Attention Chicago Teachers: Go Back To Work!

English: in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

English: in Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago has a graduation rate of only 56% versus the National Average of over 75%.  Only 15% of 4th graders in Chicago can read, which compares to 34% Nationally.  Despite these facts, Chicago teachers are paid an average of $71,000 each year, which is 25% above the National Average.  For those keeping score, this means that the teachers are vastly under-performing, and are drastically overpaid.  If you were to say that their salary should be linked to their graduation rate & 4th grade literacy rate vs. the National Average, these teachers would have to take over a 50% pay cut just to be fairly compensated against the performance of their peers!

Instead of offering them a 50% pay cut so that they could be fairly compensated, they were offered a 16% pay raise over the next four years, but they turned it down because they want a 30% pay raise…This would mean that these teachers would make an average salary of $92,000.  What would Chicago get?  Well, as with other jobs in this country, the teachers had to promise to increase the graduation rate above 56% and they had to increase the percentage of 4th graders who can read…Right?  Right?  Right?


350,000 young students, who already are less likely to read or graduate because of the state of their public schools and the quality of their teachers, are now missing more school so that these teachers can demand a larger raise than anyone deserves when promising to add no additional value.  In the real (non-union) world, we need to show what value we are going to add to a corporation before demanding a raise.  If we don’t get a raise, we can choose to either work harder and try again, or leave the company.  Neither of those options directly hurts 350,000 students…If they did, can you seriously see yourself ever negatively impacting 350,000 kids so that you could become even more overpaid than you already were?

This is an unnecessary, but very telling, strike at a key time in our country’s history.  After the unions sank the Big Three, helped drive us into the Great Recession, and continue to hammer companies as we struggle to get out of it, the teacher strike shows exactly how unreasonable most union negotiations wind up being.  Call a Chicago teacher today and tell them to get back to work, teach those kids to read, get them off the street, and get them through to graduation…That’s what they get paid for.

If not, then we need to look at our other options for schooling in this country, including charter school programs, and pick-your-own-district programs.  Otherwise, these school unions will be affecting a city near you soon.  Share this with your friends & family, and tell me what you think about the issue.

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 11, 2012, in Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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