The average teacher in Chicago makes $76,000 a year for nine months of work. (More than many college professors with Ph.D.s.) They were offered a 16% salary increase spread over four years — from a system that has a $665 million deficit this year and a bigger one next year. As of this Monday, the Chicago teachers are on strike over issues ranging from pay raises, classroom conditions, job security and teacher evaluations.
It’s ironic that VP Candidate Paul Ryan had the decency to come out in support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — while President Obama lacks both the courage and the decency to support his good friend and former chief of staff in an election year. That shows you just how powerful the teachers unions are.
“I’ve known Rahm Emanuel for years. He’s a former colleague of mine. Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher’s union strike is unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
We stand with the children and we stand with the families and the parents of Chicago because education reform, that’s a bipartisan issue. This does not have to divide the two parties. And so, we were going to ask, where does President Obama stand? Does he stand with his former Chief of Staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with the children and the parents, or does he stand with the union? On issues like this, we need to speak out and be really clear. In a Romney-Ryan administration we will not be ambiguous, we will stand with education reform, we will champion bipartisan education reforms. This is a critical linchpin to the future of our country, to our economy, to make sure that our children go to the best possible school, and that education reforms revolve around the parents and the child, not the special interest group. This is something that’s critical for all of us.”
Here’s an instructive little video on the destructive power of public employee unions: