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After Historic Union-Backed Strike, Chicago Charter School Teachers Celebrate New Contract as Win for Students


After Historic Union-Backed Strike, Chicago Charter School Teachers Celebrate New Contract as Win for Students

Jon Queally, staff writer

Less than two weeks after the first-of-its strike by organized charter school teachers, members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted nearly unanimously over the weeked to approve a new contract won by their walkout and celebrated the new terms as a result of collective action and community power.


This is what Democracy Looks Like!!!

If this report is, in fact, accurate this was a truly revolutionary moment that yield many concrete gains for students, communities, and education workers.

I am simply astounded by this in particular:

  • Equal pay for equal work with CPS educators, who teach the same students but whose compensation has been significantly higher than those working for private charter operators.

This means that the newly-UNIONIZED Acero teachers just worked their way into the wage scale of the militant CTU union contract and are guaranteed equity. Let’s hope it’s not a trick bag. It just seems too good to believe.

In any case, this shows how workers, communities and unions can win when we join together to fight for our class rights as working human beings.


Tom Johnson
Adjunct Instructor
Columbus, OH USA


Union, YES!!! I know it won’t happen for at least a while, but we need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (the same law that Obama said he was in favor of but did NOTHING on) to finally make it easier to form & join a union. A decent minimum wage is a necessity, but unions are what formed our once great “middle class” and will help greatly to balance out the economic inequality in this country today.


While EFCA is symbolically important and a wonderful tool to help educate workers, it will won’t be easy to organize, join, and/or manage labor unions well into the future.

Strong, militant, democratic labor organizations are central to any decent industrial/post-industrial society, but they are organisms of class conflict and are - by definition - high risk, high-cost organizations. This is especially true here since the US. does not have anything that resembles national working-class parties – and class consciousness among U.S. workers is almost negligible.


EFCA or “card check” will make it easier for employees to form unions. I am 72 yrs old, retired at 54 with a modest pension, and had excellent benefits. I don’t know exactly what you mean “by definition” they are high risk and high cost orgs. And, also it wasn’t always like the way it is now with unionization. Back in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s US workers overall loved unions even though the labor laws in the US were weak. In the 60’s the US had about a 35% of all workers that were union. Today the laws in the US are extremely anti-union, just look at Mi, & Wi as just recent examples. The Democratic party depended mostly on union money for their campaign funds unlike today where they get their money from Wall st & Silicon Valley. The REAL reason the Dem party is in the sad shape it is today is they gave up on working people and Trump picked up on the unrest of the workers. I and many others believe that Sanders would have beaten Trump by 52-48 if he would have gotten the nomination. A hell of a lot of Sanders supporters voted for Trump thinking he would do the things he campaigned on. I know the jobs that left here are not coming back, but the jobs that are here can be unionized if the laws were changed. Sorry for the long winded reply, but I believe in unions and also believe that they are one of the easiest ways to reverse the economic inequality.


What I mean by “high risks and high costs” of unionism. From the inception of the industrial revolution the U.S. government and private capitalist armies like the Pinkertons, regularly slaughtered, red-baited, non-personed, blacklisted, fired, starved, hung, jailed, deported, etc. many tens of thousands of workers – immigrant and native-born alike --for organizing and belonging to unions.

After WW1, red-baiting become the common national ideology and it was used with viciousness. By the 1930s, on the verge of a class-based revolution, FDR figured out how to co-opt a good part of the working-class and WW2 allowed him the means and methods to do it. A white peoples’ New Deal ran hand-in-hand with an ongoing Red Scare in which unions were formally incorporated into the capitalist state apparatus in 1955 with the merger of the business union AFL with the more militant and progressive CIO.

The rapid decline of union membership (it hit a height of 35% in 1953) began then. Throw in Taft-Hartley (1947) and other repressive laws and union red-baiting that destroyed many thousands more of workers’ lives and gutted union power and we have what we have today.

Your pay, pension and benefits are very much a result of all this. As is my Social Security. For a majority of white workers and some ethnic minorities this was the “golden age” of unions (1950-1970). Those days are done and it will require more and greater nonviolent class warfare to achieve. High-risk, high-cost all the way.


Chicago has some good history concerning the workforce. In Wisconsin Walker’s agenda was the opposite and he showed it. Hopefully with Gov. Evers, the education governor, we can rebound in Wisconsin which had been tops in education for a very long time. We have to go beyond the university system and work with teachers to restore bargaining and pension rights.
Sorry I haven’t researched any numbers here.


Got it, I was thinking you were referring to “todays” problems the unions are facing, I agree it will take more as you say “warfare” to achieve and am somewhat afraid we will have to go through another 1929 depression to accomplish it as was done during the depression. I also am afraid that it will be violent as it was then. With the way labor lawthe way it is today and the leaning of the courts it would take a massive progressive/liberal non-violent political revolt to reverse 70 yrs of anti labor legislation. I have said before on these boards that if I had the finances I have now AND was 20 yrs or so younger, I would leave this country in a heartbeat with no regrets.


I would too. Just can’t afford to get out and finding an international job at the age of 69 has proven impossible. Hell, finding a job that pays enough here is near impossible. And I have a daughter who would never move.