High and mighty Chicago Teachers Union president warns Mayor Lightfoot

Jesse Sharkey, fresh off re-election as Chicago Teachers Union president, huffs and puffs that if new Mayor Lori Lightfoot doesn't "transform" Chicago Public Schools (the way the union wants) then she better watch out.

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey? Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey. Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Tribune quotes Sharkey announcing immediately after his re-election,  "We hope that the new mayor makes good on her promises to transform our public schools. If she does, she will find us to be a steadfast ally. If she does not, she will find us to be an implacable foe."

Sharkey didn't bother waiting until Lightfoot takes office on Monday. Maybe he's upset that the union endorsed the loser in the mayoral election,  Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Maybe Shakey's upset because the voters didn't follow his dictates.

This is the same union that has no problem using school children as pawns. Not long after Rahm Emanuel took office, the union kept 350,000 children out of class to bludgeon over-taxed taxpayers into forking over pay raises and protections for poor performing teachers.

Now Sharkey is threatening to strike again, later this year.

If Chicago public schools are to be truly "transformed," the first step would be to forbid public employees, including police and fire fighters, from going on strike. At one time there was some justification for allowing the strikes because public servants (as they once were called) were underpaid and working conditions poor.

No more. With ghastly expensive pensions and other benefits, teachers and others have not only achieved parity with private sector workers, but have zoomed well past them. Time for a change.



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