Unions Respond to Education Overhaul - KMSP-TV

Unions Respond to Education Overhaul

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Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery warns that his members in Chicago will want more money if they're told to work more hours.

The Illinois House is expected to vote soon on a measure approved by the Senate. It would allow Chicago Public Schools to impose a longer school day and year, without having to bargain it with the union.

The union, though, could later on make wages a strike issue.

While many other workers have taken pay cuts despite working longer hours, teachers in Chicago's Public Schools have gotten handsome pay raises.

“Every year for the last nine years, pay has increased four percent and instructional time has increased zero for the children of the City of Chicago” Emanuel said. “[This is] why we have the shortest school day and the shortest school year of any major city in the country.”

Emanuel noted that the board of education faces a budget shortfall. He said many teachers would welcome more classroom time with their students. Montgomery said the mayor-elect would be wise to bargain first.

It's clear there will be no money.

The State Senate President said Friday that more than $1.2 billion must be cut from Gov. Quinn's 2012 spending proposal.

House Speaker Mike Madigan has warned that school aid cuts could cost Chicago tens of millions of dollars. Emanuel publicly scolded the Board of Ed after reports it wants to raise real estate taxes $80 million.

Emanuel won't be sworn in until Monday May 16. The budget crisis and schools won't wait.

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