CHICAGO -- So what if 5,000 CPS teachers are laid off this Thanksgiving? The union who represents them says the picture is not a pretty one: 140-150,000 students will lose their teacher. Three million instruction hours will be lost in this school year alone. Some teachers will be forced to reach more than one grade at a time. And it all could end in a strike that takes over Chicago streets during the coldest time of the year: late January or early February.
Thirty-thousand teachers took to the streets back in 2012. For days red union shirts filled the streets as teachers shouted and marched to convey their discontent over a contract deal they didn't like. It was Emanuel's first crack at negotiating such a weighty deal. The visuals were seen all over the world. Could Chicago be ready for another round? Right now, the union says CPS remains clear about a 3-year contract with over 5 percent cuts in it. The union wants Emanuel's wealthy friends and business owners to share in the sacrifice, too, by taxing investment transactions.
Today, CPS responded to the union by saying pension relief in Springfield, Ill., is the city's way out of this particular squeeze. Officials there ask for the union to join them in the fight for pension funding equity.