The CTU has been on a victory lap of sorts around the country, crowing about its decisive win over Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the recent teachers strike. The tour recently made a stop in Ann Arbor.
Michigan union officials want to use the Chicago strike as a springboard for other Big Labor victories, like approval of Proposal 2 in next month’s election. Proposal 2 would enshrine collective bargaining privileges in Michigan’s state constitution, and allow union agreements to trump state law.
EAGnews has obtained video that shows the sentiments of some of the unionists on hand at the Ann Arbor rally. SEE IT HERE.
The event featured Bill Lamme, a high school social studies teacher in Chicago Public Schools. He told the tiny audience that schools are not really hurting for money and have no reason to hold the line on salary increases and expensive labor perks.
“Austerity is a manufactured crisis, even with what’s going on economically. What they’re doing to schools is really not necessitated by the economic situation,” Lamme said.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Halloran, the president of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Lecturers Employee Organization, said, “I think we’re going to find we owe a debt to you, to Chicago teachers.”
“I see this as hopefully the snowball down the hill and we’ll be joining with you,” she said, referring to regaining union power. She also said her union is going to the bargaining table soon and will be seeking “major salary increases.”
She bragged that “our union put in a lot of money into this ballot proposal,” referring to Proposal 2.
Just how much? A cool $25 million.
The unions are counting on that money (and much more) to help deliver victory for Michigan’s labor unions on Election Day. Judging by the lowly turnout at this event, despite the presence of a “star” from the Chicago Teachers Union, it might prove to be money wasted.
Kyle is founder of Education Action Group and EAGnews.org, a news service dedicated to education reform and school spending research, reporting, analysis and commentary.
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