It’s For the Kids… Chicago Teachers – Who Make $74,839 a Year – Go On Strike

Chicago teachers went on strike today for the first time in 25 years. 400,000 students and their families were affected.

Teachers in Chicago make an average $74,839 a year.

** The teachers want a 16% raise over 4 years costing the city $400 million.
(Who gets that kind of a raise these days?)

Tens of thousands of teachers and support staff in Chicago went on strike Monday after their union and school officials failed to reach a contract agreement.
The AP reported:

Chicago teachers went on strike Monday for the first time in 25 years after their union and district officials failed to reach a contract agreement despite intense weekend negotiations that the union said were productive but still failed to adequately address issues such as job security and teacher evaluations.

The two sides were not far apart on compensation, but were on other issues, including health benefits — teachers want to keep what they have now — and a new teacher evaluation system based partly on students’ standardized test scores, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said.

“This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could have avoided,” she said. “We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel condemned the union’s decision, and said the negotiations could be resolved if the two sides kept talking, “given how close we are.”

“This is not a strike I wanted,” Emanuel said. “It was a strike of choice … it’s unnecessary, it’s avoidable and it’s wrong. ”

More than 26,000 teachers and support staff were expected to hit the picket lines early Monday, while the school district and parents carried out plans for keeping nearly 400,000 students safe and occupied while classes remain empty in the coming days in the nation’s third largest school district.

The Illinois Policy Institute has “5 Things You Need to Know About Chicago Public Schools.”

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  • oldguy

    Teachers are babysitters who tell their charges to hate mommy and daddy and should be paid accordingly.

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  • bigL

    Now Hiring-26,000 teaching and staff jobs, Located in Chicago.

  • donh

    start demanding a rebate on your property taxes.

  • DomesticGoddess

    Rhambo is in a pretty tight spot, no? These offensive “teachers” don’t care if there is no money to meet their demands. This is exactly what the “teachers” do in France. France is considering a taxation rate of 75%. Welcome to Obama’s second term.

  • rangerjagc

    I think they get paid enough. Proof: I know this makes me a horrible person but, have you seen the pictures of these teachers? Nearly without exception, they have not missed any meals, in fact a “large” number of them are obese. #1 – where is Michele O and the diet / fitness police when you need them? #2 – what a terrible example for our kids in terms of healthly life style. #3 – what a terrible example of greed for our kids. Can’t imagine what the kids are being taught (well, unfortunately, yes I can).

  • mg4us

    #4. . .this is all being down to help drive unemployment number down just before the elections given last Friday’s dismal report

    Then Once Obama is elected, all the new SCAB workers will be fired as they bring the former union folk back

    YES WE CON. . Not a typo

    Just like the Mayor In Trenton, NJ

    Another of Holder’s people
    Yes we CON!

  • ray44us

    my wife is a teacher in central Iowa. she makes about $39K a year, which includes her summer duty pay, has a masters degree and over 15 years of experience. oh, and her school year duty requires her to work extra hours during the day and coach on weekends. all for about a thousand bucks requiring about a dozen weekends, not to mention all the time she stays late or works even more at home on her teaching and duty. she doesn’t complain. it’s the job she wanted and she works much like her husband in the private sector that has very long days too.

    i don’t know where these pigs get off demanding 16% or more raises when they already make twice what an Iowa teacher makes with more experience and education. and guess who pays this crap? those of us in the private sector already 40 feet under water and sinking fast in Obama’s economy. i blame Obama and his policies and attitude of rewarding ineffective public workers at the expense of the private sector.

  • rahm seems to be doing the same job in chicago that barack is doing to the country. oh those marxists are great at governing.

  • Granny55

    Looks like the OWSer’s were out in force this morning showing their support. Yup those “poor” teachers – it’s all for the kids – parents/taxpayers be damned.

  • SM-WI

    The Chicago way!

  • Ella

    They all deserve each other. Pass the popcorn.

  • donh

    No how will the Chilren get their free condoms ? This is a health hazard !

  • Limousine Barry

    Let me be clear, school is So Last Century!

    Besides, the union teachers always vote for me. Why should the switch?

    I will give the teachers a Vote 4 0bama picket sign and a three free pre-filled-out absentee ballots! That should do it!

    To all of my supporters in the Union, vote early and vote often!

    Good day.

  • Vixen

    I’ve seen some other photos accompanying this story at other sites in addition to this vid. It doesn’t appear that these teachers are starving…. if you know what I mean….

  • anti-bho

    If I’d had a teacher who looked like that I’d have thought seriously about quitting school.

