|CTU Pres. Jesse Sharkey|
Obviously feeling charged from his victory, Sharkey issued a threat to Chicago's mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot.
“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 said.Remember, the CTU leadership had backed Lightfoot’s opponent, Cook County Board President and Democratic Party chief, Toni Preckwinkle, who lost to Lightfoot in a landslide. During the campaign, Sharkey claimed that the choice to endorse Preckwinkle was made at least in part because Preckwinkle “gives us better leverage in a contract fight."
Even if that were true (which I doubt), it made the early endorsement that much more problematic. If Preckwinkle would have won, I suspect Sharkey's quote would have been all over the media during the contract negotiations, putting added pressure on the mayor to be "tough" on the unions.
Actually, with the exception of Preckwinkle's early support for charter schools, both candidates had pretty much the same stand on ed issues and their positions corresponded closely with those of the union.
Here's Lori Lightfoot as a guest on Hitting Left back in June, 2018.
If you look at what's been happening in the Chicago Public School system, especially this past six or seven years, you see epic failure after epic failure. You can't have a good, well-run public school system when you have five CEOs in the last seven years...Yes, I do support an elected school board.I wish the CTU best of luck in negotiating a great contract for its members and as always, I will join the teachers on the picket line if there's a strike. I also hope one isn't necessary.
Tune in to Hitting Left this Friday, May 24th 11-noon CDT, when our in-studio guest will be, newly-elected socialist alderperson from the 33rd Ward, Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez.