Chicago Teachers Union Eric Skalinder June 6, 2012
A Letter to CEO Brizard from a Teacher
Thank you for sharing your concerns about the upcoming CTU strike authorization vote. I think a teacher's perspective may help you better understand why we will overwhelmingly vote yes to the authorization this week.
Though you often tell me how much you respect me and how much you support me, Board policies and CPS contract proposals do neither. If I felt respected and supported, in actions not words, if the thousands of other CTU members felt respected and supported, we would be at a very different place in our relationship, wouldn't we.
Unfortunately, the fact that you feel that you and CPS respect and support teachers and staff only serves to highlight how massively disconnected CPS leadership and the Board of Education are from classroom teachers, career service personnel, and the students we serve every day.
When my CEO cannot be bothered to attend a single session in negotiations, a process for which dozens of teachers and career service employees have gladly volunteered, I do not feel respected or supported.
When selective enrollment schools serving 1% of CPS students receive 24% of TIF funding spent on schools and I work in a neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
When CPS contract proposals indicate that experience, education, and training are unimportant or even undesirable, I do not feel respected or supported.
When 4% of my pay is taken (for the rest of my career - not just for one year) even though the Board budgeted for it, I do not feel respected or supported.
When charter schools dump their least desirable and least successful students into my neighborhood school, I do not feel respected or supported.
When CPS attempts to mandate a scripted curricula that has nothing to do with the needs of my students, I do not feel respected or supported.
When CPS closes 100 schools since the start of my career with threats to close 100 more, I do not feel respected or supported.