  • anti-bho

    Heard a remark on the video about something being ‘left on the table’.
    That’s got to be a bald faced lie if ‘tubby’ was at that table, because I’m betting she’s never left anything on a table.

  • retire05

    According to the Illinois Family Taxpayer’s Association, Ms. Karen Lewis is already making a hefty salary off the taxpayer’s back, for the children, of course.

    In 2011, Ms. Lewis drew down a tony $89,859 for the 2011-2012 school term. That is NOT unusual as a number of teachers in the City of Chicago School District are making as much as $135,000 per year. Ms. Lewis is demanding a 16% raise in pay over four years that would give her an increase of over $14,000/per year in 2016. How many do you know that are making $103K/yr in this economy? Certainly none of my friends who have managed to keep a job.

    The Federal government needs to step in and if these teachers don’t want to do the jobs they are being well paid for, fire them, and give vouchers to parents to sent their kids to [better] schools.

  • retire05

    One other thing; Chicago teachers are the highest paid in the nation, exceeding the salary of New York teachers who live in a higher cost of living area. These teachers are NOT underpaid but are an example of why parents need to either send their kids to a Christian school, or home school them. And what does the parent get for all those high teacher salaries in Chicago? A drop out rate that is almost as high as Los Angeles.

  • Finncrisp

    Chicago is a gulag. The unions, thugs, and druggies have Rahm by his tutu. Chicago deserves better, but there you can’t even put a Romney sign in your window of a business without inviting health inspectors, building inspectors, property tax assessors , etc. It’s a one party town and it’s residents pay dearly for it.

    An 8 month strike would be the perfect solution.

  • Dick

    ** The teachers want a 16% raise over 4 years costing the city $400 million.
    (Who gets that kind of raise these days?)

    A correction to the post: The 16% raise is actually what the teachers were offered by the city, and they rejected it. What they actually want is even more outrageous, according to the Chicago Tribune:

    With momentum on their side, teachers demanded higher pay for working the longer day, entering negotiations demanding what amounted to a 30 percent raise over two years.

  • SoLongSong

    What absolute THUGS. This is selfish to the EXTREME. Too bad Rahm eSpaniel isn’t CHRIS CHRISTIE. Now, THERE’S something I’d pay to see…

  • Isn’t that special…

    I recommend homeschooling. If we won’t overhaul the system, at least give your kids a chance in the world. I homeschooled for 19 years, have four graduates, three either working on or have their college degrees, and the fourth~works in the local ER and is saving to pursue his medical degree. The age range of my children~16-23.

  • Sean

    When i was 4 my parents left Chicago and moved to the suburbs(Norridge-which is actually inside the city)so I wouldn’t attend hs in Chicago Public Schools. My cousins whol only lived a few blocks away and were in the city all attended CPS. One got beat up by a gang of black thugs bussed in from the west side. This was in the 80s. Can only imagine how it is now.

  • JDStone

    Let them stay on strike the whole school year, they aren’t learning anything anyway.Let chaos ensue, violence, let the whole city crumble as far as i’m concerned.

  • Daisy

    Chicago Schools have the shortest year and shortest day in the country! A year ago, they decided to lengthen the day to 6 1/2 hours and that’s why the teachers are screaming – they might have to work a full day.

    They have requested a 30% payraise over 2 years, followed by a 25% raise over the following two years. I think CPS should enforce a policy of testing TEACHERS for competence and start firing a few. There are enough unemployed folks in Chicago-land that they could probably replace all the CPS teachers w/ subs in just a few days.

  • anti-bho

    Don’t let anything cause you to forget this, tomorrow is eleven years.

    Have You Forgotten – Darryl Worley – YouTube

  • JimmyDick

    Illinois, which is right next Misery, just happens to be the butt-hole of America. The place from where Big Black Turds come out and run for president and then WIN!

    I hope the union causes them to stay out until after Christmas, and then they all get screwed good and proper – with a lot of these ‘teachers’ losing their jobs. By January O-butt-hole should have run the country over the cliff and these miserable union educators should be well screwed! AND, they would have done it to themselves! 🙂 Sweet!

  • olm

    OMG. Well, here in my district the parents set up a non profit and they raise money to pay the teachers more than the district can afford. Seriously. Get to it parents of Chicago.
    Here’s my problem and it hasn’t changed. The people aka the school district only have so much money. I have never understood how we can entrust our children to the teacher’s union when they are too stupid to understand simple economics.

  • anti-bho

    ‘teaching a class of innocent children’ or OUT ON STRIKE!
    Or would it have mattered to you, Chicago?

