The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is set to meet at 3 p.m. today to discuss, and likely vote on, the proposed deal hashed out by the bargaining teams of CTU and the Chicago Public Schools. As parents, students and teachers all wait to see when, and if, classes will resume, which they could as soon as tomorrow, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is releasing an ad, set to hit Chicagoland airwaves immediately, thanking the teachers' union "for their fight for students and parents."
Regardless of what happens today with the House of Delegates' vote, PCCC officials say they will continue to run the ad as they see the Chicago teachers' strike as indicative of a national battle between unions and politicians, particularly conservatives like Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who released a statement at the start of the strike blasting CTU.
"When Republicans bash the teachers unions, it's part of their agenda to cut public schools to the bone and give billions of dollars to corporations who want to run education on the cheap," explains Stephanie Talyor, co-founder of PCCC. "Parents, students, and communities lose. The teachers unions are fighting back for all of us. And it's up to us to join them in their fight."
PCCC, which has some 38,200 members in Illinois and over a million nationwide, has been active throughout the CTU strike, spearheading an effort last week to have members call the offices of Chicago aldermen and other Illinois politicians and ask that they put their support behind the teachers union.
Here's a look at the PCCC ad:
This isn't the first time PCCC has thrown its weight behind organized labor. Last year, the organization placed ads in Wisconsin supporting labor's collective bargaining rights in the battle between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and unions. School reform groups have also gotten into the ad game last week when it comes to the CTU strike, releasing negative ads about the strike.
Additionally, the Chicago Tribune reportedly refused to run a full-page ad last week, according to conservative blogs, by an anti-union group comparing the teachers union to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who stopped two black students from entering a University of Alabama school building when schools were integrating, due to the ad's "racial undertones". The ad ran in USA Today, which was quickly shown on MSNBC's Morning Joe.