Blatant Union Greed:Chicago Teachers Set Strike Date Oct 11

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Shedlock via,

Chicago teachers have a 13% raise (over four years) offer on the table, but that is not enough. They set a strike date of October 11 because the city wants the union to contribute more than 2% for their underfunded pensions, among the worst funded pensions in the nation.

The Chicago public school system is bankrupt. Its bonds are deep in junk status.

If mayor Rahm Emanuel had any brains, he would be begging Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan for legislation that would allow municipalities and taxing bodies the right to declare bankruptcy.

There are two words that describe the current state of affairs: Greed and Corruption.

What follows is a guest post courtesy of Union Watch.

Rampant Union Greed in Chicago by Larry Sand

The Windy City’s teachers union is on the verge of yet another strike. 


In 2012, Troy Senik wrote “The Worst Union in America,” a title he bestowed on the California Teachers Association. As a former member and longtime critic of that union, I certainly had no quibble with his selection. But now, CTA is facing serious competition from the Chicago Teachers Union.


As reported in last week’s post, CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, is gearing up for a strike. It would be the union’s second in four years, despite the fact that the median salary for a teacher in Chicago is $78,169. When you add another $27,564 for various benefits, the total compensation for a teacher – good, bad or middling – becomes almost $106K per annum. (Please keep in mind teachers work 180 days a year, while employees in other professions typically work for 240 to 250 days.) In retirement, the average Chicago teacher receives a hefty $50,000 a year.


The main sticking point for the union and the Chicago Public School system (CPS) is the so-called pension pick-up. Teachers there (and elsewhere) have what’s called a “defined benefit plan,” whereby in retirement – come hell, high water or recession – a teacher’s pension is not affected. In most places, teachers and the school district share the contributions equally, but not in Chicago and some other municipalities in Illinois. Teachers there are supposed to chip in 9 percent of their salary to fund their own pension. But as things stand now, teachers contribute just 2 percent, with the school district (read: taxpayer) picking up the remaining seven. The city, which is in dire fiscal straits, is asking teachers to pay the full 9 percent. But lest the poor teachers need to reach for the smelling salts because they are being asked to kick in more for their own retirement years, Chicago is offering them an 8.7 percent salary increase over four years to help offset the teachers’ pension payment.


So, as the union demands more and more money, the schools end up with less and less. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, CPS still needs to come up with at least $300 million to balance its fiscal 2017 budget. “The school system still faces huge, $700 million-ish teachers pension payments this year and annually into the future. It still has too much real estate to serve its dwindling number of students. And its credit is maxing out.” As a result, Moody’s has just downgraded CPS further into junk status.

As if the union’s insistence on yet more money is not deplorable enough, there is a new addition to their basket. When CTU held its strike vote last week, it didn’t do it the traditional way – by secret ballot. Nope, the union had its teachers authorize a strike via “petitions” circulated at schools, meaning that everyone knew how everyone else voted. Think there may have been an intimidation factor at work here? And why on earth would they need to resort to such strong-arm tactics? The teachers voted by a 7 to 1 margin to strike in 2012 – when voting was done in private. As it turns out, the margin this year was 86 percent affirmative, just about what it was in 2012.


If the method of voting sounds dictatorial and totalitarian, it fits right in with the union’s leadership. CTU president Karen Lewis, who revels in her inflammatory style, makes Donald Trump look downright demure. Just a few of her egregious comments:

