How much has the cost of living increased in Chicago?
If the cost of living is going up more than 4% per year and their wages are rising by 4% per year, then they're making less money each year when adjusted for inflation.
Chicago is a ridiculously expensive place to live.
I'm not supporting or not supporting their cause, legitimately curious about the rise in the cost of living there. Nobody goes into teaching for money, but if your wages aren't keeping up with inflation, would you stick around?
I see your point, and the same thing is going on here in NC... would I stick around? Well, maybe, if I had a degree in education and no other experience. Not a whole lot of other jobs out there to be had... bad position to be in. I'm sure a lot of teachers have left the profession, or are at least thinking about it.
I'm sure the teachers involved here want to be paid just like everybody wants to be paid... but in a situation like this with a group of unionized public employees... who are they really affecting most by going on strike? The kids...
If a union at a company goes on strike it hurts the company's bottom line because they aren't making product, and the company has an incentive to work it out... in this case, the politicians will either have to cave to their demands and have an even bigger deficit in education spending, which affects everything from salaries to buying pencils and paper in classrooms, or they can fire them all and get new teachers, which would probably be very hard to do... either way it's a lose/lose and above all, the kids lose.