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Teacher Strike in Chicago – The Ugly Side of Unions

Teacher Strike in Chicago – The Ugly Side of Unions

Anyone who has a knowledge of history, or who has read such brutal depictions of life in the early 20th century before unions as “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, knows that unions were critical in America. Those were cruel times, and exploitation of workers in an unbalanced economy was epidemic.

But we find the opposite problem in Chicago right now. The Teacher’s Union has all of the power. Teachers are on strike, refusing to teach the children of Chicago citing the dangers of COVID. They claim to be looking after the interests of teachers AND children, and they want to continue remote teaching.

But this has gone too far. The children of Chicago are not in school, they are not learning, they are isolated, the school system is broken. The Chicago Teachers’ Union has decided that it knows more about COVID than the Chicago Public Health Commissioner and the elected leadership of Chicago.  This is an abuse of power, it is as simple as that.

This is where you ask the question, “Who elected the Teacher’s Union to run Chicago’s education system?”

Elected? That would be Lori Lightfoot, who has presided over the worst crime record in recent Chicago history . She is in hot water with her police force and in some people’s opinions, is the worst mayor in Chicago history.

The Chicago Teachers’ Union likely contributed to Major Lori Lightfoot’s campaign. With all of the other bad decisions she has made, Lightfoot and the Democratic Party believe they cannot afford to alienate them.

It has rendered her powerless.

Lightfoot has said that teachers who do not show up will be put on “no pay” status. This is an empty threat though because the teachers know that eventually they will get back pay. I know a dozen politicians who could solve this in a heartbeat, but she won’t.

What is the solution?

Let me pretend that I am omniscient and omnipotent. Here is what should happen (i.e., what Trump would do…).

A. Chicago needs to elect a Republican Mayor. Ha! They have not had a Republican Mayor since 1927, the political machine there is so corrupt that no Republican has a chance. But is it possible to find a Democrat Mayor who has some guts and is willing to take on the Teachers’ Union?  Let’s pretend yes.

B. Like Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers in 1981, the mayor should fire all teachers who do not show up for work. If any of the officers in the Teacher’s Union are on the public payroll, then fire them.

C. Don’t be a wimp. Don’t grant back pay, don’t rehire teachers that you fire. Accept that you will be in court for a long time. Stretch it out for about five years and then make a settlement that doesn’t include paying backpay or hiring back anyone. The City of Chicago has to be determined to win. Appeasement means failure and repetition in the future.

This is the difference between representing the interests of your members and attempting to coerce a city into accepting a massive failure in its education system.

I have zero respect for Lori Lightfoot and her administration, but she was elected and she is responsible to the voters.

 Sometimes unions need to be broken.

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  1. Ben

    You can blame the Unions, but I blame Biden for allowing our corporate overlords to dictate public health policy. Health Policy isn’t being dictated by best practices, it’s being set by the economy.

    Nearly 50% of teachers at my local school are out because of positive Covid tests. 2 are unable to come back due to the devastation Covid had on their bodies. Couple this with an increasingly older teacher population and having in person class is a recipe for disaster. Cases AND hospitalizations, including children, are at all time highs.

    There’s a lot of blame to go around, Biden, the CDC, politicians that refuse to set and then follow best practices ,local school boards, news organizations that peddle false information regarding the pandemic, the unvaccinated, the ones that refuse to wear masks… but don’t blame the Unions that are protecting their workers health.

    Once again, Joe is SOOOO close to getting it right. But slips in the banana peel.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      You are right in one sense, Biden has not been good, and Trump could have done a better job too in creating a unified theory for Covid.

      But in another sense, I agree with Joe’s latest declaration that this should be in states’ hands. We Republicans are painting that as Joe giving up after making promises, but at the national level it can only be guidance and he has finally settled into a better perspective.

      But I do blame the Union in this case. A democratic society can’t function if there are bodies of influence that overwhelm the elected representatives of the people. Chicago needs new leadership that is not under the influence of the Teacher’s Union.

      And I think you are overselling your problem at 50% and devastation. We are much looser here in Florida than in most places and COVID isn’t anywhere close to that here. And Florida is the kingdom of old people.

      • Clifford mckinney

        Teachers should be fired for striking. They are too lazy to do their jobs Their unions should be abolished

        • Ben


          Teachers are keeping our economy afloat at great risk to their well being by providing socialized babysitting so corporations can keep their stock holders happy.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            Teacher’s are not keeping anything afloat then they don’t do their jobs. And I’m not sure how you turn the goal of getting happy, socially adjusted well-educated kids into some vague benefit for corporations.

          • Sam fain

            They aren’t baby sitters you moron They are supposed to be teachers. Instead of defunding the police the public employee unions should be abolished. Do they expect to be paid for not working? Yes!!! The stupid teachers have made public education a joke. Then perhaps someday we can get rid of all unions. They are nothing but socialist agitators indoctrinating our kids. Plenty of teachers want out of the stupid unions. Thankfully many states have right to work laws to help people drop out of unions after they see them for what they are. If teachers are underpaid, then what good is their union? The union bosses sure do fill their pockets. The only things that unions accomplish is protect lazy people.

        • frank stetson

          My niece is a teacher and she is most certainly not too lazy. Like most teachers, she puts in her own money for materials the school boards won’t pay for. She has paid for her own ppe, air purifier, your freaking Trump-nation unvaccinated folk gave her covid, and she still teaches your brats for shitty pay.

          Your ability to procreate should be abolished, you’re too lazy to be a parent. All Trumpers should not be parents.

          Gosh, ain’t stereotyping and generalizing without a shred of support evidence grand!!! Free, free, to lie at will at last. Thank you PBP.

          • Paul stover

            Shut up you whining bitch

      • Ben


        You have to be kidding. I know the PBP lives in a vacuum, but did you realize trump was President for the entire first yr of the pandemic? He had his chance to have a unified message, but was to concerned with his numbers to do so and therefore failed miserably.

        As far as the local elementary school I referenced , I have intimate knowledge of the facts I mentioned. You have…a thought?

        Ask the next Charles Krauthammer, about how much pressure keeping our economy churning is putting on our public health decisions. You can’t argue that public health has ever been a priority over profits. And it certainly isn’t in this case.

        Oh, and Larry doesn’t like when you call him old. An out of touch elitist living in an ivory tower is ok, but avoid the old comments.

        • Joe Gilbertson

          That is what I was saying, Trump’s message was not as unified as it could have been. He should have fired Fauci immediately, and he should have convened the governors to get them all on the same page. But he did reluctantly put the whole country into lockdown. And he took care of New York even when their demands were unreasonable and their leadership criminally incompetent.

          But Trump was starting blind. At that time we did not know that older people were more at risk and younger people at almost no risk. And Trump did not have a vaccine, he MADE one, in record time.

          When Biden came into office, he HAD a vaccine, he KNEW all about the effects of COVID. He had all of the tools and still mismanaged it.

          I never accuse Larry of being old. Occasionally I accuse him of being ugly…

          Do you honestly think this is about profits? Talk about living in a vacuum.

          • larry Horist

            Accusing me of being old is like accusing the Pope of being Catholic. He thinks calling me old bother me. But it only bothers the Larry Horist that he … and Bruder … have running around the windmills of their minds. But I have the advantage over Ben because he just seems ill informed. Perhpas it is his lack of life experience, knowledge and and open mind. They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste — a closed mind, not so much. He does not understand that economic considerations are ALWAYS one of the factors in the mix of any decision. We have to consider the economic impact of Covid policy because it has … ready for this … a health impact. (Ben should be taking notes). Those who have only looked at the virus as if there were no other considerations — economic and healthwise — have basically screwed over our children for that past two years — and a lot of the rest of us. Finally, that reality is starting to sink in. Even Biden says the kids need to be in schools. Ben is starting to sound like a person who does not only not know a lot … he doesn’t even suspect much.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            Sometimes it takes real consequences to get past the doublethink. As always, you say it better than I do.

          • frank stetson

            Is Larry old: I dunno, is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods?

            Being old is not about age Larry. It’s about thought and attitude. First, I am guessing you have “fuck you money.” This changes one’s attitude about taking shit. Second, you have a way, and that way is hard to change, why should you, it’s worked this well so far. Third, who likes to learn the latest spreadsheet application when you have learned 5 generations of this previously. So, you don’t take shit, you have short patience with change and retraining, and you have a pretty well set of formed attitudes, prejudices, and feelings. While we may on different oars, I am right with you in the old boat……. not a problem.

            Probably should just not push back on the old stuff anymore, everyone knows it tweaks you and, being Frank, we tend to pour vinegar in any open wounds :>) anonymous but brave?

            I would change the picture though. Boris Karloff laughs at that….. :<)

  2. frank stetson

    So sayeth the prophet: “A democratic society can’t function if there are bodies of influence that overwhelm the elected representatives of the people.”

    He also said: “A whole lot of people walked over to the Capitol building and they made a lot of noise.”

    To that the prophet adds: “no footage that I have seen indicated that anyone in the Capitol building was ever in danger – although a lot of Democrats were hiding under desks. And I watched pretty much everything that was made public. A few people were assholes, but if that was a crime certain of my ‘fans’ would be in jail for life.” Yes, the Capitol breach was just like a day at PBP…..

    Joe says the Unions are overwhelming elected representatives and that means the society can’t function. But Joe, at the same time, from that other side of his mouth, says that a mob of what the FBI classifies as “domestic terrorists,” posed no danger to Congress except for a lot of Democrats hiding under desks. So, the mob storming Congress, not that bad. Closing down Congress is just good tourism? And gee, not one Republican hid under a desk? Can anyone believe Joe on this? Because if Republicans weren’t hiding, I would surmise they knew something the rest of the world has yet to learn. Especially Joe’s hypocritical sense of reality.

    Because I say:

    Wasn’t Mike Pence shuffled away to hide in the basement? Afraid of noise? Even with Secret Service?

    Didn’t an officer yell run to Mitt Romney as the tourists closed in.

