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  • Chicago Teachers Union Demands 30 Percent Pay Raise

    It takes a lot of nerve to ask for a 30 percent pay raise. You’d better be sure you had a banner year. Yet in Chicago, where just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading (and just 56 percent of students graduate), the teachers union is set to strike if the district does not agree to a 30 percent increase in teachers’ salaries.

    The average teacher in Chicago Public Schools—a district facing a $700 million deficit—makes $71,000 per year before benefits are included. If the district meets union demands and rewards teachers with the requested salary increase, education employees will receive compensation north of $92,000 per year.

    According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the average annual income of a family in Chicago is $47,000 per year. If implemented, the 30 percent raise will mean that in nine months, a single teacher in the Chicago Public School system will take home nearly double what the average family in the city earns in a year.

    According to the union, 91 percent of its members voted for the ability to strike. That vote gives the union the ability to walk out of public school classrooms as children return to school this fall.

    The union argues that Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) wants to extend the school day, and that the requested salary increase would compensate them for extending the school day from 5.5 hours—among the nation’s shortest school days—to 7.5 hours. Chicago Public Schools states that under the extended school day:

    On average teachers will provide 5.5 hours of instruction (an increase of 54 minutes), receive a 45-minute duty-free lunch and 60-minute prep period and supervise the passing period. They will also be required to be on-site for 10 minutes before and after school.

    While the union bemoans the longer school day and is demanding a hefty pay raise as a result, taxpayers will be left holding the bill for a 30 percent salary increase and wondering whether $92,000 is appropriate compensation for public school employees.

    As Heritage’s Jason Richwine notes, public school teachers should be compensated no better or worse than their similarly skilled private-sector counterparts.

    …the teaching profession is not actually underpaid, nor is it an unpopular career choice among college graduates. In fact, total compensation for the average public school teacher is considerably higher than what his or her skills would merit in the private sector.

    Creating a teacher compensation system that rewards the best teachers in a fiscally responsible manner is a broadly shared goal. To that end, policymakers should avoid across-the-board pay increases, focusing instead on performance pay by easing restrictions on entering the teaching profession, and basing tenure decisions on performance in the classroom.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    88 Responses to Chicago Teachers Union Demands 30 Percent Pay Raise

    1. hughbaby says:

      The data indicates that only a small percentage of students can read and only half or so graduate. Based on this performance I would suggest that the schools be closed and all teachers terminated. This would not have much impact on the education of most students. Then I would suggest that the people take control, start over with a new approach to school, and begin the process of a real education for students. Anything resembling continuing with the same approach is idiotic.
      This is the same method that President Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. Funny thing, airplanes did remain flying safely as they are today.

    2. OldmanRick says:

      Let them strike. Fire them. Hire non-union teachers who really want to teach.

      • Kelly says:

        Hiring teachers who really want to teach has really worked in New Orleans!!!! Go for it!!!

      • Andrew says:

        These teacher are making almost 50% more than what a average income family make if the teacher get the pay raise. All the teacher that support the strike should all be fired. Hire non union teacher who care to teacher our students!! Wake up!!! Illinois is 200 billion in debt we can't afford it.

    3. lovingThoseDogs says:

      Do they not keep up with current events? Do they not know that the U6 rate is almost 15%?

      Tell them to go pound sand.

    4. MBS says:

      This is simply not true. If people are paid by the hour, the amount on salary will go up if hours increase. Think about it. If a person is paid to wash cars for 8 hours a day and they now have to work 10 hours a day, shouldn't they get paid. I am a teacher and I spend over 5K of my own money on supplies each year. I work 2 -3 hours everyday after school grading papers. I spend on average 10- 15 hours a week preparing for the next week. Now people want to add hours to the day. They are not saying how they will help my first graders learn. They are not talking about how they will pay for art or music. Think about being a 8 year old in school all day with out air conditioning. Think about gym once a week. Think about sitting trying to learn when you are tired and hungry. Does this sound like a plan. The teachers voted to authorize a strike because we are tired of being blamed for all of the mistakes the politicians have made. We are at the front lines of the war on poverty and a failing society to address the real needs of the poor. We are not demanding a 30 percent pay raise. We are saying pay a fair wage for the hours we work. People should read the University of Illinois study on the amount of time teachers spend during the week working for our children before they judge.

