WBEZ | contracts http://www.wbez.org/tags/contracts Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago sports fans look for winning returns on big-money players http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-22/chicago-sports-fans-look-winning-returns-big-money-players-90870 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-22/cubs its never gonna happen.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Jim Hendry was fired from his post as <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=chc" target="_blank">Chicago Cubs</a> general manager on Friday. His long tenure with the franchise was marked by some rather long-term contracts--some stand to affect the club for years to come. Of course the Cubs don’t have a lock on bad contracts. <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>decided to look at some of the more notorious contract deals in Chicago sports--and examined whether an athlete’s performance was influenced by the prospect of dangling dollar signs. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>'s regular sports gal <a href="http://home.comcast.net/%7Eatthegame/cbio.htm" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout</a> joined blogger and author<a href="http://daynperry.com/" target="_blank"> Dayn Perry </a>to talk with host Alison Cuddy about how big bucks affect big stars.</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-22/chicago-sports-fans-look-winning-returns-big-money-players-90870 Teachers protest as Brizard contract gets approved http://www.wbez.org/story/teachers-protest-brizard-contract-gets-approved-88217 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/124- Bill Healy for WBEZ - Chicago Board of Education meeting - 6-22-11 copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Under a freshly inked contract, Chicago's new schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard will be expected to significantly boost graduation rates, increase test scores, and get more kindergartners and preschoolers to enroll in school.&nbsp;</p><p>It's the first time a Chicago's schools CEO has been given a performance-based contract.</p><p>The Board of Education approved Brizard's contract late Wednesday, after two and a half hours behind closed doors. His base pay will be $250,000 annually. The district released a statement saying that given the current fiscal crisis facing CPS Brizard will "forgo" any performance bonuses during the first year of the contract. After that, he'll be eligible for bonuses of up to 15 percent of his annual salary. Brizard is getting $30,000 to cover his moving expenses from Rochester, New York, where he was schools superintendent before being plucked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to head Chicago's schools.</p><p>Board president David Vitale called the goals in Brizard's contract "robust" and "aggressive." They include getting 60 percent of students to graduate by 2014 (up from 55.8 percent in 2010), moving third grade reading scores from 57.8 percent in 2010 to 70 percent in 2014. High school scores must go up by at least 4 percentage points in Brizard's first year on the job; those scores have been relatively stagnant. The contract allows Brizard to say by October 1 if he believes his initial goals should modified.&nbsp; (Brizard's contract is posted below in EXTRAS.)</p><p>The board also approved six-figure salaries for top officials under Brizard. Chief operating officer Tim Cawley will make $215,000 annually, $35,000 more than his predecessor, who district officials say oversaw fewer departments. The board also granted Cawley a waiver from the district's residency requirement. He will be allowed to continue to live in Winnetka so as not to disrupt life for his recently adopted daughter.&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, Chicago teachers took to the streets Wednesday over their own pay and work issues and broader school funding concerns. The Board of Education voted last week that the district could not afford the 4 percent raises called for in their contract.</p><p>One police official estimated around 2,000 teachers showed up at the protest downtown. It was the first day of summer vacation for Chicago teachers.</p><p>"We’re mad about the whole thing--demonizing teachers,&nbsp; blaming us for all the problems," said John Cusick, who teaches fifth grade at Ray Elementary in Hyde Park.</p><p>Cusick said he had the clerk at Ray calculate how many hours he's worked since January 2. It turns out he had clocked 186 hours above those he was required to put in.</p><p>"Thirty more days of school I was on the clock but I wasn’t getting paid for.&nbsp; That’s only at school—it&nbsp; doesn’t include Sunday afternoons grading papers, writing lesson plans, going to used book stores to buy books for my kids out of my own money, so that’s why we’re here." Cusick was surrounded by teachers from Ray, who all wore the same T-shirt for the event.</p><p>Hamline Elementary fourth-grade teacher Michelle Maldonado said she's "a little bit" upset about raises, but more concerned about job security.