If you’ve been following the news about the goings-on in the Windy City today, you’ll have noticed that we have a situation on our hands.
26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union have voted to authorize a strike against Chicago Public Schools. At issue? Better schools for Chicago students and better pay for teachers. Rank-and-file teachers are tired of being treated as scapegoats for chronically underfunded schools and being asked to do more with less.
One of the key reasons the CTU voted to authorize the strike has to do with Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposing an extension of the school day by nearly 20% without any adjustment in compensation. Work more, earn the same. What ever happened to overtime pay? Or heck, just a little bit more would be nice, even if it’s not overtime. Teachers do a lot of unpaid work grading papers and writing lesson plans off the clock.
Maybe I’m biased. My degree here at Murray State is for secondary education. What I do know, however, is that the men and women walking the picket lines in Chicago are fighting for the American Dream. They’re fighting for a decent living and for better schools – they’re fighting for the future of this country, and they deserve our support.
Column By Devin Griggs, opinion editor. Devin serves as vice president of finances for the Murray State College Democrats.