      • Robdog says:

        $71000 is a pretty fair salary for what is essentially a 9 month work year. If you break this down, the standard salary for a private employee is based upon a 2080hr work year. That is 8 hours a day for 260 days in a work year. So an employee earning 71K has an hourly rate of $34 an hour or $1360.00 a week.
        A teacher in Chicago however apparently only works 5.5 hrs a day for around 180 day work year. This means the average work year for a teacher in Chicago is 990hrs for an hourly breakdown of $71.71 dollars an hour. Even when you add in 2.5 extra hours to the work day; increasing the number of hours a teacher work for the year to 1520hrs a year, a teacher is still making 46 dollars an hour, or $1840.00 a week.
        Please note even with the proposed increase in the school day, teachers are still making $12.00 more an hour than a comparable private employee who has to be at work for the 90 average days a teacher has off for holidays and summer break.
        And the statement about extra time and money spend is trope. I taught Language Arts for 8 years and am well aware of the extra time spent prepping and grading. As an employee in private industry now, I am also aware that extra time spend doing what needs to be done is part of being a good employee. All salaried employees work extra time, and the amount of extra time I work now is no different from the extra time I spent grading essays and prepping classes when I taught.
        In light of the numbers above, it seems teachers in the Chicago area are not underpaid, but actually rewarded very nicely for their jobs.

        • tnnlvisn says:

          Teachers do not work 'just 9 months of work" – you should probably know that up front. The good teachers (90%) go to seminars that deal with any number of teaching techniques; they take classes to enhance their knowledge base; they go on to get their Masters or Doctorates: and then in the month of August they prepare for the new year. Educate yourself on what "we" do before you tell "us" how to do it better, faster, and cheaper.

      • Robdog says:

        $71000 is a pretty fair salary for what is essentially a 9 month work year. If you break this down, the standard salary for a private employee is based upon a 2080hr work year. That is 8 hours a day for 260 days in a work year. So an employee earning 71K has an hourly rate of $34 an hour or $1360.00 a week.

      • steve, OH says:

        Simply saying its not true doesn't make the problem go away. First of all, a salary means you don't get paid by the hour. And by my calculations, 3 hours per day after school plus another average of 3 hours per day (thats 15 divided by 5 for those poor Chicago students who aren't being served) for prep time over the 36 weeks that a teacher works still comes out to just barely over number of hours that a normal 40-hr-per-week worker would put into their job. Again for those who are math-challenged because their school system failed them, that is 12 hrs/day x 5 days/wk x 36 wks = 2140 versus 40 hrs/wk x 52 wks = 2080. So suck it up and do your job. And hopefully you don't think that a "fair wage" equates to nearly double the average household income.

      • dave says:

        dont teachers also get close to 30% of the year off….. so you want 92G to work 66% of the year….geee so do I but I work 100% of the year… I may not live in chicago but I can easily understand why you should be fired.

      • Eric says:

        Cry me a river ! 5.5 hour school days,most of the summer off,excellent benefits,retirement package etc..Now you want to be paid TWICE what the avg. taxpayer in the city makes….Get real !!

      • Guest says:

        Grow up. I work 55 hours every week and no summer off. Your hours are at best typical for "professional employees." Want to be treated as a professional act like one.

        As far as the 5k you spend of your own money I call BS. I know how much I donate of my own money for school supplies for my children, the school always asks enough from each student to cover two students and they get it from most.

        I am calling you out on the 5k of your own money crap. Even if you actually do tax deduct it like the rest of us professionals do when we spend our own money to maintain licenses and other fees / expenditures. Your expediences and tribulations as a professional are not unique, suck it up and deal with it like the rest of us do.

        • Ryan says:

          Then get out and do it. I dare you. Try. See how many days you leave at the "end" of the day or how much of the nights, weekends, and summers are spent working. Seriously. Every person who thinks we can just put an unexperienced button puncher in, do it. See what you get.

      • kranky says:

        I can't say I am sympathetic. I spend 40+ extra hours per week working at my job, and I get paid for only the first 40. Yes, I really work 80+ hours. I spend my own money to help the company.

        If I succeed, I get more work.

        If I fail, I go out of business.

        This is called economics.

        If I demanded my customers pay me 30% more, provide me with more freebies just for the opportunity to fail to service their needs (educate their kids) most of the time, I'd be out of a job.

        As you should be.

        You live in a market economy, where you sell your services to the highest bidder based upon market conditions. If you create a monopoly to control prices, you negatively impact the market, and the market seeks alternative solutions. This is economics 101. Basic stuff.

        You have failed to educate. We can see this based upon the scores. Passing the buck, while popular with the current occupant of the white house, is not the right solution, nor is it warranted, correct, reasonable. It shouldn't even be attempted.

        You have failed, miserably, in your job. And now you want a pay raise? And to have us keep the monopoly going?

        If you wish to join our currently failed president riding flying unicorns around rainbows, you are welcome to. Just not on my dime.