&nbsp;</p><p>"You work for years and years to find out now--it doesn't matter. You could just say good-bye. There's no job security. So with that, what happens? People are not going to buy a house, they're not going to buy a car. Why? Because you don't know if you have a job next year. So it trickles down."</p><p>The Chicago Teachers Union led protesters to march outside Bank of America and the Chicago Board of Trade. Union official Jackson Potter said corporations and banks have benefited from publicly funded bailouts, TIFs, and high-interest loans with the school district.</p><p>Many teachers talked about being offended by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s comment last week. He said the current teachers contract gave labor peace to politicians and raises to teachers, while kids got "the shaft."</p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/teachers-protest-brizard-contract-gets-approved-88217 Theater Economics http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-26/theater-economics-85692 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/weareonela6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-26/weareonela6.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 171px;" title="AEA in Los Angeles at the WE ARE ONE Rally"></p><p>From the indispensable "<a href="http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1k115/id2.html">You’ve Cott Mail</a>", a digest of arts news from throughout the English-speaking world, comes this sample of conventional wisdom about the source of arts’ groups funding troubles: a <a href="http://artsmarket.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/if-this-isnt-a-blip-just-what-is-it/">posting at ArtsMarketOn</a> arguing that orchestra and theater bankruptcies prove that artists are just too damned expensive. The you-should-pardon-the-expression money graf:</p><blockquote>“When they are asked to save performing arts organizations from bankruptcy, many donors know that what they are really being asked is to maintain . . . overly generous union contracts that can’t be met in today’s economy . . . . Business leaders . . . are seeking larger, systemic adjustments. We’ve heard from many – corporate leaders in particular – that they’ve had it. Many understandably worry at the signals they send to their own employees when they step in to bail out arts union jobs providing six figure wages and generous pensions. . . “</blockquote><p>Oh, absolutely, we wouldn’t want to send signals to workers of any kind that their labor has&nbsp;value, and especially not to workers in those frivolous arts. Who do they think they are,&nbsp;expecting high salaries and pension benefits -- corporate executives?<br> <br> Nor is ArtsMarketOn alone: At <a href="http://www.dukecityfix.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1233957%3ABlogPost%3A579976&amp;xgs=1&amp;xg_source=msg_share_post">the Duke City Fix</a>, after noting the shocking fact that union actors receive health insurance, a blogger named Terry S. Davis opines in his ironically-named column “Equity”:</p><blockquote>“The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra just announced that it’s closing its&nbsp;doors, no longer able to pay its musicians. Those musicians, in seeking more security for&nbsp;themselves, became a bigger and bigger financial liability for the organization that provided them jobs. . . I do believe that art, the result of one’s passions, can be diminished if the artist is too comfortable; great art often emerges against impossible odds. I also believe, though, that we lose artists and arts organizations when they are given no security whatsoever.”</blockquote><p>Absolutely: the biggest problem in the arts today is artists' being too comfortable. They’re just waiting tables and driving cabs for the life experience. And that’s quite a concession Mr. Davis makes: artists ought to have some security. Just not too much.<br> <br> Taken together, these free-market prescriptions for arts management are the first good argument I’ve ever heard for public funding for the arts. If arts organizations can be compelled to treat their workers badly to please corporate contributors, it’s time for the government to step in. Oh, but wait: Wisconsin’s governor has just proved that politicians are no less frenzied in their cost-cutting, and no more hospitable to unions, than the corporate executives who own them.<br> <br> Whether we can “afford” union contracts and pensions is really a matter of whether we value workers over, say, fancy buildings.&nbsp; To single out union contracts as the culprit in arts&nbsp;organizations’ struggle is to accept the rhetoric of business people (and their Republican political handmaidens) that the worst thing to happen in the 20th Century was organized labor, and that the goal of the 21st Century should be to eradicate it.<br> <br> Where’s the “equity” in that?</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-26/theater-economics-85692