The Chicago Teacher’s Union is Lobbying for Social Worker Jobs….Should Social Workers Support the Strike and How? Join the #SWunited Twitter Debate on 9/17/2012 at 8PM EST


Join us on Twitter to discuss this topic on September 17th, 2012 at 8PM EST. Also view http://www.socialworkchats.com for more information on our Twitter Debates.

Press Release: CPS Fails To Negotiate Fair Contract To Prevent First Strike In 25 Years
09/09/2012. More than 29,000 teachers and education professionals will not report to work today 9/10.

CHICAGO— After hours of intense negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent the first teachers strike in 25 years. Pickets are expected to begin Monday at 675 schools and the Board of Education as early as 6:30 a.m. Teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians have been without a labor agreement since June of this year.

Union leaders expressed disappointment in the District’s refusal to concede on issues involving compensation, job security and resources for their students. CTU President Karen Lewis said, “Negotiations have been intense but productive, however we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike. This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could avoid. Throughout these negotiations have I remained hopeful but determined. We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve.

“Talks have been productive in many areas. We have successfully won concessions for nursing mothers and have put more than 500 of our members back to work. We have restored some of the art, music, world language, technology and physical education classes to many of our students. The Board also agreed that we will now have textbooks on the first day of school rather than have our students and teachers wait up to six weeks before receiving instructional materials.

“Recognizing the Board’s fiscal woes, we are not far apart on compensation. However, we are apart on benefits. We want to maintain the existing health benefits. Another concern is evaluation procedures. After the initial phase-in of the new evaluation system it could result in 6,000 teachers (or nearly 30 percent of our members) being discharged within one or two years. This is unacceptable. We are also concerned that too much of the new evaluations will be based on students’ standardized test scores. This is no way to measure the effectiveness of an educator. Further there are too many factors beyond our control which impact how well some students perform on standardized tests such as poverty, exposure to violence, homelessness, hunger and other social issues beyond our control.”

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I look forward to discussing the implications and impact of the teacher’s strike on social workers. The Chicago Teacher’s Union is using the hashtag #CTUStrike.

Deona Hooper, MSW
Founder of Socialworkhelper.com

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Deona Hooper

Deona Hooper is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Social Work Helper. Experienced web designer, social media strategist, and analyst with a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Management and Community Practice as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Interested in publishing some of your blog articles on Social Work Helper, Email me at deona@socialworkhelper.com

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