all went to school. The majority of you wouldn’t have gotten through 4th grade with Mrs. Hull.

    My wife is a public school teacher (K-8 music), and president of her union. I’m pro union, knowing what her salary would be in a non-union environment. She taught at St. Nicholas’ Evanston parish school, Pope John XXIII for 12 years, and was making $13,000 when she quit for public school (in 1997). That’s what a teacher (or any woman in a female-dominated profession) with a Master’s degree would be making without union representation. Bet on it.

    And they won’t be the only ones if the unions are busted. Dust off your old copy of “The Jungle” if you want to see your future without collective bargaining.

    • Mr. Justice

      >>>>>John, stop spewing your verbal vomit. You are nothing but a liar and your you know it! Why don’t you go somewhere else and spew your lies and deception.

    • Jim

      Of course you are pro union as you are reaping the benefits at the children and taxpayers expense. I agree that $13k is not enough, but something more realistic would be agreeable (a working wage). Unions always use the “it’s for the kids” lie, but people are starting to realize that it’s for the wages and not the kids. If it were truly for the kids then the unions would take those $100k+ jobs and hire 2 x $50k jobs. I’m sure most would agree.

    • CJChicago

      It is the unions which have destroyed our educational system! Answer this, why is it that public school education is so horrific compared to private school education when the former has much more money to spend on a child than the latter? because of UNIONS? Down with the unions!

      We have been told by Obama that we all need to make sacrifices to fix our broken economy. I guess unions believe he ment everyone except union members, right?

      Asking teachers in Wisconsin to contribute 5% towards their pension and 12% towards their health benefits is still less than what the average private worker contributes to these!!!!!

      Their collective bargaining is NOT being taken away!

      and yes, unions were necessary once a upon a time, but like many things, they have become a burden on our economy! Unions destroyed the auto industry. Unions, today, do a lot more harm than good!

  • Nancy

    I have a lot of respect for teachers….they do the best they can with what they are given. What I don’t have respect for are the unions that cause nothing but problems….as a reader/commentor put it, she needs a job and the unions aren’t helping her….when they say strike you loose while they get their salaries. What I also do not respect is the fact that in Illinois the taxpayers (and yes that includes teachers but the majority are hard working non-teachers) are paying for the teachers pensions and health insurance. That is not right…………I have no pension and with money as tight as it is now, I can’t afford one on my own. I am thankful that my boss pays 100% of my health insurance, but then we are a small NON UNION company. Everytime the unions get their increases we all suffer down the line and end up having to cut further on things that we need because those prices have increased (you know…food, heat, gas) I also don’t appreciate my taxes be spent on usless people in Springfield who refuse to balance the budget before increasing taxes and for giving themselves whatever they want and not have to account for it (insurance, pensions,, free cars, plane rides to where ever, pay raises, etc.). I may not totally agree with what Wisconsin is doing, but taxpayers across the country are SICK AND TIRED of paying because their legislators can’t and won’t do what is right.

  • Sue

    Hey, John P… can your president-of-the union wife get me a job? I too have worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and then for CPS. I was let go for budget cuts. I wasn’t tenured, nor was I politically connected so now I’ve been looking for a teaching job for over a year. When I apply, I’m competing with hundreds of other applicants. When I interview, my competition are newly minted teachers who cost less to hire. It’s not about hiring quality educators, it’s hiring the cheapest teachers. Union or no union I just want to teach.

  • CJChicago75

    I find it amazing that for years we have heard Left wingers, union members, Liberals, Democratic party, Obama, Pelosi, Quinn, Wisconsin union members, etc demanding that the American people make sacrifices. That we need to spend less and pay higher taxes.
    Here in Illinois our income taxes was raised to 5%. Wisconsin public workers are being asked to now contribute 5% into their pension and 12% into their healthcare benefits. They are beingn aksed to make sacrifices for the good of the State of Wisconsin. Now, these same people who applauded Obama and other Democrats when they called on the American people to make sacrifices are having a tantrum because their rhetoric of making sacrifices have become a reality!!!
    How quickly Liberals who were screaming and demanding that Americans make sacrifices turn against making sacrifices when it becomes personal!!!

    • Bravo

      GREAT POST!!!!

  • CJChicago

    The teacher’s union is the number one reason why our educational system in Chicago and surrounding suburbs is garbage!!! The Teacher’s Union must be railed in and stopped in all States!

    I find it amazing that just a few weeks ago and since Obama was elected we have been asked to be civil in our political discourse. Have you people seen the hateful, vitrolic, venomous boards and language that is being spewed by the Left wing union thugs in Wisconsin? I guess Left wingers did not get the memo about being civil towards those whom they disagree with.

    Down with the teacher’s union. They care NOTHING for children.

    • WELL worded!

      The DNC and Organizing for America are FULLY behind this!!!! Can you imagine if the roles were reversed and tis type of stuff was seen at a tea party or GOP event!!??

      • Yvette

        No worries there, the GOP and the tea party are not likely to back up, stand up, or doing anything for the working people.

      • zook

        Oh and the club for growth and the Koch brothers who contributed to Mr. Walkers campaign are not? I don’t care about the wages or benefits they are negotiable. I’d like to know how in a FREE country any gov, legilature or president for that matter has the right to tell me I can” join a union. It’s about individual freedom.

  • Halo

    I HOPE THE TEACHERS GET FIRED!!! Hire some teachers that are concerned with educating our children instead of fattening their wallets to corrupt our yuoung innocent children’s minds!

