|Rahm Emanuel at Tuesday's news conference at Cesar E. Chavez elementary school. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune )|
S-T political reporter Fran Spielman, can't quite hide her disdain for Rahm's assault on the CTU.
Emanuel pushed for a change in state law that raised the strike authorization threshold to 75 percent, a benchmark so high, at least one education advocate [SFC's Jonah Edelman--mk] with ties to the mayor predicted that it could never be met. Instead, the Chicago Teachers Union roared passed that benchmark, fueled by their anger against a mayor who stripped them of a previously-negotiated, four percent pay raise and tried to muscle through a longer school day.
"Stripped" and "muscled" is a long way from the usual Civic Committee-style rhetoric of "union thugs" and "greedy teachers." Spielman then asks the mayor, "whether the showdown with teachers threatens to turn Chicago into 'another Wisconsin?'” It's a question no Democrat dare ask and one that answers itself.
S-T columnist Carol Marin, writing a day earlier couldn't make the case any better or clearer.
If I had been a Chicago public school teacher last week, I would have done as 90 percent of them did — and voted “yes” for a strike authorization...Teachers in this town have been demonized, demoralized, and disrespected. No profession is beyond criticism and no public school system is without significant problems. But taking a sledgehammer approach to CPS teachers and their union has backfired on the Emanuel administration and his schools CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard.
And all the radio ads and robo calls funded by out of town, union-busting billionaires doesn’t alter that fact.