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Rahm Emanuel

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:57pm
Tue Sep 24, 2013

Chicago's Public Employees Want New Contract With Fair Wages, Privatization Safeguards

Chicago public employees picketed downtown Tuesday, calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to settle a new union contract with AFSCME Council 31 that includes decent wages that keep up with inflation.

A new contract must also include "common sense" rules meant to prevent bad privatization deals and protect public services and workers, according to the dozens of public employees who protested near City Hall.

The union’s previous contract with the city was set to expire July 1, 2012, but it was temporarily extended. Workers have been at the bargaining table with the city bartering over a new contract for more than a year and a half.

"Any company should want to pay their employees fair wages but the transparency with the privatization, it's really a huge issue, because what (the mayor) is basically trying to do is sell off the city of Chicago," said Nicole Herron, who's worked in the city's finance department for 18 years. "If he does that, we lose a huge part of the middle class and lower-class people who make up a bulk of the city."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:54pm
Tue Sep 24, 2013

Chicago Education Activists To Hold First 'People's School Board Meeting' Wednesday

Community members upset with the "damaging" education policies endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointed school board will hold their first "People's School Board Meeting" Wednesday, the same day as the Chicago Board of Education's monthly meeting.

Organizers say the goal is to intensify the pressure for an elected, representative school board in Chicago. The Chicago Board of Education is the only non-elected school board in Illinois, and state government must ultimately change the rules.

Going forward, the people's board meetings will be held in the evenings after each monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting. It will be a space where people impacted by the board's "failed education policies", like school closures and budget cuts, can be heard. The Chicago Board of Education voted back in May to close a record-breaking 50 neighborhood schools. And the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district is also grappling with a projected $1 billion budget deficit, which has resulted in classroom spending cuts for some schools.

"This board has repeatedly made policy decisions that have failed Chicago children with no accountability to the public," said Jeanette Taylor, the Local School Council (LSC) chair at Irvin C. Mollison Elementary. "We will not go to any more sham school closing hearings. We will not sit at any more bogus advisory councils."

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