    • Yvette

      If teachers have it so good and easy, why don’t you become one?

  • john p

    To all you union busters. My suggestion has been ignored, so I’m putting it out here for you (if you can’t understand metaphor, you may skip the following):

    It’s called The Hog Squeal of the Universe, from Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”

    One could not stand and watch very long without becoming philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog squeal of the universe. Was it permitted to believe that there was nowhere upon the earth, or above the earth, a heaven for hogs, where they were requited for all this suffering? Each one of these hogs was a separate creature. Some were white hogs, some were black; some were brown, some were spotted; some were old, some young; some were long and lean, some were monstrous. And each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart’s desire; each was full of self- confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it– it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life. And now was one to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom this hog personality was precious, to whom these hog squeals and agonies had a meaning? Who would take this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his sacrifice? Perhaps some glimpse of all this was in the thoughts of our humble-minded Jurgis, as he turned to go on with the rest of the party, and muttered: “Dieve–but I’m glad I’m not a hog!”

    • Unions suck

      D U M B A S S

    • Sue

      Hey, John P… can your president-of-the union wife get me a job? I too have worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and then for CPS. I was let go for budget cuts. I wasn’t tenured, nor was I politically connected so now I’ve been looking for a teaching job for over a year. When I apply, I’m competing with hundreds of other applicants. When I interview, my competition are newly minted teachers who cost less to hire. It’s not about hiring quality educators, it’s hiring the cheapest teachers. Union or no union I just want to teach.

      Guess your wife isn’t interested in a quality teacher. I’m not surprised!

      • john p

        Seriously, Sue, if you really ARE a teacher, you’d know that the union rep has no say in hiring. That’s the administration’s job. So let’s not accuse my wife’s school of disinterest in hiring quality teachers based on her not hiring you sight unseen.

      • john p

        Her school district is hiring, but as you noted, there are about 200 applications for every job. How much are you offering?

    • Sue

      Here’s what I’m offering John. I’m a teacher in Chicago. I’ve been laid off for over a year because of buget cuts. I have a Master’s in Education, Type 03 Certified, bilingual certified, several endorsements, yet I can’t get a teaching job. Please let me know when the Wisconsin teachers get laid off so I can apply for a teaching position there. Unions can only do so much, but without a paycheck they are worthless.

      I’m not asking to be hired sight unseen. What I’m asking for is a fair shot at a teaching job. John, as you know, this is about money and not about hiring quality teachers. I love teaching, yet I feel that I will never teach again based on the current economic conditions that face our state. Please don’t insult me by asking if AM a teacher. I am, and a damn good one.

      • Yvette

        Sue, I think it’s the charming narcissistic attitude you’ve shown here that might be your greater problem with employment.

      • Yvette

        See charming. So how much do you think that Masters will be worth without a union?

    • Yvette

      John P, it’s like talking to a brick wall, isn’t it?

      • Sue

        Yvette…you are an idiot and know nothing about me. Go back under the rock from whence you came!

  • Yvette

    What I want to know is why so many people are willing to tax the hell out of themselves, but not the mega corporations that pay little to nothing in taxes, yet reap the largest awards? Common working people, the real majority, stick together, ignore the divisive racist/sexist/religious BS that keeps you blind to reality. Otherwise, we are doomed to become a fascist country to the benefit of a few and to a great loss of to the rest of us. Vote for politicians that truly listen to their people, it’s pretty obvious too many of Wisconsin’s politicians care nothing about what their people really want. I don’t care who you vote for Libertarian, Green or Democrat (which have turned into the old Republican party, but haven’t fallen totally off the edge yet), just stop voting for these blatant crackpot Republicans that have taken over that party. Otherwise, if you are jealous of those in a union, Join One!

    • LOTD

      I’m an ex-union tradesman. The union allowed employers to put quotas on the workers that were UNOBTAINABLE without cutting corners and sacrificing quality, and did NOTHING to intervene. ALL quantity over quality. That is the total opposite of how I was trained!!! Jealous?? I think not. I don’t believe in the lousy politics of it all. I can walk into a house or condo today and within 10 minutes tell if it was built using union labor!!! Ask ANY proud tradesman about this! You want to talk about fascism………………..look at the guy that I’m sure you and your like helped elect president!

  • Yvette

    Anyway, it’s been fun wasting a little time here, but I don’t have much time to waste on people who have put their blinders on with the hope that someday they’ll be in the upper 1 or 2 percent money makers and won’t want to pay their fare share to support public services that benefit them too.

    It’s good to see the few here that are still thinking, even if we aren’t sure exactly how to get the USA back on the right track again

    • John P

      Yvette, I agree that Sue’s unemployment situation may be of her own device. The CPS can save more by reducing tenured, highly paid teachers, yet her boss chose to eliminate her. And like so many others on this board (Unions Suck, for instance), when she has no argument, she falls back on her old standby, name-calling. So much for intelligent discourse.

  • marjorie barnett

    Before you all say thiis I am from a third world country and am very happy to have had union to bargain fo r us most of you so called educated fools make me sick but you dont fool me any way all the negative comments are onlley comming from the mouth;s of republicans you all think alike why the hell would I have to give up my bargining rights that was so hard to come by the republicans are waging wars on poor ,blacks women children and poor whites to the ones who dont have a job shut up and pray to get one you will be singing a different tune when your asked to give back

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