        • Jen says:

          What shows that you fail? Do test scores show if a student can use deductive reasoning while figuring out a science experiment or if he can use various strategies to solve a math problem? This is what is creatinggood students. I know some people buckle under pressure while taking a test, has this ever happened to you? How can this same test show if the student is learning to the best of his ability? When a child is not exposed to letters or words until he is 5 (as is some of the cases in the CPS school where I substituted last year), how can someone expect a teacher to have him reading at the end of the school year? If that is failing, then your expectations are too high. Teaching takes time and everyone needs repetition so that they can master something. I'm sure when you started your job you weren't expected to do as much as you are now, because you were new at it and you didn't know. Same goes with kids. But now, take away the years of experience that you have in a professional and personal world, and your general knowledge of the world. That's not even including the level of development that your adult mind sees. There's a kid for you. It's not as easy as you think to track all of that.

      • Deanna says:

        Sorry but your reasoning is flawed. I am appalled that Chicago teachers will only work 5.5 hours a day and be required to stay after only 10 minutes. As a retired teacher, I can tell you that our schedules were longer and we had lunch duty, and were required to be available before and after school for 30 minutes. It's too bad you whine about the extra hours you spend grading papers, etc. What did you think teachers do? I did that, on top of a longer school day. If you are an elementary school teacher you are doing a job millions of other people could do, and would love to do for that pay or any pay. So get over yourself.

      • Stirling says:

        If you are blaming the politicans for your problems, then VOTE THEM OUT. The head of the NEA has even said that public unions are "All about the power, and not the children" which should explain why you as a teacher are getting the shaft. Until the monopoly of the public education system is abolished, and moved to free market solution, Unions will continue to collude with corupt government to shaft you and the taxpayers.

        • Kelly says:

          We can't vote them out – they made sure of it with gerrymandering. There are 2 Illinois, Chicago and everywhere else. Those of us who live everywhere else vote Republican because we are desperately trying to get out from under our burden. In addition to the whole public employee problems, every time money is allocated for anything anywhere other than Chicago, it somehow goes to projects in Chicago instead and our towns are falling apart. Sadly, there are more people in Chicago who benefit from this entire racket than people in the rest of the state, and with the lines drawn they way they are right now we couldn't win even if we were able to outnumber those in Chicago. You have no idea how frustrating it is to know you will never be able to get away from the crushing taxes unless you move out of state (which isn't an option when your job is here and there is as much unemployment as there is!)

      • dustmouse says:

        My goodness MBS, is this comment an accurate sample of your writing? I would hope for better for our children, especially at such an enormous salary.

      • Paul says:

        So what cry me a river. It's called a salaried employee. I work extra hours all the time and do not get paid for it. Lets not forget teachers work an average of 185 days a year compared to 245 in the private sector. Maybe if you did your job kids would be able to read and write and not collect welfare. Asa CPS teacher your a total failure and should be fired

      • Cashin says:

        You spend 2-3 hours a day grading FIRST grade papers? Seriously? 1st grade? As in the grade immediately after kindergarten?

        I call some serious shenanigans.

        What the hell kind of a PAPER does a first grader even write anyway?

      • 66corky66 says:

        No one makes you spend your money. If the union keeps taking then you'll just end up buying more and spending more. Unions are worthless anymore. You are not interested in teaching as much as you are intewrested in money. I can only wish I was making $71000 a year and I am a professional in compressor field services….

      • Joe says:

        If the way you write is indicative of the way you teach, it is easy to see why your students fail. Poor grammar, poor sentence structure are both examples of lack of firm foundation in English. Yours is atrocious. You need to get a job digging ditches for which you are probably better qualified. You certainly are not qualified to teach.

      • Kelly says:

        This kind of response shows you have been overpaid so long that you overvalue what you're worth. You already make more than the average person with a college degree and even a lot of people with a Master's degree, and you have benefits most of us could only dream of but are forced to pay for whether we can afford our own benefits and pensions. What you do is very important, but not so important you have the right to rob me of financial security my husband works to give us, but we no longer have because our taxes just keep going up and up every year, 99% of which goes directly into teacher's benefits. Many people right now who are on salary are working far longer hours, and they do it without threatening to quit because they know they are lucky to have a job at all. As the article alludes to, if you aren't happy with the salary, you can quit and try to find a job in the private sector, where you are guaranteed to make substantially less in salary, pension and benefits.

        • Kelly says:

          Over $3,000 a year is a ridiculous amount for property taxes on a house valued at $125,000 (uyr monthly tax payment is only $40 a month less than our mortgage payment!!!) but we have to fork it over to the state of IL to hand over to the teacher's union if we want to be able to keep our humble abode.