  • At the City Club of Chicago in 2013, she blamed the city’s education woes on rich white people. “When will we address the fact that rich, white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African Americans and Latinos—no matter what the parent’s income or education level.”
  • After the tragic Sandy Hook school shootings, Lewis blamed Teach for America, the organization that successfully enlists high-achieving college graduates to teach at hard to staff schools. Referring to TFA vice-president David Rosenberg, Lewis said “… policies his colleagues support kill and disenfranchise children from schools across this nation.”
  • Earlier this year, Lewis compared the Illinois governor to ISIS: “Rauner is the new ISIS recruit. Yes, I said it, and I’ll say it again. Bruce Rauner is a liar. And, you know, I’ve been reading in the news lately all about these ISIS recruits popping up all over the place — has Homeland Security checked this man out yet? Because the things he’s doing look like acts of terror on poor and working-class people.”
  • Then there is the typical union boss hypocrisy: She rails against corporate “fat cats,” all the while pulling in over $200,000 a year, owning three homes, including one in Hawaii. (Second-in-command at CTU, Comrade Jesse Sharkey, a leading member of the revolutionary International Socialist Organization, makes well over $100,000 in total compensation.)

The teachers could strike as soon as October 11th. It’s up to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Rauner to stand up to the CTU leadership and their outrageous demands and put a halt to the mugging. Enough taxpayer money has been extorted by the union without the mayor and governor kicking in another penny. And the union can’t claim that its teachers are doing a bang-up job: Just 30 percent of 4th grade CPS students are proficient in math and by 8th grade that number sinks to 25 percent. In reading, 27 percent of 4th graders are proficient as are 24 percent of 8th graders. Taxpayers should not be expected to sink any more of their money into an ineffective school system.


As of now, the hard working people of Chicago – already the highest taxed in Illinois – are getting overpaid teachers, failing kids and a union that wears its greed proudly on its sleeve. CTA, you have some serious competition.


Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

Hopefully the above article opens up your eyes to what is happening in Chicago.

Chicago offers salaries that are among the best in the nation, provides benefits among the best in the nation, and has schools among the worst in the nation.

Mayor Emanuel was foolish enough to pass a series of tax hikes, the biggest in history, nearly all of which goes straight into the pockets of the unions.

That was not enough for the unions. And it never will be.

Mayor Emanuel, please take your brains, wherever you left them, and put them back in your head. Ask the Governor and Speaker Madigan for bankruptcy legislation.

Bankruptcy is the only solution.

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jcaz's picture

Fire every one of those fuckers-  idiots are always disposable....

Performance matters- these teacher have failed to show value.  Replace them with walking morons and these kids will still test out the same scores- why is that, I wonder?  Gosh....

greenskeeper carl's picture

Good. It can collapse sooner, and they can get 100% of nothing. Not like they accomplish a whole lot anyway, a few years of high school, drop out, get shot or go to prison. Kinda funny, much of inner city Chicago has terrible schools with terrible outcomes for the students, but despite the dismal job they are doing, they still demand moar.

NoDebt's picture

Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.  ALL of them.  And no, they didn't get their jobs back a month or two later.  They were OUT.  For good.

Addition by subtraction.  It can be done.



KickIce's picture

100K for a glorified baby sitter is a little rich for me.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Not only that, a glorified babysitter that only works 180 days a year, gets all holidays off, and is completely unaccountable for their job performance.

Manthong's picture

The percentage of Chicago high school students who graduate is down around 70%... and they want a raise?

It doesn’t seem like the teachers will be missed very much.

Al least it will be warm enough for a while yet to keep the ongoing street circus and Wild West show that is Chicago entertaining everyone.


3.7.77's picture

All public unions should be declared illegal, there is no negotiating with them. Try not paying your property taxes as a protest. Here in my part of the country any voter can vote for the tax raises, but the property owners are on the hook for paying the taxes.

lance-a-lot's picture
lance-a-lot (not verified) 3.7.77 Oct 1, 2016 8:27 PM

Absolute GREED corrupts absolutely.

True Blue's picture

A new week and a new name for Aristotle of Grease, mofio gargoylian etc. Get a job already.

Same goes for these 'teachers' and all public sector unions -you worthless parasites will be replaced by computers (that perform your job better than you ever could) within five years anyway.

Antifaschistische's picture

and she blamed the "rich white people" because they don't know what's best for black and Latino youth.

1.  I am more than willing to let black people demand to be taught by black teachers only.  Same for the Mexicans...but they aren't that stupid.

