Yesterday was April 1, and so, before we begin, apologies to those loyal readers who were fooled, even upset by my post announcing the end of the blog. I tried to drop enough giveaway clues in it, and succeeded too well, for those who thought the gag was obvious, and not well enough for those who were genuinely deceived. But in general it seemed to be enjoyed by most, and certainly caused some discussion, which is the point of these.
I almost forgot that I also had a column in the paper Friday, also tied to a certain day — April 1 was the day the Chicago Teachers Union went on their one-day, ill-advised strike. This column also caused a bit of fuss, of a more serious nature, and I thought today being Saturday, I'd slip it in for those who missed it in the paper (and you know who you are!)
Good morning class.
Settle down, please. There's room for a few hundred of you in the front: the little kids, please.
I know there's a lot of us here — 330,000 Chicago Public Schools students, shut out of school Friday due to the one-day teachers union strike.
Which means the teachers will be walking picket lines, and you'll be, well, somewhere. Hundreds of schools and churches will open their doors, and you might go there to get out of harm's way. Though I'd imagine a good number of you are parked on the sofa at home, killing time as only kids can.
So forgive me for intruding. I thought I'd try to shoehorn a little education into your day. You can play Call of Duty: Black Ops III all afternoon.
So, hello, I'm Mr. Steinberg.
I did pause to ask myself whether this makes me a scab — “scab” is a historic labor term for someone who undermines a strike. The Chicago Teachers Union announced it is monitoring school entrances, threatening to fine any teacher who goes to work today. This was necessary, as opposed to the choir of solidarity that greeted the 2012 strike because, well, times have changed. In four years the economies of Illinois and Chicago have gone from menacing to calamitous, and the union pushing to the front of the line, well, it sparks mixed feelings.
So flexibility being a survival skill in unions nowadays, I can be a proud member of the Communications Workers of America and still instruct what few students actually drop their eyes upon this today. I’m not on strike.
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Unfortunately, Lewis has turned into a bully herself.ReplyDelete
Very entertaining. Reminds me of the day Ed Eulenberg brought in Mike Royko to talk to the journalism class I was attending at the downtown campus. Didn't learn all that much from either except that Eulenberg found my prose "flowery," which I took to mean that I used too many adjectives and adverbs. But hearing from Royko himself was memorable indeed. And I hope that the kids taking Neil's class are similarly impressed.ReplyDelete
I really DID think yesterday was it! I was shocked and upset, and I did not even catch the April 1 date. I guess it is my usual not-paying-attention to details mode.ReplyDelete
Thanks for NOT going away. I read your blog every day even though I seldom if ever comment.
Thanks Beth. A lot of people skim, apparently. Again, I didn't think as many people would be as genuinely fooled (and genuinely upset) as there were. A dozen at least. Though to be honest, it was good, for me, to be reminded that people actually do read and do care about the thing. I sometimes lose sight of that.Delete
It looks like Herr Lehrer Steinberg put in a good day of work, just like David Piccioli. Not bad, as teacher for one day connected lobbyist David has added $36,000 per year to his government pension. I'm willing to bet during his one day as substitute teaching, Neil imparted more information to his students than David ever could. Oh life sure can be good, if you are a good buddy of Michael Madigan. So why were teachers holding signs critical of Rauner instead of Madigan? Looks like the teachers were sick on the day Neil held his class.ReplyDelete
Maybe they critiqued Rauner since he's anti- union?ReplyDelete
How about this for a compromise, teachers holding some Rauner signs, more Madigan signs, and a sprinkling of Cullerton signs for good measure. They could demand only real teachers should be eligible for pension distributions, and stop bleeding the Teachers Pension Fund dry with corrupt practices. Maybe that's one of the things Rauner means by institutional changes in the pension system. The recipients of these unearned benefits are friends of Karen Lewis, who is only doing it because she cares for the children. Do you really believe this kind of wasteful spending is being pro-union?Delete
Does Rauner have any agenda besides weakening unions?ReplyDelete
Isn't the eventual elimination of needed social services and higher education through a "starve the beast" effort by refusing to budget necessary funding part of his agenda as well?Delete