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芝加哥公立学校教师闹罢工

Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Roils Families’ Lives
芝加哥公立学校教师闹罢工

CHICAGO — This city found itself engulfed on Monday by a sudden public school strike that left 350,000 children without classes, turned a spotlight on rising tensions nationally over teachers’ circumstances, and placed both the powerful teachers’ union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a risky, politically fraught standoff with no clear end in sight.

芝加哥——本周一,公立学校罢工浪潮突然席卷芝加哥,导致35万学生无课可上。美国全国围绕教师待遇产生的日益加剧的紧张受到了公众的关注,这也使得强大的教师工会与芝加哥市长拉姆·伊曼纽尔(Rahm Emanuel)陷入了一场尚无法预料结局的对抗,可能会产生棘手的政治后果。

The strike, Chicago’s first in 25 years and the first in a major city in a half-dozen years, revealed a rift between unions and Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat and former chief of staff to President Obama, raising the prospect that a lingering strike in the president’s hometown might become an issue in a presidential election year when Democrats depend on the backing of labor.

这次罢工是芝加哥是25年来的第一次,也是美国主要城市六年来的第一次,显示出了伊曼纽尔与工会之间存在的裂痕。民主党人伊曼纽尔曾担任奥巴马总统(President Obama)幕僚长。今年是总统大选年,民主党正需要依赖劳动者的支持,如果在奥巴马总统家乡罢工久拖不决,可能就会成为一项政治议题。这次事件就增加了这种前景的可能性。
 

周一,在位于芝加哥的本杰明·班克纳小学外,教师们沿着罢工路线前进。这是他们25年来第一次罢工。

Teachers here clearly saw the strike as a protest not just of work conditions in Chicago but of data-driven education reform nationwide, which many perceived as being pushed by corporate interests and relying too heavily on standardized tests to measure student progress.

很显然,芝加哥的教师们认为,此次罢工不仅是就芝加哥的工作条件进行抗议,也是对全国范围内数据导向的教育改革进行抗议。许多人认为,这种改革受到了大公司利益的推动,而且评价学生进步时,过于依赖标准化测验。

Thousands of teachers dressed in red swarmed through downtown and marched outside of schools across the city in this, the nation’s third-largest school system, as families raced to find alternative child care for classes they had learned were called off only hours before the week began.

在这个全美第三大学区,成千上万名教师身着红衣涌过市中心,从全市各个学校游行而出。而家长们匆匆忙忙地给孩子们寻找除了去学校上课之外的其他照管方式。在本周的课程开始前几小时,他们才得知学校停课了。

Closed-door negotiations continued late into Monday night between Chicago Public Schools officials and leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union. Labor groups and teachers in other cities voiced support for strikers here, suggesting that the fight in Chicago was merely one glimpse at a mounting national struggle over unionized teachers’ pay, conditions, benefits and standing.

芝加哥公立学校学区(Chicago Public Schools)官员与芝加哥教师工会(Chicago Teachers Union)领导人举行的闭门谈判,一直持续到了周一夜间。其他城市的劳工组织和教师也对芝加哥的罢工者予以声援。这说明在全国范围内,要求改善教师工会成员的薪资、工作条件、福利及社会地位的努力越来越多,芝加哥的斗争只是冰山一角。

“You have a situation where the teachers feel totally and completely disrespected,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the parent union of the striking teachers. In this case, she said she blamed Mayor Emanuel for an aggressive push to extend the length of the school day and for a promised raise that was later rescinded.

美国教师联盟(American Federation of Teachers)主席兰迪·温加滕(Randi Weingarten)说,“这里的局面是,教师觉得自己完完全全不受尊重。”此次罢工教师所属的工会是美国教师联盟的成员机构。在这次罢工中,温加藤说她谴责伊曼纽尔市长,批评他大力推行延长学时,允诺涨工资而后又反悔。

For his part, Mr. Emanuel, facing the most serious crisis since he became mayor in 2011, deemed the work stoppage an avoidable “strike of choice,” urged teachers to return to work, and seemed eager to dismiss all talk about political fallout — for himself or for President Obama, whose former aides founded a “super PAC” that Mr. Emanuel had, until he suspended his work with it on Monday, said he would assist until Election Day.

这是伊曼纽尔2011年当选市长以来面临的最严峻的危机。他认为此次罢工“可罢可不罢”,是可以避免的,敦促教师们重返讲台,并极力否认一切认为这次罢工会对他或奥巴马总统产生政治后果的言论。奥巴马总统过去的幕僚们成立了一个“超级政治行动委员会”(Super PAC)。直到周一伊曼纽尔暂停在该PAC的工作之前,他一直表示会在其中提供协助,直到选举日。

Republicans were quick to weigh in on the circumstances that had pitted a Democratic mayor against 26,000 unionized teachers. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president, issued a statement expressing disappointment in the teachers here, adding, “Teachers’ unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet.”

共和党迅速加入了民主党市长同2.6万名教师工会成员对峙的局面。共和党总统候选人米特·罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)发表声明,对芝加哥的教师们表示失望。他补充道,“教师工会总是很直白地表达出,教师工会的利益跟孩子们的利益是冲突的。今天我们就看到了一个最清楚的例子。”

President Obama on Monday issued no specific reaction to the strike.

周一,奥巴马总统未就罢工事件做出任何明确反应。

For months, a conflict had been simmering here between the teachers and Mr. Emanuel, who has pledged to make the most comprehensive reform in the Chicago Public Schools in a decade.

教师和伊曼纽尔的矛盾已经酝酿数月。伊曼纽尔曾承诺,在未来十年内,对芝加哥公立学校学区进行最全面的改革。

School officials said they had made significant concessions in the contract talks, including what would amount to a 16 percent increase for teachers over four years despite what is expected to be a $1 billion deficit in the system’s operating budget next year. School board officials said the average salary for teachers here is $76,000.

学区官员表示,他们已在谈判中做出大幅让步,包括在四年内给教师加薪16%,尽管预计明年该学区的运营赤字将达到10亿美元。学校董事会官员们说芝加哥的教师平均工资为7.6万美元。

The officials said only two issues were still subjects of dispute — how to evaluate teachers and whether teaching openings should automatically go to laid-off teachers.

官员们表示现在只有两个问题仍存在分歧,如何考评教师,以及教职空缺是否应该由解聘教师自动填补。

Outside the schools here, though, in the lines of marchers, the issues seemed ever broader. Many teachers said they were troubled by a new evaluation system and its reliance on student test scores. Teachers spoke of rising class sizes, much-needed social workers, a dearth of air-conditioned classrooms and slow-to-arrive reference books, and, again and again, a sense of disrespect.

然而在学校之外的游行队伍中,存在的问题似乎范围更广。许多教师说,新的测评体系过于看重学生成绩,令他们恼火。游行教师还提到了班级规模扩大、亟需社会工作者支持、空调教室极少、参考书到货缓慢等问题。此外,他们还反复表示,他们感觉自己不受尊重。

At Lane Tech College Prep, where many passing motorists honked their support for the teachers, Steve Parsons, a teacher, said he believed the city was ultimately aiming to privatize education through charter schools and computer programs that teach classes online.

在莱恩理工学院预备学校(Lane Tech College Prep),许多路过的摩托车手纷纷摁响喇叭,声援教师们。教师史蒂夫·帕森斯(Steve Parsons)说,他认为,通过建立特许学校和在网上授课的电脑教学项目,芝加哥市的最终目的是把教育私有化。

“We need to stay out as long as it takes to get a fair contract and protect our schools,” he said.

他说,“我们得继续罢工,直到拿到公平的合同,直到我们的学校能得到保护。”
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