“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.” — Rahm Emanuel (Nov. 2008).
He said that when he was President Obama’s Chief of staff. Today, he is Mayor of Chicago. The teachers union is on strike. About 350,000 students have no schools to go to. They are being looked after in churches and other private facilities.
If he were not a screaming liberal, he could solve this in 7 days. It requires a 30-day program to make it stick. Permanently.
Here is Dr. North’s sure-fire 30-day remedy for any teachers’ strike.
First, the Mayor cites the statement sent by Governor Calvin Coolidge to Samuel Gompers, head the American Federation of Labor, in 1919 during the strike of the Boston police. “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.” That phrase made him famous nationally. The next year, he was nominated as Vice President by the Republican Party. He was elected in 1920. He became President when Harding died in 1923. He then oversaw the boom of the 1920s. His career rested on that telegram.
The public knows that this policy is right morally. Public employees are highly paid — far higher than the private sector. They do not work as hard or as long as private sector employees do. They are protected from being fired. They get this in exchange for not striking. As soon as an public employees union threatens a strike, it is fair game politically. The politicians can and should refuse to negotiate.
We are living in the last days of public employees unions. Their pensions are breaking city, county, and state governments. There will be widespread defaults. The way to escape is to declare bankruptcy. Voters have had enough — more than enough. Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature called the unions’ bluff in 2011. They passed legislation outlawing union strikes. The state’s unions tried to recall him in June, 2012. They failed. This is in a traditionally pro-union state, right next door to Illinois. The public employee unions are now a paper tiger. It is time to challenge them if they threaten to strike. All of them. Every time.
Second, he says that the city will hire up to 11,000 new teachers in 30 days, and will not hire any presently employed teacher in the future who remains on strike one week from today. There will be no exceptions. This was Reagan’s strategy in 1981 when PATCO, the air traffic controllers union, walked out. He gave them a deadline, and he stuck to it. He replaced every worker who failed to be on the job on the deadline day. He broke the union. The voters were happy to see it go.
The Mayor then invites any unemployed certified teacher in the United States to send in a job application form to him personally. He places the form on his newly created blog. He tells them to send the filled-in forms to the Mayor’s office, Chicago, Illinois. He says that the jobs will be granted at entry-level pay, that class size will be 33 to 1, and that the jobs are non-tenure-track jobs. He announces that there will be no future tenure-track jobs left in the city of Chicago. Any teachers who are willing to replace the fired teachers of Chicago will be given preference in the future, but that the school board reserves the right from this time on to fire any teacher who asks too much in pay.
There are something like 500,000 unemployed or barely employed certified teachers in the United States today. The White House estimate is 300,000 jobs lost since 2008, with at least 280,000 jobs at risk in 2012. The Mayor’s biggest problem within 48 hours will be to sort through the mountain of job request coming in to his office.
Third, the Mayor tells parents to look up the salary of each teacher who teaches their children. This information is online, but few people in Illinois know this. The Mayor promotes it: http://www.openthebooks.com. He reminds them that this is with four months’ paid vacation, plus retirement benefits.
He should be sure to set up a site that shows what the retirement benefits are.
He says that this is the new policy for every employee of the city. There will be transparency. Anyone wishing to work for less, who has the same credentials, can submit a job application at any time.
See how the union like this new policy: police, fire, etc.
Fourth, the Mayor emphasizes the student/teacher ratio in the city. At present, there are 350,000 students in the city. There are 29,000 teachers. This is a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. When I was in school, long before the days when the American Federation of Teachers had any clout, the average class size was about 33 students. The new classroom size for Chicago will therefore be 33 students. This means that the city will need a maximum of 10,600 teachers. But, just to have some teachers in reserve, the city will hire 11,000.
DEADLINE; 7 DAYS
Fifth, one week and one day later, after the deadline issued by the Mayor for teachers to come back to school, every teacher who was not on duty in his or her class the previous day will be issued notification of permanent firing by the city’s Board of Education. The list of these people will be posted on the Mayor’s blog site.
The Board of Education will begin sorting through the job applications. This will not be necessary, however. In all likelihood, more than 11,000 teachers will have broken the picket lines the day before, and will be in their classrooms ready to teach.
NO MORE STRIKES
Sixth, the Mayor on day 30 holds a press conference. He brings in the stack of job applications. It will be a very tall stack. It will probably fill several desks with piles of applications 3 feet tall.
He then announces to the public that the past pay scales were unfair to taxpayers. He repeats the statement of Calvin Coolidge. He says that no teacher in the city of Chicago will be kept on the payroll who joins any strike in the future, for any reason.
He tells the public that their children are going to be well taught, and that he will not tolerate any union action that threatens the continuity of teaching for the children of the city.
For the rest of the strategy, plus a guide on how this would break the American Federation of Teachers, click the link.