Negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and school board
officials went nowhere on day three of the teachers' strike, which
meanwhile affects nearly 400,000 students and their families.
As David Smith of the Illinois Family
Institute (IFI) points out, this strike is hard on families --
especially for single parents and for couples who both work, as
they are left to make arrangements for their children during the
time they would otherwise be in school (
see earlier story). He says it is important to note who
ultimately employs teachers.
"Government employees are striking not against some corporation
or some capitalist entity; they are striking against the taxpayers
-- that's we the people," Smith notes. "That's hugely
The IFI executive director explains that Chicago teachers are
well compensated, earning an average of $76,000 a year before
benefits, while the average private sector salary in the area is
$54,000. Even so, the CTU has turned down the offer for a 16
percent pay raise over the next four years.
"It seems to me that this is awful greedy to be pushing for more
and more and more at the taxpayers' expense," Smith concludes.
Neither side is budging on job security or teacher