          Incidentally I had to give up my job so I could stay home and homeschool my kids because the public school is failing so miserably. If teachers had been doing their job in the first place, I wouldn't have had to do that and we'd have enough money to have a few extras occasionally. And guess what? I spend about $5,000 a year on materials, too, and I can't even dedect that from federal taxes because it's not job-related expense like it is for you! Now aren't you embarrassed by your selfish hissy fit?

      • RonF says:

        Ah, but you're not paid by the hour. You are paid a salary. You have insisted time and time again that you are professionals. Fine. You're professionals and you're not paid by the hour. So when your boss adds more hours and more work and more responsibility and yet doesn't raise your pay – tough. Welcome to my world, and the world of most professionals these days. Hell, I had to take a 5% pay cut one year and got told "Be glad you still have a job." Don't like it? Quit and see if you can do better somewhere else.

      • jim says:

        Go ask O'bama, he will give it to you if you have all the kids vote for him. You need to be FIRED.

      • charles says:

        I have a masters degree in medicine and work as a PA Doing Urgent Care. I work from 7-7 3-4 days a week, that means I only get to help with my kid's homework 6 school days a month. I get to take them to school the same amount. I get 156 hours of PTO a year that include holidays. Remember when I take a day off it costs me 12 hours of PTO so that equates to 13 days of pto a year. I also am paid salary. so when my clinic closes at 7pm. I don't stop until everyone in the clinic is seen. That means after 7pm I work for free. I appreciate the job my teachers did for me, but these cry babies need to get real and if the taxes are bothering them as they should be then move. Then they can Reminisce about the good ol days when they were paid a ridiculous wage for a ridiculous amount of time actually at work where they could be home with their families in the evenings and take long vacations in the summer and at Christmas and Thanksgiving, labor day, memorial day, presidents day, and everyother bank Holiday. Better yet, Hey Rahm, I have a masters degree, 10 years of science under my belt with real world experience I'll come work for you.

      • Peter Ebstine says:

        Then Allow yourselves to be judged. Forget tenure, automatic across the board raises and allow yourselves to be judged on your merit. Otherwise, you are not just the front line of someone else's problem, you are a big part of the problem.

      • Regina says:

        And yet all that is asked for is more money not a better learning system sorry 71,000 a year I think that is good enough especially if you are not getting kids to pass use the internet fund raise if your truly a great teacher you find ways to inspire. 71,000 for one person is more than what most 2 income household provide. Yall are freaking crazy you wanted to be teachers then be a teacher and teach. Fight for what really needs to be faught for not for your own pockets that are already full.

      • tnnlvisn says:

        I taught social studies at the secondary ed. level and agree with MBS's assessment. I too am tired of our teachers being blamed for the woes of society. You want to know where the real problems exist? What about the politicians who think that standardized assessments are a good thing. Have you ever heard of teaching to the assessment or lose your job? How about those parents who blame their kid's bad behavior and poor grades on their teachers? The same parents who are never present at 'teacher's night' or any other meeting that concerns their kids. If you have never been a teacher I guess you will never know how difficult it is to do your job without the help from the administration. Most new teachers need guidance and help to get through the day. It has nothing to do with their ability to teach but everything to do with classroom management. Most teachers leave because they are never properly guided through those tumultuous years proper to tenure. It is like a policeman who goes through the academy and then thrown on the streets upon graduation. It is like "learning on the run" or "flying by the seat of your pants" – however, when we fail just a little bit we are out on the streets. Walk in our shoes for just one month and then tell me if we do not deserve to be treated like the important people we are….Or, give the job of education to the parents and politicians; let's see how far you get with that plan.

      • Susan Stark says:

        I think you should volunteer to take a pay cut and apply the money to the Art and Reading program then. What you get paid on an hourly rate is most likely more than most professions out there with equal degrees and those professionals are salaried, which (means for your help) they do not det paid for putting in extra hours on their jobs either, and they work 12 months a year for that salary… Not 9.75 months. No one feels sorry for you, if you are not happy quit and go into another profession.

      • JTD says:

        Wow. Think about everyone else with a career that works 10 hour days on average. Have to check and respond to emails at all hours and don't get a summer vacation. If you want to support striking for better learning conditions do so. Say instead of 30% raises going to my pocket and me spending 5+K a year on work related expenses lets put the money toward improving the school infrastructure so AC units make it a better learning environmental for the children and a better work environmental for you. Simply put if you are a good teacher you probably love your job and the kids, and never got in it for the money in the first place. Yes doing a good/hard job deserves fair pay but fix the real issues before you think of that 30% as your "fair money" and view it as "maybe asking for a wage increase is unfair until we do more to focus on the kids without tying it to my own gain". You do good by the kids education and work more than 8.5 hours plus driving then lets talk about paying you more, which the results will then have proven you have earned.

    5. Bobbie says:

      We all demand things. Some dignified people use their sense of reason to understand that their demands can't be met because of someone elses failures (government control) to live up to their responsibilities or failures to negotiate rationally. (union control!)
      That's too bad the Chicago teachers unions aren't the first ones to give in or do without to make this mute, but when you're that filled with corruption, that's all you have to show…. whaaa whaaaa

      We want a raise too, but we're forced to pay for you!!

      • Jen says:

        Do you realize how much time a teacher puts into the education for your child? The hours after school and talking with parents and planning lessons and grading. Being a teacher is not just a 9-5 job. It can never be that. CPS employees are asking for more money to be able to do what Rahm Emmanuel is requiring of Chicago Public Schools. He is saying that teachers will have 45 minutes of prep time and 60 minutes of lunch (45 min recess and 60 min lunch) but he is not providing the right funding to make that happen. How can it be off-duty lunch and recess if more staff are not hired? And, certain playground facilities are not adequate for children's use or are shared, thus they are not accessible at all hours. If you have a school of 200 students, and there is a neighbor school that has over 200 students, how can you have every class outdoors when there is no one to watch them except the teachers?

    6. Guest says:

      They should be begging for just a 30-percent pay cut. This is a not-so-veiled attempt to assert union influence. It's the 5-percent trying to strong-arm the other 95 percent that pay the bill (well, at least 45 percent that pay tax, but that's another story). This should be put to a public vote and, like elsewhere, it will fail miserably. The unions are just simply delirious and intoxicated with the largess that IS being in a union. It's time to put and end to the nonsense.

    7. @J_Rotten says:

      I would like to participate in the commentary on your website, but it appears none of my posts are ever approved. Kind of counter-intuitive, but that's just my opinion.

    8. The kids can't read but the teachers sure can count.

    9. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Every family in this country is suffering economical problems, yet unions continue to demand more and more. If they don't get what they want, they employ threats and intimidation. Look at what's happening in Europe. Do we not see the same process here. Do we not wonder what is the connection? When we realize who unions support for president, is there any doubt.

      • Democrat says:

        Dont blame the union,the union didnt vote to strike the members which are the teachers did. Just thinking about themselves . They need to look up the meaning of greed in their pocket dictionary.

    10. Norma says:

      And the Democrats wonder WHY Scott Walker was re-elected in Wisconsin!!!! The private sector is sick and tired of the unions squeezing us until we are doing without to provide them with EXCESSIVE wages and benefits!! And then they wonder why the people are against unions!!! When unions abuse the system that used to make them essential to protect workers has obviously outlived its usefulness!!!!!

      • Wonderring Alooud says:

        Yeah and there are hundreds of empty classrooms or more often rooms with totally unqualified teachers across Wisconsin now. Just try to hire a qualified teacher in Wisconsin in Chemistry,physics, math, special ed, computer science,tech ed… Can't be done. I know personally of a computer science teacher replaced with a kindergarted teachers with no computer training, An AP biology/physics teacher whose job was offered to a first grade teacher with no science background. An AP physics teacher whose job has been open for over a year because there are no qualified applicants… And those are all just in my immediate family.

    11. Judy says:

      Again, my wages were CUT by 45% a few years back, so…..I'm having a very hard time supporting either a 24% or 30% increase for public employees. Sorry I just cannot imagine demanding such an increase.

    12. I have the most unfortunate distinction of living in this festering sewer, this boil on the buttock of America, this city of Big Shoulders and largest beachholder on the largest unflushed toilet east of the Mississippi (and I am NOT talking about Lake Michigan).

      No, I am forced to live in Chicago – a city who's entire existence seems to be predicated upon the notion that "As goes Detroit, so goes the City of Onions." This entire metropolis indeed requires, in the words of Jack Nicholson, "an enema."

      Judging from the hysterical rantings of one Karen Lewis (CTU President), all of us poor souls living in the American Shitholistan might just get one, courtesy of the progressive stylings of Saul Alinsky.

    13. Max Entropy says:

      Isn't Chicago the city that warehouses teachers accused of abusing teachers. They cant fire them because the unions control the schools so they keep them on the payroll in a warehouse sitting around for the day.
      (ref: Waiting for Superman)
      Perhaps some sort of compromise is in order reducing union power and increasing the work day in exchange for more pay.

    14. kranky says:

      There is a very simple solution for the people of Chicago, sick and tired of being asked to pay for failure, by a monopoly demanding no competition.