2.  I want 4 cameras in each camera live streaming for the public to chose any classroom, at any time, and watch from any camera.

3.  The skills I demand from my employees are never ever ever ever dependent on the color of your skin.  So I DO know what "black" kids needs to work for my company, on my team, in my department.  

Sure...go ahead and pursue a career in the "performing arts".  I don't need any of those...and neither does the rest of the world.  Same goes for the young "white" kids who think they should get a degree in snow boarding or skate boarding or Nintendo.

BabaLooey's picture

It would be the union’s second in four years, despite the fact that the median salary for a teacher in Chicago is $78,169. When you add another $27,564 for various benefits, the total compensation for a teacher – good, bad or middling – becomes almost $106K per annum. (Please keep in mind teachers work 180 days a year, while employees in other professions typically work for 240 to 250 days.) In retirement, the average Chicago teacher receives a hefty $50,000 a year.

 MOTHERFUCKER! These bastards and bitches need a reality check.

FIRE THEM .................NOW! NO hiring any of them back.

Reagan did it - THESE PEOPLE NEED TO GO!!!!

DanDaley's picture

When the bond market, the stock market, and the dollar finally crash, this insanity will end. 

illuminatus's picture

Fuck Reagan and his union busting strong-arm tactics.

BabaLooey's picture

Go post on HuffBlow, or WaPoop, or even Yapooper.

You'll fit right in - jag off.

illuminatus's picture

Ok, all you Reaganomic trickle-down lovers, you don't think sending in the goons that put a gun to your head and tell you to do your job is somehow fucked up?  Great, you will probably get the chance to find out what that feels like. Just keep bending over for your bosses like good little altar boys.

DeathMerchant's picture

People with talent or skills or the intellect that gives them the ability to learn either don't need a "brotherhood" to help them make a buck.

BabaLooey's picture


Nice try at changing the subject. Typical fucktard liberal.

In your case, Mr. Switcho-Change-o, Mr. I don't a fucking clue without the government telling me what to do/how to think, once again, go onto Bluffington, WaPoopBezos and get comfy with your beltway bozos and wallow in your stink.

Oh, and by the way - watch that language - you are being hyper-aggressive, and hypocritical to your own mantra.

Moreover, your asinine posts reveal you to be on the lower end of the imbecile scale.

True Blue's picture

Fuck worthless Union parasites -they all should have been broken up years ago.

1033eruth's picture

I don't know what your life experience is, but if students refuse to learn, no teacher can make them learn.  You know the old adage about the horse and water and yet here you are putting 100% responsibility for learning on the teacher instead of the incorrigible pricks sitting in class.  

Guess what?  THERE ARE TWO PARTIES INVOLVED.  How the FUCK do you not know that? 

Mr. Universe's picture

First misnomer is that teachers are educators. What hubris, they may facilitate education, but an education is something an individual achieves. That requires a desire to learn, in other words motivation. After years of indoctrination, welfare, drugs and violence, what motivation exists for this corrupted worldview?

nmewn's picture

The kids will fair far better without the indoctrination instructors, I hope the strike lasts for ten years until the kids grow up a little.

Silverfoot's picture

Absolutely!  Hostess workers tried it in 2012.  Didn't work out for them.  And they at least turned out good products.   I love me a Twinkie.

illuminatus's picture

Wait a minute, I don't think we can lay all that on the teachers doorstep. Generally speaking teachers have to put up with guff and crap from unruly malnourished and drugged kids or brats that couldn't give a crap about being educated and have absolutely no rspect for teachers. Then the teachers get shit from the administrators. It gets old after a while. Meanwhile the truly greedy that are ripping off all of society are laughing their asses off all the way to the bank ( yes their bank) and making sure those kids are taught how to be good little slaves that get plenty of poisoned food and water. 

Its' society itself that has failed to show value, the teachers teach from books that repeat the party line. They are trying to make a buck in a very challenging job, and really not much of a buck either.




jcaz's picture

And who is holding a gun to the teachers heads to make them stay in this "terrible" job?

