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Schools Canceled for a Second Day in Chicago, Blame the Teacher's Union

Chicago Public Schools were closed for a second day Thursday after the teachers union defied the city’s order to report to classrooms.
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Students Leave

Classes Canceled Again

The Washington Post reports Classes Canceled for a Second Day After Teachers Vote to Defy In-Person Learning Order.

The city of Chicago called off school after the Chicago Teachers Union voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to stay home, insisting on a return to remote learning during a winter surge in coronavirus infections. On Wednesday evening, the city announced schools would be closed a second day.

“The only thing we can control is whether we go into the buildings,” Jesse Sharkey, the union president, said Wednesday. “Right now, going into schools puts us at risk, puts students and families at risk, of contracting the coronavirus.”

He said teachers would not come back before Jan. 18 unless the surge in cases subsides or the union reaches an agreement with the city, chiefly on additional virus testing.

The union’s step marked a sharp clash with the White House, where President Biden has repeatedly said he wants schools to be open. “We know that our kids can be safe when in school,” he said Tuesday. His education secretary, Miguel Cardona, has said the same, and press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the message Wednesday when asked about Chicago.

The Chicago group’s action also represented a departure from its own parent union, the American Federation of Teachers. AFT president Randi Weingarten has for months been delivering a message that schools need to be open, and a high-profile action by one of her biggest locals undercuts that message.

Ronald Reagan Where Art Thou? 

The country desperately needs another PATCO Moment. PATCO is the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization. They illegally went on strike in August of 1981. 

At 7 a.m. on August 3, 1981, the union declared a strike, seeking better working conditions, better pay (PATCO sought a total raise of $600 million over three years, compared to FAA's offer of $40 million)[10] and a 32-hour workweek (a four-day week and an eight-hour day combined). In addition, PATCO wanted to be excluded from the civil service clauses that it had long disliked. In striking, the union violated 5 U.S.C. (Supp. III 1956) 118p (now 5 U.S.C. § 7311), which prohibits strikes by federal government employees.

After PATCO disobeyed a federal court injunction ordering an end to the strike and return to work, a federal judge found union leaders including PATCO President Robert Poli to be in contempt of court, and the union was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, and certain named members were ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for each day its members are on strike. At the same time, Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis organized for replacements and started contingency plans. 

On August 5, following the PATCO workers' refusal to return to work, the Reagan administration fired the 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored the order and banned them from federal service for life. 

Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

Although the country desperately needs another PATCO moment, the employees that need to be fired in this case are not Federal employees

Even FDR forseaw this very problem. Public unions should not exist at all.

Letter by Franklin D. Roosevelt on Public Unions

Please consider a few key snips from FDR's Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service, August 16, 1937, emphasis mine.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."

FDR only missed one point. The problem is at every level: city, local, state, and national, not just the Federal level.

Please consider Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

Roosevelt was discussing strikes, but public unions threaten them all the times, especially teachers' unions. They demand money "for the kids". The school boards are padded with teachers demanding more money "for the kids".

Abolish Public Unions Entirely

Union leaders have a mandated goal of protecting bad cops, bad teachers, and corrupt politicians. Unions blackmail politicians and threaten the public they are supposed to serve.

Union leaders will do anything to stay in power, the kids and the public be damned.

The only way to deal with the situation is to "effectively" abolish public unions entirely.

Recommended Steps

  1. National right-to-work laws
  2. Abolishment of all prevailing wage laws
  3. Ending public unions ability to strike
  4. Ending collective bargaining by public unions

Collective Bargaining is No Such Thing 

There is no bargaining in public union collective bargaining. 

The unions threaten then do shut down schools, law enforcement, firefighting, anything and everything. 

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Parents then demand the "mayor" do something but the only thing that appeases the union is 100% of whatever they demand. 

Police, fire, and teachers are supposed to be public servants. They aren't. And they have bankrupt numerous states, Illinois being one of them. 

 Illinois Taxpayers On the Hook for $530 Billion in Unfunded Pension Obligations

Illinois Taxpayers Are On the Hook

Please recall my November 2021 post Illinois Taxpayers On the Hook for $530 Billion in Unfunded Pension Obligations

Pension Debts Hit $530 Billion

Hello Illinois taxpayers, the Pension Shortfall Surpasses $500 Billion and your average debt burden is now $110,000 per household.

Moody’s estimate of Illinois’ retirement debts, made up of pension and retiree health shortfalls at the state and local level, hits $530 billion in 2020.

This is despite a massive multi-year stock market rally and huge tax hikes that went to pension funds and little else.

Illinois vs Other States

  • California, with more than triple the population of Illinois, has a state-level shortfall of $240 billion – $70 billion less than Illinois.
  • Texas, with more than double the population of Illinois, has a shortfall of $173 billion – $140 billion less than Illinois.
  • Kentucky, suffering a pension crisis of its own, has a $56 billion state-level shortfall – just a fifth the size of Illinois’.
  • When measured on a per household basis, Illinois’ state-level pension debt totals more than $64,200. That’s the nation’s 2nd-largest burden, behind only Connecticut’s $65,400 per household.
  • Illinoisans’ state-level household burden is four times larger than the national average of $15,600
  • Compared to residents in neighboring Iowa and Wisconsin, Illinoisans’ burdens are 18 to 20 times larger. Iowa and Wisconsin’s per household burdens are $3,500 and $3,200, respectively. 

How Did this Happen? 

Collective bargaining, of course. 

Unions makes demands, corrupt officials are willing to buy votes and get endorsements from equally corrupt public union negotiators. 

Illinois Solution

  • A constitutional amendment that "conclusively overrides the pension protection clause and all other state law issues".
  • State retirees would be required to pay for half of their health insurance costs – the national average for public workers – on a means-tested basis.
  • Freeze benefits.

At the national level we need to outlaw public unions as a threat to society. 

FDR stated it nicely.

"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management."

Instead of wasting two years trying to get rid of Obamacare, Trump should have done something with right-to-work, collective bargaining, and bankruptcy reform.

Thanks for Tuning In!

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