      Fire them all, ban unions from the educational workforce, and hire each teacher back individually, with a condition that you will be looking at their kids standardized test scores as well as other measures for the purposes of retaining them. Tenure is gone (and it makes no sense whatsoever for public school teachers … its to protect researchers at universities from hostile administration coercion).

      But the very first step after telling them to pound sand on their demands, is to disallow a teacher union from existing for the purposes of collective bargaining. If you want to know half of why so many kids are failing, there is half of your answer. Teachers unions turn public education into jobs programs. THATS NOT WHAT A TEACHER POSITION IS FOR DAMMIT!!!

      The other half of the equation is to educate the families of these students on the need to maintain levels of effort. One of my nieces sons has this mentality of cruising through school without trying, without working, so he can be done with it. The failure is in part from his school district, and the unionized teachers unwilling to press the kid hard. The other half of the problem is my niece, whom is unwilling/unable to make the sacrifices her child needs in order to have a fighting chance at being successful. Its that attitude that is as problematic as the teachers unions, and we have to fight both.

    15. chatmandu002 says:

      They are asking for 30% more but will settle for less, which makes the Mayor look good, the unions look conciliatory, the union members get more but the taxpayers are on the hook for more taxes and failing students.

    16. Muddywood says:

      Hey all you government sector union employees!
      I've got one word for you… WISCONSIN !

    17. Stirling says:

      Teacher Unions Chicago = Arogant SOB's. Property tax payers (who pay the Public School taxes) you are nothing more than a bank ATM to these Union whims. Time to vote to stop the abuse.

    18. AndrewsDad says:

      My ex wife and one of my siblings are both teachers. The ex makes right around the 70K a year amount and works a fraction of the time as those in the public sector. She leaves the house about the same time as I do but gets home a good 2 hours earlier. In addition, she gets substantial vacation days, winter break, spring break, summer break, every holiday and of course teachers workshop days which for the most part are paid vacation or at most half days as they always seem to be able to get out of going to any actual workshop. I have heard the complaints about paying for supplies out of pocket and there is some of that but no more than a couple of hundred at most. I on the other hand have bought over $500 worh of assorted stuff for my sons classroom this school year. I have actually offered a school employee a job that paid considerably more but the response was, they were not willing to give up the time off.

      Sorry, no sympathy here for "underpaid, overworked" teachers.

    19. Saltire says:

      Interesting, inflation is running at about 2.4%. A 30% raise is not even warranted in this time of recession and recovery(?). If anything the pay scale should be frozen for one year and then any raises should be tied to the CPI-U or CPI-W inflation rate.

    20. Brad S. says:

      The average engineer in the private sector here in the Detroit area makes around $70K a year depending on experience and performance. They probably pay about 10 to 20% of their health care costs and get ZERO pension benefits. They also get about 2 to 4 weeks of vacation and about 13 paid holidays per year. They also work – on average – about 50 hours a week. Most work quite a bit more, but I am trying to stick to the average here. So, if we give the average Chicago teacher the benefit of the doubt – that they actually work about 45 hours a week – (9 hrs / day total). Let's do the math – shall we ?

      • Wonderring Alooud says:

        The average teacher has more invested in their education than the average engineer. Leaving that aside, but since I have worked both as a teacher and as an engineer, I think you better check your numbers. The average engineer according to the APS and various engineering organizations makes a lot more than the average teacher no matter how you slice it.

    21. Brad S. says:

      Teacher – 52 weeks minus 9 weeks summer vacation plus 3 weeks off for holidays (mid-winter break, spring break, etc) – they are already down to 40 weeks. Give them another 2 weeks off for vacation, etc. and they work 38 weeks a year X 45 hours per week = 1710 hours or $41.50/hour plus benefits (health care, pension).
      Engineer – 52 weeks minus 3 weeks vacation minus 2 weeks of holidays, so they work 2350 hours per year or $30/hour and they contribute to their own retirement. Even if you bump up a really good engineer with 15 years of experience into the $100K range – they probably work 60 hours per week and that translates to $35/hour.
      No sympathy here.
      The main point is – why would teacher's want to classify the job they do as nothing more than a blue-collar – non-skilled labor position ? That's what it has done. I would be furious if I was working my butt off and the idiot in the next classroom was going to get the same raise as I was. Pay for performance. It works, and teachers should demand it.

    22. Reed Ikulis says:

      So by now (hopefully), any educators reviewing the comments will have gotten the hint; join the rest of humanity and earn what you're paid, stop using our kids as your crutch and try asking your union and administrators what they do to earn what they're paid.

      Or, as we suspect, you're simply seeing all the comments as something similar to what the Peanuts heard when their teacher was talking.