    Alan Jackson “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” – YouTube

  • Whistleblower

    U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald gives the United States of America it’s first Tin-Pot Dictator “Barack Hussein Obama”

  • Blue Hen

    And in the midst of this, we can count on the media and Democrats to continue portraying anyone who dares question the dear leader as being “insensitive and uncaring”.

  • Marsh626

    Hmmm. Since teachers are overwhelmingly female and married, that means their income is 75k + what their husband makes (ususally more). That means most teachers live in homes where the combined family income is easily over 150k a year. Those poor, poor teachers. 🙁

  • johnt

    I bet Little Rahm, all 4ft 10in of him, wishes he was back in the WH playing the role of political guru, automatically treated as a genius by the media. Here he actually has to do things. How’s the murder rate in Chicago nowdays ?

  • kato

    At a time when hundreds of municipalities are heading towards insolvency all across the country, these overpaid union turds go on strike. One sees the same selfish phenomenon all across Europe.

    The rest of us are just supposed to shut up and pay more taxes. It would be one thing if we were getting value for our money, but the reality is that most union teachers are not very smart and not very skilled. In a city like Chicago, they don’t even teach much. They’re mostly babysitters for subprime animals.

  • Annoyed In Illinois

    To #9 ray44us: paraphrasing Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino”, it’s f**ks like those in Chicago who constantly give/gave a black eye to the only career I ever wanted to have and did perform for four decades. Almost without fail, teachers who constantly proclaimed their devotion “to the children” were the ones who 1) bitched about their pay, 2) were the poorest performing in the classroom, and 3) would ask us, the devoted ones, why we spent so much time before/after school and on weekend mornings crafting lessons we believed got the ultimate in student participation and achievement.

  • retired militaryq

    School vouchers would solve the problem.

    a = The amount of money state pays to educate one child in chicago public school system )(say $12k)
    b= 1/2 A = 6k.
    c. Give parent 6k voucher to send child to private school (plenty of private schools cost less than this).
    d. GIve school system other 6k. School now has 6k for a student that doesnt go there. Class sizes are smaller. School spends more money per students.

    e. System will never work as teachers would get fired by droves and have to go to nonunion jobs where the union loses money. Remember it isnt what is best for the kids but what is best of the union. The more money teachers makes the more money the unions make.

  • Annoyed In Illinois

    By the way, there was a giant traffic jam on the Dan Ryan Expressway this morning in Chicago.

    Karen Lewis tipped over and all northbound lanes were blocked as it took two tow trucks an hour to clear the mess. In a few months the remains from this tragedy will probably be able to be viewed from Google Earth.

  • The demanded pay increase is high; however, have you noticed that Chicago wants to lengthen the school day and year? Rahm is wanting to increase the day from 5 hours 45 minutes to 7 1/2 hours. There is also the desire to add 10 days to the school years. This amounts to about a 30% increase in work. Should teachers not be compensated for the increase in hours worked?


  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    Chicago Teachers – Who Make $74,839 a Year – Go On Strike

    That’s amazing.

    When I was last working full-time in 2009, my yearly gross income was in the low $50k range and I was pretty happy with it.

  • Eden12345

    You have no idea how much we have always wanted to kick Chicago out of Illinois. It has been a drain on the rest of the state forever.

  • Joe College

    Rush says Chicago teachers have gone out on strike so that Obama can step in and solve it.

    The Chicago teachers strike is a trick of the Obama campaign. Obama will walk in and solve the strike and make himself look good in the process.

    Rush says there is no way the Chicago teachers union is going to do anything to embarrass Obama now before the election. That is, unless they are creating a crisis that will not go to waste.

  • Jerry C

    @ #40 Kate MacGinn-“The demanded pay increase is high; however, have you noticed that Chicago wants to lengthen the school day and year? Rahm is wanting to increase the day from 5 hours 45 minutes to 7 1/2 hours. There is also the desire to add 10 days to the school years. This amounts to about a 30% increase in work. Should teachers not be compensated for the increase in hours worked?”

    Dear Kate-the-clueless,

    Here’s a lesson for you in the real world. I work in the private sector. When I was hired, I replaced a Controller & an Accounting manager. After 2008, our company downsized half of our employees. One of those positions “elminated” was the Inventory Manager. Guess who got most of those duties? Since you’re not to bright, that would be me. In addition, my company uses me as their in-house IT guy. So, I am effectively working four full-time positions with 60+ hours per week; yet, I feel fortunate enough to have a job in this economy.

    From all us workers in the private sector, STFU about how bad it is for underworked unionized teachers.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Mad Hatter

    #43, Joe College,

    Everything Rush said made sense. It’s a staged event to help Obama look good with under 60 days until the election. When the teacher strike gets resolved, Rahm and the head of the Teachers Union will say the President was on the phone with us trying to get both sides to come together since it’s important for the children.

