It’s been a trying two weeks being involved in the teacher’s strike in Chicago . More services for our students was one of the primary focuses in this years strike. More social workers was on of the buzz words heard over and over again during the strike. It was great to know that the teachers, parents, and students were saying that they valued the profession and the work that is done daily by these individuals. It was an overall win for other clinician groups, such as nurses, and case manager groups.
Some of the basic things that other professionals are accustomed, to had to be fought for during this strike. The right to have a private and consistent place to work with students was tentatively agreed upon, as was the right to have a work free lunch when traveling from school to school. School social work positions will be increased and the goal is to have a school social worker for every school. This will be a huge gain. A social worker working in a school with over 1,200 students won’t have to have another school added to their schedule one day a week , because a case load doesn’t meet the boards formula.
Workload vs. caseload was a key arguing point. A social worker may be able to maintain their caseload to a certain number, but you can’t predict the continuous crisis, and needs of the schools population. When you are the social worker of a school, you service everyone and not just IEP students. There is the skill set school social workers bring into the building, and teachers and administrators turn to school social workers for advice and intervention.
Social media continued to play a huge part in keeping the momentum of the strike alive, and informing clinicians of their part and place to report to during the strike. It was a rewarding experience to be together with other social workers sharing a common goal ,while discussing tricks of the trade, and being able to eat a nice lunch together with enough time to share and catch up with each others world. Daily I would look at the evening email to see what new place or theme was going to be visited the next day. Lets not forget the exercise one would get daily on the picket line, it was easily 10 miles a day or 20,000 steps 🙂
Social media definately played a role in getting the word out, and keeping a movement alive. Social workers were there supporting the cause.
Following is a review of some of the many articles found on the 2019 teachers’ strike.
articles related to the STRIKE