Illinois Carries Out Common Good Bargaining

Illinois Carries Out Common Good Bargaining

In the midst of a staggering budget deficit and revenue crisis facing Illinois, Chicago, and Chicago Public Schools, and while facing unprecedented attacks on unions by the private equity firm Governor, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana (HCII) have entered contract negotiations with Chicago’s Board of Education and the State of Illinois respectively. Rather than putting their heads down and just focusing on averting deep cuts in pay and benefits, the CTU and SEIU HCII are joining forces with community allies such as the Grassroots Collaborative to launch bold, transformational campaigns. CTU and SEIU HCII are wedding their contract fight to a broader community-labor coalition that is demanding progressive revenue solutions at both the city and the state level. Groups across the state came together last week to hold a convening on progressive revenue solutions. There they laid out a┬áProgressive Revenue Platform that includes reducing exorbitant bank fees, recovering money from toxic swap deals, passing a progressive income tax, closing corporate tax loopholes, and winning a LaSalle Street tax on financial transactions in Chicago’s exchanges, among other things. Together the groups have held actions at bank branches, occupied the State Capitol with the Revenue Truth Squad, and gotten the State House of Representatives to pass a resolution calling for any cuts in services to be matched by equally proportionate cuts in bank fees. Last week, when the banks that were responsible for Chicago Public Schools’ toxic swap deals came to town for a Bond Buyer conference, the CTU and allies greeted them with a picket. The coalition is also leading the charge against the concerted effort...