The Chicago Teachers Union members held out for fixed pay raises, guaranteed job security and a generous pension plan. How many people in today's workforce have a package like that? CPS teachers are well compensated at an average annual salary of approximately $70,000. The number of weeks that are actually worked over a typical school year is another matter. They also receive a pension after 20 years that is ultimately paid for by taxpayers. In fact, over 70 percent of appropriated funding is allocated toward a pension plan that rewards members who may no longer be productive.
Earning a college degree in education is not a profound achievement. I have one myself but I would be reluctant to impede the education of children while using them as bargaining chips for self gain. Going forward, teachers should take their picket signs to unemployment centers and see how much sympathy they can receive from those who need a job of any kind.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel fought for a longer work day and teacher evaluations. Finally, teachers may have to work a full day and should be accountable for their performance.
Did the union win? Years ago, I asked a union business agent if getting laundry workers a 10-cent per hour raise will make them happy. As he drove off in his fancy car he said unions only give members enough to make them think there're happy. In that light, unions always win.