    23. KC F says:

      ever wonder why johney cant read because the teacher is teaching there left wing liberal crap.teachers are paid welfare because they do nothing.

    24. mike says:

      Everyone seems to be an expert at something they know nothing about……

      Some poor teacher has to deal with all you low IQ people.

    25. Melvin Chapman says:

      Let the teachers strike and then offer them a hefty pay cut. Education has been a total, abject failure in the country for years, churning out barely functional semi-illiterates most of who are unqualified for employment.

    26. Tom says:

      If you calculate the hours a teacher works in a 34 year career divided by all the pay, benefits and pension they get paid over $500.00 per hour worked. It is actually much higher in many cases.

    27. RonF says:

      I will defend the teachers of Chicago against the low graduation rate to a point. If a kid stays up half the night playing video games or balling instead of doing his homework and then shows up at school ill-fed and ill-clothed that's not the teachers' fault. But that does not change the fact that for the level of education and the expertise necessary to get that education (education being notoriously one of the easiest college degrees to earn) teachers are not underpaid. Not by any means.

      Here's my solution to the whole thing. Close the public schools. Close them up and either tear them down or sell them off. Give each student's parent a voucher good for whatever the school district and federal government pay per student that's only good for buying an education at a private school, and put no restrictions on what kind of private school that voucher can be used at. This would probably save public education. It is a public good that the State pays to have all children educated. But I see no public good and no particular requirement in having the State operate the schools.

    28. CPS Teacher says:

      CTU teachers ARE also property tax payers! My salary is not even close to the "so-called average" of $71,000. The figures Fox gives for 3rd grade readers and graduation rates are not correct; the rates are higher. We are to work an additional 1hr, 15 min per day for 170 days, an additional 2 weeks (10 days for 7 hr. 40 min. each day). Do the math. Rahm does not plan to pay us for that. He eliminated our legally contracted 4% cost of living raise last year. Our out-of-pocket health insurance costs have been climbing every year for the past 5 years. Rahm also went to the state capital to request an increase in the number of children in CPS classrooms from 28-55. By the way, we already have some 1st grade classrooms with 38 children. He wants to give use a 2% raise for one year and nothing after that. The plan is to eliminate tenure altogether, overhaul our evaluation system and gut our pensions because the IL government has not its required portion for the past 12 years. Even though there is supposedly a $700 million deficeit, CPS is building 60 charter schools next year.

    29. CPS Teacher says:

      I teach at a Chicago school with no library, no lunch room, and no playground. Next year, "recess" will be in the classroom. The most recent plan CPS for us to get the 60 minutes of prep time for week in is to accumulate minutes, so have teachers work Saturday. CPS does not plan to give schools funding to hire additional staff needed to run a longer school day either. I teach around 550 students in 18 classrooms and 5 groups I pull out of classrooms. I am given one box of paper with 10 packages of paper, and that is all the paper I get for the entire school year. You can imagine how much I spend out of my own pocket just for paper each year, let alone all the other supplies I buy. also, many of us do not return to school in the Fall; we return at the beginning of August. So before you get so judgemental, think about some of these realities.

    30. Rick Marneris says:

      It's obvious to most of us that the system is BROKEN! Maybe this is just the right time to start all over with a new teaching program in this city. Let's begin the new school year with an entirely new education structure from top to bottom.Bring in new administrators as well as new, completely qualified teachers. Let us set new standards for the teachers of our children and have a monitoring program that forces the teachers to uphold the new and higher standards. Just a thought.

    31. Dave Rohde says:

      I don't see the problem here. Move on , folks. There's nothing to see here.

    32. Tracy H says:

      First of all, it's a negotiation. The union asks for 30%, hoping that they will end up with 12% or so. Second, CPS teachers pay more for their benefits than other teachers, and get very little put in a pension, so they have to save for retirement… something other teachers do not have to do. Third, teachers in Chicago are given almost NOTHING as far as supplies and are fully expected to buy it themselves. CPS also goes ahead and packs 35 or more children into a single classroom. A "typical" Illinois elementary school has about 25. Not only is that difficult to manage, but there is increased time teachers spend off-the-clock planning lessons and evaluating student work. You can say what you want about the effectiveness of teachers, but they are put in an impossible situation. Last, the work year is increased by 320 hours. The powers that be wanted to give no raise for this, then came back offering 2%. For a young teacher, that's about $1000. Would you work for $3.10 an hour? When averaged out, that's like a 26% pay cut.

      • Laura says:

        If a young teacher's pay is increased $1,000 with a 2% raise, that teacher is making a $50,000 salary. So you say that's $3.10 an hour??? $50,000/year at $3.10/hour is 16,129 hours worked/year. There are only 8,760 hours in a year. How can a young teacher work twice as many hours a year as there are in a year? And that's every hour of every day … still trying to figure out your crazy math.