    The next day the talking heads will have their talking points from the White House, and Media Matters, they’ll make him look like the Prince on the white horse that rode in and saved the day.

    The Unions are pro Obama, the teachers strike is in Chicago, and it’s a perfect PR move orchestrated by Obama’s former right hand man.

  • bg
  • paul52

    I taught in MO for 25 years. Did not hit $50K until I had OVER 20 years of exp. plus a Master’s, plus 30 hours atop that. Some years our ‘raise’ was $0 (but administrators always got theirs, always). No sympathy for these leeches.

  • mg4us

    Rush is on and has a good prediction. . that this is ALL Staged for Obama to come in and Save the Day. . .

    Union in the tank for Obama

    And MSM will then sing the glorious praises of the one.

  • My mole at the FAA tells me flight plans are being drawn up for a “747 Heavy, Callsign UNICORN 1, direct DC to Chicago. I wonder what that could be all about.

  • Patty

    They don’t like being evaluated? Well, I would say that is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.


  • I am with Rush 100%..Rahm and the union thugs are up to a publicity stunt for this worthless president.

  • obfuscatenot

    Proof positive that the bullies in our schools are the GROWN-UPs! Look at the state of our Nation, most people don’t understand how the Government even works! Who by chance, didn’t teach them? Who buy chance has sold their soul to the almighty dollar? – BIG FAT TEACHER UNIONISTAS! They claim smaller class sizes are needed….probably because the teachers are the size of small autos. The space is limited you know.
    Extra pay for extra hours? Give me a break. What is the average income of the average Chicago citizen? When that goes up the teachers should get a raise in proportion. Why is logic so difficult for the highly educated? Dear Teacher private sector taxes pay your salary, if there is a smaller amount of taxes regrettably your pay must reflect that. Why didn’t you better educate the kids so they could make more money to pay you more? Cause and effect? Sadly I agree with other posters, the Teachers unions are in the tank for obama, the NEA voiced their support last summer before we even knew who the Republican candidate was, this is probably just another Chicago pay for play.

  • Sean

    The three limpwrists(Rahm,Obama,and Arnie Duncan)will save the day.

  • Dave-O

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we taxpayers could unionize too? And then go on strike and not pay our taxes? Wouldn’t that get their attention?

  • TrickyDick

    This is actually good news if the MSM will cover it. It’s a textbook of what’s wrong with the school system and the liberal base in this country.

  • Gary

    Ray44US et al

    Kinda underscores what Friedman meant when he said “it’s only greed when it’s the other guy”.
    Funny they never see it (or report it) that way.

  • Patty

    Rahm Dead Fish, has been working for Obama campaign. He is the Mayor of Chicago and 90% of his time is spent on Obama reelection. See how cronies work.

  • bg
  • DAve

    This is all about optics. Things will get real bad, Obama will come in and “settle” the strike, showing that he is tough on unions not just their lapdog and a master uniter and leader. Watch-

  • DAve

    Plus that benefits package is worth about $30K a year…

  • Mad Hatter

    Here’s Karen Lewis, the President of the Chicago Teachers Union. She’s behind the strike.

    God help us, and those kids.

    She doesn’t believe that Private and Charter Schools work, but only Public Schools work.

    3:10 – 3:17, and 3:32 – 3:45 of the video

    She doesn’t believe that Teachers Evaluations should be tied to test scores.

    1:40 – 2:08 of the video

    She clearly stats that her goal is to expand the power of the Teacher Unions, and their tax payer funded pension.

    1:00 – 1:18, and 1:19 – 1:37 of the video

    Don’t count on the Alinsky Media to do a background on her.

  • Rob De Witt

    Here’s another shot in the campaign. Private schools (and home-schoolers, you can bet) will be demonized in the public imagination.

    “Public schools are the only hope for the health of The Children!”

  • Patty

    So much more here.

    Turn Down $400 Million Deal, 16% Pay Raise…
    Have Highest Average Salary In Nation…
    Average $76,000 per year before benefits…
    Cops Pour Onto Streets to Deal With ‘Unsupervised Kids’…
    Rahm’s kids’ school open; attend elite $25,000-a-year ‘lab’…
    Romney blasts…
    NOT PRESENT: Obama no comment…

  • Sarah
  • Vicky Hernandez

    Hmmm. Let’s see…
    40% of high school students don’t graduate.

    There it is! If course the “poor” teachers need “job security” and not “teacher evaluations.” Where else are they going to find a job that rewards mediocrity and poor results with $100K per year? And that’s after salary and benefits are combined.

