Chicago teachers and park workers almost unanimously voted this week to strike on Oct. 17 if their contract demands aren’t met.

The city offered teachers 16 percent raises over five years plus step increases for seniority that would translate to a 24 percent increase for the average teacher. The Chicago Sun reports “the median salary for more than 19,600 full-time CPS teachers was $82,826 in late August, according to an analysis of CPS data. Teachers also receive a median of $28,600 in benefits.”

The teachers want a 15 percent raise over three years plus more nurses, social workers, librarians, special education classroom assistants and case managers in every school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The park workers were dragged into the fray by the teachers. Why? Because during their last strike, the teachers noticed that a lot of the city’s 365,000 kids were being sent by their families to activities in city parks. The teachers want to really hurt families this time.

Chicago teachers are really good at screwing the public. They went on strike twice in 2016 and once in 2012 over money, teacher evaluations, performance metrics and guaranteed job security. In all cases they demanded more money for less work.

The issues remain largely the same today as they did in each of the previous strikes. Chicago teachers are again demanding more money, less work and less accountability.

Meanwhile the median total compensation for a Chicago teacher is $111,426 a year which makes them among the highest paid in the country. An overwhelming majority of their students can’t read, write or handle basic math or science problems.

As a reward for those failures, teachers want even higher raises, better benefits, and huge budget increases for “wraparound services” to place hundreds of social workers and medical professionals in schools. The latest city offer, rejected by the teachers, would have increased the salary of a teacher making $78,000 today (excluding benefits) to over $97,000 in five years.

Even if it wanted to reward its teachers for grotesque inadequacy, Chicago remains completely broke. Many investors believe the only way to handle the city’s unfunded $7 billion+ pension liabilities, and junk bond rating, is bankruptcy. The teachers, who likely learned their math in Chicago schools, insist that the wealthy can simply pay a lot more.

We believe the root of the problem in Chicago, and everywhere with poor student outcomes, is the teachers’ union itself. By always fighting for less work, lower standards and more pay, they stand squarely in the way of progress.

As we said before their previous strikes, we think the only way to save Chicago kids, and the city itself, is to outlaw public sector unions. We maintain if they walk out of the classroom again, the city shouldn’t ever let them back in.

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