    33. Combine a RINO for a Governor & similar problems w/ the union= One More Reasons for Our Best and Brightest To Get The Heck Outta Dodge ( or Flint )

    34. ParentFirst says:

      I wish that you all would READ what the true issues are. Teachers in Illinois are only allowed to strike for pay and benefits- no other reason is legal since last year. The CTU does not want nor even expect that kind of an increase – but they must demand it in order to get the following: contractual language limiting class size, more equitable hiring standards with regards to minorities (hiring of minorities by CPS is half today of what is was ten years ago), the continued ability to roll over sick days (which improves teacher attendance), the elimination of pay increases tied to student test scores, rather than teacher education and experience, and a change in the current practice of closing ailing schools rather than assisting them- BECAUSE school closings lead to overcrowding of other schools and an increased number of charter schools.

    35. ParentFirst says:

      Many people do not realize that charter schools earn a profit- often very high- for their owners/founders, and that you all, the tax-payers, spend the same amount of public money for those students. Students who might need more academic assistance or are discipline problems are kicked out (so you often pay twice) because they are too expensive and cut into profits. Think about it. And I challenge you parents to try to home school your kids- then you might consider the 3% (NOT 30%) increase that the teachers really want- despite the longer day and year. Just give us less than 30 kids and don't touch the pension that we paid into for 10-25 years and we'll teach your kids- the bright ones, the ones who need help, the ones who need extra attention , the ones who show no respect, the ones who need a hug and the ones who want to fight. We will teach them all and we will care for them all differently, but equally. We don't land airplanes, and there is no way in hell you will find 30,000 people willing and ABLE to do our jobs, but good luck with that. Peace.

    36. Bob says:

      Is there any way we can let the Chicago School system go bankrupt which would allow the city to break all contracts with the teachers union? Then maybe we could start over with contracts that the State of Il could afford.

    37. Bill S. says:

      I find it interesting that the teachers alone are attacked for poor performance. Lack of funding, lack of the ability to discipline, and most importantly LACK OF SUPPORT from the community and the PARENTS make it beyond difficult to educate students. Teachers need to accept responsibility, yes. When will a majority of parents take responsibility?

    38. D.Roberts says:

      So much ignorance in the article as well as from the comments. If this is such a lucrative job, then go out and apply for it. See if you have what it takes.

    39. Herring says:

      I say you need to let every one of them go,and start over with new teachers.

    40. emini says:

      71k? are they hiring haha

    41. Peter says:

      WOW, everything that's wrong with union on parade for everyone to see. It's about the union not the students.

    42. Kathy says:

      It's high time Republicans learn to use class warfare against the left. Keep publishing these salaries and while you're at it, actually add in the amount of the benefits and actual hours worked. After all, class warfare has worked so well thus far for democrats.

    43. David V. says:

      You don't ask for a pay raise while you suck at your job. Fire them all and go get teachers who can perform, not make demands.

    44. HansJurgen says:

      Wow, over $70k to teach our kids to be stupid! In the private, non-union sector, you have to deliver or you're fired! Hope these union-thug teachers get fired since they delivered nothing except stupid kids that can't even compete with a 3rd world education.

    45. Ken says:

      If it is performance based, why not? I've heard so called 'experts' say that this is unique and can't really be measured. There are metrics for everything. Results are always measurable. Teaching should be like a lot of other professions – top tier performers have the opportunity to earn more.

    46. Bill says:

      All summer they are OFF, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas are long periods of OFF and ALL holidays and they want a raise?

    47. Edward says:

      I always thought collective bargaining was done behind closed doors. I would also assume that the 30% that the union asked for is their opening offer, which would eventually be come down to a reasonable amount. However Rahm being Rahm is playing the the media and releases this information. To make the teachers looks like evil money grubbing monsters. This is not bargaining in good faith. I wounder what the city initially offered the teachers. A pay cut, larger classes, more professional development requirements paid by the workers. We do not know what is going on behind closed doors, nor should we.

    48. Dan Meyer says:

      Fire all the teachers – provide each student with a computer – internet service and k12.com (online education) It will save the city money – provide better education and solve the situation.

    49. Max Damon says:

      I don't think we have the whole story on this matter. Would like to hear from both sides to determine who is lying and who is dying.

    50. AlfredHussein says:

      The average Chicago teacher couldn't make anywhere near that amount of money in the private sector. It's well known that in most major universities, it you need an easy A in an elective, take a first year education course. Not only will you get an A for very little work, but you'll be at the top of the class.

    51. JAY says:


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