    But, of course. We’re supposed to believe it’s for the chiiiii-il-dren.

  • befuddled

    Chicago isn’t paying the teachers to teach, they’re paying the teachers to babysit. I’ve never paid $75,000 for a babysitter, even a union one.

    $75,000 is a hefty price to pay for someone to keep voting Democrat. It’s not the politicians money, so why the hell do they care. Just keep raising property taxes.You vote Democrat.You deserve what you get.

  • Kathteach

    American Federation of Teachers President Shankar famously said a few years ago….”We teacher unions will start representing children when they start paying union dues”.

    Still true today. If Rahm Emmanuel had one once of Ronald Reagan, he would fire them all and hire 26,000 new teachers from all over the country. Trust me – there would be thousands of great applicants eager to get a job with the great salary and benefits in the Chicago Public Schools.

  • Cindy Starfish

    Why do so many public school teachers send their own children to private schools?

  • Baby Clock


    Chicago Teachers strike this week, parlez-vous,
    Chicago Teachers strike this week, parlez-vous.
    Chicago Teachers strike this week,
    “It’s for the kids”, they yell and shriek,
    Inky Dinkey parley-vous.

    Chicago schools make jail seem nice, parlez-vous.
    Chicago schools make jail seem nice, parlez-vous.
    Chicago schools make jail seem nice,
    They’ve drugs and guns and lots of lice.
    Inky Dinkey parley-vous.

    The Demo-Rats control the schools, parlez-vous.
    The Demo-Rats control the schools, parlez-vous.
    The Demo-Rats control the schools,
    They just throw BILLIONS as Union’s tools*.
    Inky Dinkey parley-vous.

    The Unions ask for more and more, parlez-vous.
    The Unions ask for more and more parlez-vous.
    The Unions ask for more and more,
    “We’ve got no cash!” The parents roar!
    Inky Dinkey parley-vous.

    “The Godfather” has not a clue,
    “The Godfather” has not a clue,
    “The Godfather” just has no clue,
    Inky Dinkey parley-vous.

    * Tools = urban slang for egotistical opportunists aka douche bags.
    No rights reserved. Of course, in Chicago, that wouldn’t mean anything anyway!

    SERMON: Typical Chicago solutions have proven CLUELESS for decades, and hundreds of billions. IT’S NOT JUST “SCHOOLS”: It’s unwed mothers; it’s a welfare life-style; it’s “trickle down” graft, where monies are spent LAVISHLY on the “friends, co-conspirators, and fellow criminals” of those providing it; it is family failures at catastrophic rates; IT IS A CULTURE OF CORRUPTION. [End sermon.]

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  • Cindy Starfish

    Chicago’s striking public school teachers earn $74,839 per year, and 39% of them send their own children to private schools:

  • to Jerry C: I am hardly clueless. I am a public school teacher of 28+ years, yet am not a big fan of teacher unions. I was merely pointing out a glaring omission of the facts: a big increase in time in both hours and day is being demanded. I think to present to the public that Chicago teachers asked for a – yes – exorbitant increase WITHOUT reporting the increased demand in classroom time is a bit one-sided and perhaps misleading. Your nasty, personal attack on me is about as immature and narrow-minded as any Lib snark attack. Your unfortunate plight at your workplace does not justfy such a snotty attack.

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  • mg4us

    16% Pay raise over 4 years is not good enough for these union members so they make the kids suffer. . .

    I know a way that 34+% can get a BIG Bump in income without waiting four years. . .


    You heard that right. . over 34% of the Chicago PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers send their own kids to PRIVATE Schools because Public Schools not good enough

    And yet these free choicers oppose vouchers for students. . .

    I say it become a requirement that if you teach in public schools then your child need to go to one too from K-12. . .

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  • Jerry C

    @ #72 kmacginn-“I am a public school teacher of 28+ years”

    Ah, got it. It’s okay for the private sector to bleed but when it comes to you government unionized teachers, then there’s hell to pay. Frankly, I’ve given up on believing ANY government worker gives a damn about the regular Joe. And your reply post just goes to prove I was right. While private sector employees lose their jobs, homes & livelihoods, government unionized teachers refuse a 16% pay raise & go on strike during a Depression 2.0; and to boot 40% of their children don’t graduate. Oh yeah, your comments make so much more sense now.

  • Jerry C

    @ #76 mg4us-“I say it become a requirement that if you teach in public schools then your child need to go to one too from K-12. . .”

    Good thing you’re not a libturd DemonRat government unionized brain-dead teacher; you make too much sense.

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