Cry me a river, but my father taught in a medical school for 40 years, he'd be the first to tell you that he was overpaid and underworked.

The solution here isn't to blindly pay teachers more money-  that's like saying pay bankers more so they won't screw people.

Wake up to the topic at hand- I have a friend who teaches Earth Science in a Chicago high school, she's making $140K/y-  how is this "not much of a buck"?   Freaking Earth Science????

So "taking crap from your boss gets old after awhile"????   Well, welcome to the real fucking world, snowflake!  Last time I checked, it was YOUR job to inspire kids to learn-  if they could learn on their own, we'd just give them a Google course and be done with it.

In a free-market society, it's YOUR job to provide value to the equation-  not the kids,  and not the taxpayers; 

If you serve no purpose other than to collect a check and whine about being a babysitter, then you have no business being an educator.

For fucks sake, dude- stop being part of the problem- you just talked yourself into the corner.....

illuminatus's picture

What?  But thanks for the reply.

jcaz's picture

Sorry I can't make it more simple for you- perhaps the gym teacher position wiill open up for you....

BabaLooey's picture

The typical fucktard, jcaz.

Has no where to run, then uses the blow off "thanks for your reply" bullshit.

I LOVE encountering these blowfucks in real life. On here - and on other  online forums, they talk tough.

In real LIFE - face to face - they become caricatures of their online "personas"; ad hominem attacks, straw man effluvia, and parroted "memes" from some fuckhead partisan assclown.

This jackwad and others ARE the "irredeemables"  - they ARE the deplorables.

They are what makes America shitty.

57-71's picture

Good post.

The thing about the teaching "profession" in the west is that it attracts every personality type that is insecure and cannot make it working in private enterprise. They would fail the first accountability test. Now, the really useless ones call themselves educators.

It is the same thing in Canada. Average salaries for a teacher with 10 years service baby sitting kindergaten aged children is well over $100k pa. For about 160 days of attendance.

The union system has been corrupted and needs a cleanout. Same as banks/financial, politicians, medical, and charities. When a leader is elected that can convince the public to revolt to achieve change, we shall see change. Until then, graft and theft, lying, stealing, cheating SOB's in all of these institutions will accelerate so that people can feed their greed.

1033eruth's picture

Is that right?  The student doesn't have any responsibility to learn whatsoever?  Its all on the teachers shoulders to "inspire".  

YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT as well as the morons that give you a thumbs up.   

Here's is a fucking clue for you IDIOT - goddamn your education failed you!!!

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO INDEPENDENT LEARNING?  That means you can actually learn without a teacher holding your fucking hand, you twisted dildo.  

It is just as much the students responsibility to attempt to learn as it is for the teacher to "inspire".  

I'm sick and tired of fuckheads that think that the student needs only to show up to class and the teacher will do the rest.   

Mr. Universe's picture

I think of teachers as vending machines, except instead of candy or soda they dispense knowledge. Some of it is worthwhile and some is like getting a Fresca when you wanted Mountain Dew. When the kids are hungry, they have to come up with some coin (that is supposed to be a symbol of your effort) to use the machine. It's the same with teachers, you have a make a real effort to learn from them. So when your entire life is provided for by welfare, have you ever learned effort is required to receive anything? Hell no, give me your wallet, craka.

Omen IV's picture

there is no one who needs a public education in Chicago - waste of time and money - nothing beyond their gross motors skills is necessary  to cut wood or pick up garbage cans - there is no work for these people

Build a Wall - Bankruptcy for the City  - fire everyone -  hand out meal tickets and basketballs - double the cops ....and wait it out - no other solution is viable

SoDamnMad's picture

I was an engineering professional in schools in the Los Angeles School District and a huge problem is that districts want to collect for every warm blooded kid who is breathing. Unfortunately those bad kids do NOT want to learn and are very happy to be in a special  classroom being "disruptive" ( a nice word for drugged, fighting, whacked out). The will damage anything and everything,i.e. I had to repair a nearly new, girls toilet facility where every sink was ripped off the wall (6 of them) at one time.  Watching these kids wreck the place are the scum of the teaching profession who have no objectives and just punch the clock.  So that is one hell of a lot of waste when you hit the total button.

