Friday, November 6, 2015

The proper response to Rahm's plea for help. Prepare for a strike.

 "Look, we all want the same thing..." -- Rahm Emanuel
 "We cannot blow up schools because you don't have any money. You have to figure out some other way to do this." -- CTU Pres. Karen Lewis
On Tuesday the Mayor, with his poll ratings sinking like a stone, called on the CTU to drop talk of a strike and get behind him and House Speaker Madigan, in their so-far-futile attempt to get the governor to stop holding the state budget hostage.

Rahm & Madigan
His plea for help came one day after CTU leaders responded to the mayor's threats to fire 5,000 more teachers and staff by calling on the membership to get prepared for a "protracted strike." Yesterday, teachers were given, what was called a "practice strike vote." I'm waiting for the votes to be counted, but it's not that they need any practice. Last time around, CTU members responded to the leadership's call with a 95% yes vote. When pushed to the wall, Chicago teachers have shown their heart for the struggle and support for their leaders.

What Rahm is doing is using his threat of mass teacher firings to signal pal Rauner that he's willing to accept his budget deal -- money for union-busting, without losing what's left of his base of support and getting blamed by voters for another strike.

Oops, too late. Have you seen Rahm's poll numbers lately? They're down around 25%.

He's in no position to lead a beggars' delegation to Springfield. He has no juice down there. In fact, he's toxic. Deal with him, we must. He's still (hopefully, not for long) the mayor and maintains (hopefully, not for long) autocratic control over the schools.

But if he's serious, Rahm's got to do some serious bargaining. Unity in Springfield starts with his withdrawal of the mass-firings threat.

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