Not Parody: CTU's Karen Lewis blames everyone except herself and Madigan

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Chicago Public School district leadership for Chicago and the state’s school funding mess.

That’s rich.

Can you think of anyone who is more responsible for Chicago and some state public schools tripping over  the brink of financial collapse than Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union and its lackey House Speaker Michael Madigan?

Lewis’ and the CTU’s demands for more, more and more have virtually bankrupted the Chicago public school system. The burden of paying for the overly lavish pensions and other benefits have taxed Chicago taxpayers beyond reason. And now, Lewis says the CTU demands more:

The union also repeated its demand for a revenue package that includes higher fuel taxes, a shift of borrowing proposed for the troubled Lucas Museum project to schools, a tax on ride-share services and a bump to the city’s hotel tax. Emanuel has dismissed such ideas, but the union plans a June 22 rally to call attention to the proposal.

Karen Lewis ((Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Karen Lewis ((Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

A rally, of course. The signs will charge everyone else with damaging “our children,” without taking an iota of responsibility themselves for the mess. Maybe Madigan will again come out of his cave to address the rally and support their demands for more, more and more.

Here I should say something nice about Lewis’ dangling a sweetener in order to pry more money out of the city and state taxpayers. She  suggested that maybe teachers would do their part by accepting a contract without annual pay hikes. Oh, sure. How about the so-called step and lane pay increases that are awarded, in part, for just hanging around long enough to rack up some seniority? Will they still be in effect? And what other organization awards automatic pay increases for taking extra classes? Certainly not the business that I’m in. Oh, and does she mean that teachers will contribute a reasonable amount to help pay for those munificent pensions? Nah.

Of course, Lewis wouldn’t include her hireling House Speaker Michael Madigan in the blame sharing. He’s the guy who proposes big increases in state funding for schools to impress the nitwits. Never mind that it come out of a budget that’s $7 billion out of balance, in violation of the Illinois constitution.

There’s a lot of things to laugh at in the ugly battle over the state financial mess. This isn’t one of them.




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  • I'm with you on this one, Dennis. Karen Lewis and her supporters in the legislature have made a mess that's going to be very tough to clean up.

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    With regard to Step and Lane, the following is from the Tribune article on her statements - "We still want our steps and lanes," said Lewis and additionally - CTU officials repeated their threat to strike if the district ends its long-standing practice of picking up the bulk of teacher pension contributions.
    It looks like the CTU definition of a "flat contract" comes from the same book that bureaucrats use when they claim that if last year they got a 5% spending hike and this year they only got a 3% spending hike, that is a spending cut.

  • Illinois conservatives have played an interesting shell game with public expenditures. They give big breaks to the financial and business community, then blame the workers when there is a crisis. As Eric Zorn pointed out this last week, Illinois ranks 28th among the 50 states and District of Columbia in per-capita state and local spending. So why are we in trouble? Illinois ranks 23d in the state taxes collected as a percentage of personal income, and the top earners in 38 states pay more income tax than in Illinois.

    The game is a simple one: give to the rich and blame public employees, such as teachers, firefighters, police, and other state and local workers--oh, and also the poor--when the budget doesn't balance.

  • She suggested that teachers may be able to do their job by accepting a contract without annual salary increases. Of course, Lewis will not include her husband of the House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan in the blame to share

  • Nice post

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