You can back teachers and oppose a strike



October 17, 2019 - 10:08 AM

Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU members march through the Loop in Chicago on Monday. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Take a moment to think of your favorite teacher. In a second, someone probably comes to mind. It might have been someone who stoked your love of history, or projected encouragement when your essays read like Esperanto.

What job can be more important than the one that stewards children from preschool to senior year? Yet with a potential teachers strike approaching, words of appreciation for teachers are being replaced by clashes over competing contract provisos. It’s Chicago Teachers Union vs. Chicago Public Schools, causing Chicagoans of all types to choose sides, to either talk up the value of teachers or risk sounding like educational curmudgeons.

While it’s easy to view contentious negotiations solely through the prism of bargaining chips and bottom lines, that would be a mistake. It’s possible to celebrate teachers — their diligence, their devotion — and still oppose a strike.

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