Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reporter asks Rahm: Will your assault on CTU turn Chicago into another Wisconsin?

Rahm Emanuel at Tuesday's news conference at Cesar E. Chavez elementary school. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune )
Rahm's anti-union spin machine is spinning in reverse. Even though his pals now own the Sun-Times and even with a big-bucks propaganda campaign bankrolled by corporate "reformers", nothing seems to be spinning the mayor's way.

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.


  1. In regards to city salaries: Why is it okay that the mayor and his group seem to be okay with attacking other employees salaries not only that they seem to eliminating positions entirely, so why is it not okay to question the mayor's salary and city council's salary? If times are so tough then why can we not all make sacrifices? Why does it just have to be the ones in charge that get the pass? Do the politicians really need to make 100,000+ after all they are the public servants, not the tyrants? Why is it okay for the mayor to have 13 + assistant to the mayor positions that make way more than 100,000 +? How is this okay when our city experiencing a budget crisis? His office has the most 100,000 salaries of everyone and he has the least employees? Can you explain this?

  2. Are these valid questions? This seems like a pretty big issue. What is your advice as a journalist?


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.