Just a reminder that this whole Chicago mess ultimately comes down to words written into a collective bargaining agreement. And while district officials, the mayor and union officers and delegates have spent months arguing, wordsmithing, interpreting and analyzing their 236-page contract, I wonder how much time was spent reading the preamble, which I assume has not been altered in the proposed deal:
The BOARD and the UNION recognize that they have a common responsibility to work together toward the achievement of quality education. The attainment of this objective requires mutual understanding and cooperation between both parties and all members of the professional staff.
It is recognized that teaching requires specialized qualifications as well as educational requirements and that the success of the educational program depends upon the maximum utilization of the abilities of teachers and other bargaining unit members who are reasonably well satisfied with the conditions under which they work, who are assured of a fair reward and security in their profession and who are cooperatively working for the achievement of effective programs of education.
A free and open exchange of views is desirable and necessary, with all parties participating in deliberations leading to agreement in matters of mutual concern and to approaches that will increase the effectiveness of teachers and other bargaining unit members in the classroom and in the community.
The BOARD, the Chief Executive Officer and staff and the UNION, through a series of meetings, have set up this Agreement, have formulated general objectives that are mutually acceptable and shall develop long-range educational goals and programs in areas of mutual concern.
The Chief Executive Officer, administrative officers and the officers of the UNION recognize that the best interests of public education will be served through the establishment of procedures that will provide an orderly way to discuss matters of common concern, to reach agreement satisfactory to each and to appeal through channels designated in this Agreement.
It is the intent that this joint effort will contribute in significant measure to the advancement of public education in the City of Chicago.
It is the intent of both parties that all discussions and conferences growing out of this Agreement be held in an atmosphere of good faith, confidence and mutual respect.
If these words can be so easily discarded in practice, why are the words about class size and air conditioning and dental benefits so much more important?