Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey figures that the union should or can “manage” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
But that’s how Sharkey thinks the union can handle the mayor, as if she were his employe, underling or subordinate. The balls on that guy.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sharkey made this nervy claim in an email to CTU members referring to its team “negotiating” the reopening of Chicago public schools.
They [the team]…have to manage the mayor, which we understand is a concern based on last night’s spectacle.” [My emphasis.]
The prior night’s “spectacle” refers to the mayor’s Sunday night press conference during which she tried her darnedest to get the teachers back to their jobs in the classroom. Also to get the teachers finally acknowledge that the science has concluded that in-class instruction was safe for students, teachers and staff. Safer even than staying home.
Either it’s a poor word choice or Sharkey really believes that the teachers union manages the mayor, expecting her to accede to their ever-enlarging demands for benefits that have nothing to do with the safety of in-classroom teaching.
If this doesn’t piss off Lightfoot, I can’t imagine what can. It certainly should anger Chicago voters who elected her in a landslide, students who are being kept our of public schools, taxpayers who pay every increasing loads of cash to support the teachers of their incredibly generous pension and everyone else who properly thinks that schools are here first to educate children and not to feed teachers prime rib.
Here’s some wild speculation my part. Remember how CTU supported and helped pay for Lightfoof’s opponent, Toni Preckwinkle, in the mayoral election? Preckwinkle, who started her career as a lakefront liberal independent, is now Cook County Board president and head of the county Democratic Party. In running for mayor, she might have imagined herself as another Richard J. Daley, who last held both the city and party offices, making him one of the most powerful politician Chicago has ever had to live with. I can’t even begin to imagine what Chicago and Cook County would now look like under the thumb of a Preckwinkle machine.
Perhaps Preckwinkle is looking forward to the next mayoral election and the CTU is helping clear the path for her to capture the mayor”s office. I’m sure the CTU still is embarrassed for violating a Chicago Way rule: Don’t back no losers. Imagine if Preckwinkle had won the mayoral election, what she would have given away to the teachers–a permanent get-out-of-classroom card in perpetuity?
Isn’t to time for voters and their elected officials to manage the union? If Sharkey wants to be mayor, shouldn’t he have to run for it?
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