    We listened as U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., called out as the attack was happening. “I have not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008,” he said. “I mean, this is America. And this is what’s happening right now. The president needs to call it off. Call it off. It’s over. The election is over.”

    Andrew Clyde, R-GA, was not hiding, he was busy building a barricade to stop the tourists from getting to him. Sure seems like some very active hiding to me. This guy is a gun shop owner attempting to barricade the doors to stop the tourists.

    Didn’t Ted Cruz say, this year, that it was ‘a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol.” A week after the attack, didn’t McCarthy say: “”The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” Violent terrorists, attacked Capitol, mob rioters, Trump responsible — Republican words.

    No Joe, everyone in the Capitol, both parties, except those brave Capitol police, could be found hiding at some point that day. Many made that call none of us want to make to their loved ones. The one that might be the last call; they just didn’t know. The Vice President was seen by the Secret Service as threatened to the point of sheltering in the basement; they didn’t even dare to dare to drive him out of there. Republicans in droves called, communicated with the President begging him to stop the attack, stop the violence as they sheltered in place.

    The fear of violence was not partisan. Joe said there was a lot of Democrats were under there desks that day basically saying that it it was just a bunch of noise and only the Democrats were scared. According to the evidence, once again, Joe is lying. If that’s what he concluded from the tapes, he is blind and deaf too.

    Joe who treats Unions from the other side of the aisle harsher than he treats FBI-classified domestic terrorists from his own party. Matter of fact, he does not think they are terrorists, but teachers are abusing their power and the union should be broken. Joe says: “The Chicago Teachers’ Union likely contributed to Major Lori Lightfoot’s campaign.” Sometimes liars are just so transparent it’s silly. Any idiot can tell in a minute who the teacher’s Union supported and the fact Joe gives a hint that he didn’t as he boldly goes where most journalists won’t: conjecture, fires away. This idiot took one minute to find: “Chicago Teachers Union and its political action committee donated over $291,000 in 2019 to mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records. Of that amount, over $164,000 came from CTU itself, and not from funds its members donated specifically for political activity. The union gave nothing to candidate Lori Lightfoot.” Joe didn’t look before he lied.

    Joe accepts many lies as long as they fit his narrative. He sources little.

    Still waiting for Joe to prove the 2020 election was rigged. He can say it, but he sure can’t prove it.

    • larry Horist

      Frank says … “So sayeth the prophet: ‘A democratic society can’t function if there are bodies of influence that overwhelm the elected representatives of the people’.” Of course, that is obviously a reference to the huge (and growing), distant and unaccountable federal bureaucracy. Just a thought.

      • frank stetson

        I dunno, ask Joe, he said it… the comments….. Could of sworn he was talking about the Chicago Teacher’s Union. But sure, feel free to apply it where you will although given topic, and the comment, it could mean any government, any group doing the overwhelming —- take the NRA for example. Not a majority in number but through it’s “influence” able to overwhelm elected representatives on a pretty regular basis.

        Or Trumpists who show great focus as they taunt, terrorize, and even unleash great violence to overwhelm elected officials, take over Congress, attempt to lynch Mike Pence and even totally stop a democratic society from functioning, albeit for a few hours.

        I think you might be on to something Larry. Or maybe just on something.

  3. Ben

    I’d love to respond to you two individually, but again, the web site is shit and there’s reply button. Go figure.

    I’ll start with the tongue in cheek comment. There’s a lot of American “Christians”that question if the Pope truly is Christian. They confuse the Pope being Catholic with their ideology of white American Jesus.

    There are several instances where Larry whined about me calling him old. Now all of the sudden, it doesn’t bother him. What ever.

    Now. The “next Charles Krauthammer” and his side kick seem to only look at dollars and cents, which fit the conservative agenda. Profits over people. You can call me simple or closed minded ( I’ve honestly never heard that said about me before), but I don’t live in an ivory tower with my elite buddies, im on the ground floor of this pandemic. It doesn’t seem to matter to you how many bodies are in the hospital ( record numbers) as long as there’s a body supporting capitalism. It doesn’t seem to matter to you that there are so many teachers out sick with Covid as long as the kids can go to school so the parents can go to work. Y’all don’t see it, because you don’t really care about the sacrifices, as long as the stock market keeps setting record highs ( 72 times under Biden). We are all just cogs in the collective that makes the 1% more money.

    The Boomers have saddled the world with this rat race. We have been indoctrinated into this capitalistic and consumerism hellscape where the only thing that matters is the bottom line. As you can see, your house of cards is at the tipping point. Workers are tired of being exploited. The great resignation, coupled with the pandemic, have illustrated beautifully how fragile this is. The CDC made this 5 day quarantine ruling not out of health concerns, but out of concern for the bottom line. At this pace, a 10 day National strike seems like it will squarely return power to the workers.

    I know you can’t see it from your ivory tower, you fellow elites don’t see what’s going on, but America’s workers are sick and tired of being used and discarded. They are fighting back. Having a paycheck is of no use when your in ICU from contracting COVID at work.

  4. Ben

    I just saw that some Texas School Districts have so many teachers out with COVID that they are asking parents to substitute. My home State has already dropped the requirement of a college degree to sub.