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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

"It's for the children"


Yeh, right.


Parents and children walk past picketing teachers outside Ray Elementary School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Ray is one of the open schools for the displaced students.


Parents and children walk past picketing teachers outside Ray Elementary School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Ray is one of the open schools for the displaced students. Photo: Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 10, 2012


 

Brianne Kelly drops off her daughters Breshayia Kelly, 11, and Isabella Kelly, 7, at Ray Elementary School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Ray is one of the open schools for the displaced students.

Brianne Kelly drops off her daughters Breshayia Kelly, 11, and Isabella Kelly, 7, at Ray Elementary School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Ray is one of the open schools for the displaced students. Photo: Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 10, 2012



Teachers with the Chicago Teachers Union picket on the sidewalk outside of the Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago
 
Teachers with the Chicago Teachers Union picket on the sidewalk outside of the Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago. Photo: José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 10, 2012




A young girl sits on the steps of Disney Magnet School in the 4100 block of North Marine Drive in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago as about 150 teachers marched in front chanting,

A young girl sits on the steps of Disney Magnet School in the 4100 block of North Marine Drive in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago as about 150 teachers marched in front chanting, "Rahm, Brizard, we're no fools. We won't let you ruin our schools." Photo: José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 10, 2012

Check out this 73 paragraph story on the strike. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, you have to get to paragraph 60 to learn the teachers turned down a 16% raise.

And they wonder why they 've got such a public relations nightmare?

Imagine if they were paid on
merit.

By the way, last month, WEAC was warning of and voicing support for a Chicago teachers strike. Nauseating....



                               
 

 

Teachers to Strike in Chicago

Why it Matters to You and How You Can Help

 

Believe it or not, in Chicago, a Democratic city in a Democratic state, educators have been experiencing the worst of what passes for "education reform" - punitive school closures, scapegoating of teachers, drastic cuts to art, music, physical education and library services, soaring class sizes and rampant privatization. All of this has been funded by the millionaire/billionaire backers of so-called education reform based on the premise that public schools are failing and that organized teachers are the problem.

 

This program is almost exactly what we will be living with in Wisconsin if we don't learn to stand up and fight back.

 

The Chicago Teachers Unions (CTU) has transformed itself and is taking on the fight (see below for more background). This fight and their example has national implications and will help set the context for our own ongoing struggles here in Wisconsin.

 

There are two ways you can help:

 

1)      The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association and allied organizations are hosting a solidarity event at MTEA's office (5130 W Vliet St) in Milwaukee on Monday, August 27th at 4:30pm. CTU delegate Debby Pope will be speaking about CTU's potential strike in September, their outreach to the local community, the issues they face, and how allies in Milwaukee can support their efforts.

 

2)      The CTU organized an historic vote to authorize a strike-around 90% of members voted, with 98% of voters voting in favor-after a law was passed that raised the minimum requirement to 75%. They need financial support. To make a small contribution visit:

 

https://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4013/c/468/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7204

 

Remember, in 2011, support poured in from all over the country for our struggle here in Wisconsin. We are surviving to fight another day partly because of that support. Please do what you can and help spread the word for our fellow educators in Chicago.

 

More Background and Details

 

The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) formed four years ago to mobilize teachers and parents against the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education's plans to shut down dozens of schools, fire all employees, and turn the buildings over to privately run but publicly funded, unaccountable charter schools. As with all privatization efforts, this was primarily a drive to get rid of the union and negotiated work rules.

 

In June 2010 the CORE slate challenged the incumbent slate and won office. Starting in mid 2011 they began planning and implementing a contract campaign to turn their top-down union into a bottom-up, member-driven union.

 

Last year under the direction of Democratic Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, an anti-union bill was passed that mandated 75% of all CTU members must vote to authorize a strike, with all votes not cast counting as "no" votes. Supporters bragged that they had effectively eliminated the CTU's right to strike as no large union could achieve this.

 

In May 2012 the contract campaign's success became evident when 6,000 teachers marched in downtown Chicago, surprising politicians and media pundits. In June 92% of the members turned out to vote, with 98% of those voting authorizing the leadership to call a strike.

 

Throughout this process, the union has worked tirelessly with community allies, supported other groups' protests, worked closely with half a dozen parents' groups, and won strong support in the city. The Mayor is clearly on the defensive.

 

While some gains have been made in negotiations, the Board refuses to negotiate over classroom issues central to the union's mission: lower class sizes, more social workers and nurses, a library and air conditioning in every school, and more art, music, computer, and P.E. classes. And the Mayor demands merit pay replace regular pay raises.

 

Should there be a strike, it might not be short-the last strike in 1987 lasted 19 days. In that case, it will be vital to gain support in Milwaukee and other cities near Chicago. So please come out and learn more about CTU's course of action and help build solidarity for the teachers.

 
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This is an 11.29 communication with WEAC members

 
 

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