1980XLS's picture

Greed only applies to rich people.

When it's unions or Democrats, it's just fighting for "Fair share"



Handful of Dust's picture

They should all be forced on Obamacare instead of the Gold BCBS Plans they have now.

boattrash's picture

Better yet, let them spend their weekends, walking through the ghettos, filled with the "kids" they helped create.

847328_3527's picture

"We need some common sense, 'Who Be Yo Daddy' legistation."

Crash Overide's picture

Pretty sad how many people are addicted to the greed. There are engineers that don't make 106k a year with bennies, these bitches are common core babysitters.

Fuck you!

Dre4dwolf's picture

Kids are probably going to learn more with their teachers absent from the rooms anyway.


Yen Cross's picture

  Just before the weather gets cold. Have fun huddling together in your cardboard boxes.

Lumberjack's picture

Teach them a real common core lesson.


Lumberjack's picture

Remind them that the union dues they paid included campain donations to elect democrats that wiped out their pension funds. Congratulations!

Robert Trip's picture

"Day doan talk us nuffin.

Y day need mo' coin?

Y day need?"

Swamp Yankee's picture

How about we give these hacks a 100% pay cut and replace them with Youtube University?  They'd save a ton of cash and the studends would graduate with at least as good skillset.

Chuckster's picture

Why not strike?   As the country economically goes into the financial obis .....why not strike? When you can't defend your position....attack.  What's to lose from their standpoint?  Besides you can't make a 12 year old be 12 years old a year from now so they can't lose.

UpperCut's picture

Had quite a fun time supervising these union scumbags.

Say if a lightbulb broke in one of the workplaces and its in the most accessible place (where most of them were), these assholes would tell me they couldn't do no work because of the light and when I told them to change it they would say "It's not in their union contract and to go speak with a union representative".

They didn't want to change a "single" light bulb to get the job done and their going salaries were around 70K.

lol. Fuck them and their strike. Btw, chicago's kids will be too busy shooting themselves to notice.




Handful of Dust's picture

Renegotiate the contracts based on the current "awesome" Obama economy.

COLA = 0.0%

5 year yield = 0.5%

..and for those optimistic long range pension planners they can brag about the 10 year yield of 1.2%

Plan benefits and payouts should be adjusted accordingly; namely, zero increase in benefits and everyone goes on the much bragged about Obamacare. 13% over four years is simply unrealisitc under Obamanomics and the fed's current policy of destruction.

Any teacher/plan participant who has a complaint can take it up with Soweto and his pal Yellen. Otherwise, Chicago taxpayers who had nothing to do with negotiation of this outrageous contract get sodomized and some may exit [wisely] trickle out to some sane area of the nation outside Ill..

847328_3527's picture

If the gubmint is generous enough to link ss increases to the COLA which is linked to the official CPI, then pension contracts should also be linked to the CPI.

13% is ridiculous. Too bad everyone from Obama to Hillary to Congress screws over seniors since they are not organized and violent enough to have a say like the handful BLM tearrorists.

The other option is to link the teachers's benefits and or raises to their literacy. That provides a useful gentle encouragement for them to learn how to read.

Robert Trip's picture

Another liberal hellhole going down the tubes with one of the Emperor's top guns at the helm.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Another solid month in Chiraq.

Final September Totals
Shot & Killed: 62
Shot & Wounded: 302
Total Shot: 364
Total Homicides: 65

Yearly totals

Year to Date
Shot & Killed: 511
Shot & Wounded: 2763
Total Shot: 3274
Total Homicides: 568



KickIce's picture

BLM will be outraged about all this white violence on black people.