Solidarity? Teachers offered better deal than Chicago cops, police union says

An online post by the Fraternal Order of Police notes that cops have been without a contract for far longer than teachers and have been offered smaller raises.

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fop_vs_teachers.jpg

Kevin Graham, president of the FOP; Chicago Teachers hit the picket line.

Sun-Times file photos

Solidarity forever?

The union representing Chicago police marked the second day of a walkout by teachers and support staff by pointing out how the Chicago Teachers Union stands to secure a much better deal than what’s been offered to Chicago police.

As other city unions rallied around the CTU, a red and blue infographic appeared Friday on the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7’s Facebook page.

Graphic comparing CTU and FOP

Facebook/FOP

The post pointed out that CTU has gone 109 days without a contract, while police have gone 839. It noted that CTU was offered 16% raises by the district, while police were offered 10.5%. It included the fact that teachers pay a much smaller percentage of what cops pay toward their pensions.

The graphic also laid out the dangers cops face, saying six officers have died and 33 were shot at since their last contract expired in 2017.

And it noted that violent crime had dropped by 17 percent and that nearly 9,000 guns have been taken off the street in that time.

The flyer did not detail test scores or any other statistics about Chicago Public Schools or teachers’ jobs.

Asked about the post, FOP spokesman Martin Preib said: “What’s there to talk about? It’s just information. ... It’s just a collection of facts.”

Pressed about the timing of the release during an active work stoppage by fellow city unions, Preib responded: “I think it says what it says and don’t have anything to say anymore than that.”

Will the FOP join other public sector unions in Chicago to stand with the striking unions if the walkout continues?

“We don’t want to discuss our tactics,” Preib said, declining to elaborate before hanging up.

CTU officials did not respond to a request to comment on the post.

At opposite ends of the political spectrum, the right-leaning FOP and lefty CTU have historically not been strong allies, especially after part of the CTU got involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. The teachers union also has been pushing CPS and the city to remove police officers fromposts inside the city’s public schools.

Other unions line up behind CTU

Still, that’s not to say teachers don’t have the support of other unions.

At a downtown march attended by thousands Friday, representatives for unions representing nurses, bus drivers and train operators, as well as umbrella labor organizations like the Chicago Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO, gave speeches and chanted in unison with teachers and SEIU Local 73, which is also on strike and represents school support staff.

And the president of the Teamsters Local 731 said they are “encouraging membership to honor the picket line when lawful,” although CPS officials said trash pickup has continued as normal.

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