Chicago teachers who decide to show up for work on April 1 will pay a price for crossing the picket line, according to DNAInfo,
An unidentified South Side high school teacher told DNAInfo that the Chicago Teachers Union is getting the word out to rank and file members:
“It was said to me as a matter of fact that the consequence of choosing to come to school is being kicked out of the union. I’m furious about the whole thing.”
Another anonymous teacher told the news site that a strike is “morally and ethically” wrong, adding that her loyalty is to her elementary school students. The teacher said many of her colleagues are asking, “How do I get out of being part of this debacle?”
Almost 80 percent of union delegates voted last week in favor of the April 1 strike—dubbed the Day of Action—to force a state budget resolution, which has delayed public school funding. The legislative impasse could result in school layoffs and steep cuts to education.
There’s a lot at stake, so the union plans to show no compassion for those who object to the show of unity.
Before the delegates voted, teachers union vice president Jesse Sharkey reportedly told union members in a conference call that they have “an obligation” to comply with the decision, according to DNAInfo.
Sharkey added: “If you personally disagree, you have to stick with them … it’s something we all have to do together.”
CTU financial secretary Kristine Mayle told the news site that union bylaws, in effect since 1971, determine these matters.
She added: “We put out information in response to questions, but we are not trying to threaten members. But if someone crosses the picket line, they undermine the union. We have to do this together or it doesn’t work.”
According to information from a 2012 strike obtained by DNAInfo, teachers who are kicked out of the union must continue to pay union fees, but would lose certain union benefits, such as liability insurance. If strike breakers want to rejoin, they must pay a fine equivalent to the salary received from crossing the picket line.
SOURCE: DNAInfo | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform