Chicago Teachers Union demands 130M free rides

Chicago Teachers Union demands 130M free rides

The Chicago Teachers Union has 142 pages of demands for its next contract. They include free mass transit for all students and employees in the Chicago Public Schools. That’s as many as 130.3 million free CTA tickets that could cost as much as $122.5 million.

The Chicago Teachers Union is negotiating its next contract, and one of the demands in its 142-page list is this: “BOARD shall coordinate with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority to secure free CTA fares for all CPS students and employees.”

Here’s the math on that: 176 school days of round trips for 323,251 students at a $0.75 per ride plus 176 school days with an additional 12 employee days for 43,919 workers at $2.25 a ride is 130,297,896 trips at a cost of $122,493,738.

So, taxpayers are expected to finance all CPS student and employee public transportation at a cost that could be as high as $122.5 million per academic year.

The employee transit cost could be even higher because some workers must be present through the summers.

Why does the CTU believe it is entitled to demand a free ride for every employee and every student? How did it determine free rides are even needed? While they could argue for employee transit as part of salary and benefits, isn’t student transportation something the district should be deciding and arranging rather than a teachers union?

Contract negotiations have started, but with Mayor Brandon Johnson being an ex-CTU employee whose campaign was bankrolled by CTU and who filled the school board and City Hall with CTU cronies, there may be a lot of head nodding and little effort to be a steward of taxpayers’ needs and abilities to pay. Demands in CTU’s 142-page list include environmental justice, social justice, teacher raises averaging $51,000 and free transit.

That’s a whole lot of potential cost without any consideration of whether a CPS education will better prepare students to face life, but then CTU keeps proving it is about power rather than proficiency.

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