Detroit teachers have staged a series of rolling sickouts to bring local and national attention to the unhealthy, abysmal conditions in Detroit Public Schools. The teachers won a victory in court last week when a judge refused to grant a temporary restraining order to stop the sickouts. Teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. The judge said that the union - the Detroit Federation of Teachers - was not instigating the actions.
In New York are we going to have to wait until conditions in schools deteriorate to the point where students and staff are truly imperiled before we fight back? I hope not.
Over in Chicago, home of the Caucus or Rank and File Educators which is the great hope for many teacher unionists across the country due to their militancy, there appears to be a contract proposal that could be brought before their House of Delegates this week. Details have apparently leaked out that include givebacks on pensions and healthcare.
Chicago teachers recently voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike in the near future. In 2012, CORE's Karen Lewis led the Chicago Teachers Union out on a strike that many think was a turning point for teacher unions to stop our downward spiral.
There is a report on the current situation in Chicago from Substance. Read some of the comments in the upper right corner of this page to see what some of their readers are thinking. Substance editor George Schmidt is normally a very reliable Chicago Teachers Union source.
If the media reports are accurate, I wonder how a concessionary tentative contract proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union leadership will play out in Chicago with the rank and file and nationally within the movement trying to revive teacher unions. Chicago has been seen as a model for how to change a floundering union.
UPDATE: We have the answer from Chicago as the Big Bargaining Team has unanimously rejected the Chicago Public Schools serious offer. This is positive news as far as this blog is concerned.