News & Politics

Chicago Teacher's Strike May End Today as Union Holds a Gun to the Mayor's Head

Colleen McDonough, a first-grade teacher at Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago holds a picket sign outside the school, Friday, April 1, 2016, during a one-day strike by Chicago teachers and supporters aimed at halting education funding cuts. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Ever wonder how a small group of communists managed to take over the government of Russia? All you need to do is look at the way the Chicago teacher’s union has “negotiated” with the city.

No retreat, no surrender. No quarter asked or given. All or nothing. The union is winning and will continue to win because they absolutely refuse to lose.

It’s instructive of how fanatical, determined people can move the power structures of a city — or a national government. The city’s problem is that they aren’t just fighting the union. They are fighting a solid phalanx of radical political activists who don’t care if children can’t learn. Teaching kids is a secondary concern to these fanatics. What matters is the only thing that truly means anything; power and the exercise thereof.


“What’s prolonging this strike is the unions’ insistence on a shorter school day or school year and their insistences that I agree to support their political agenda,” Lightfoot said.

Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Janice Jackson spoke along with the mayor, saying in part to teachers, “You have the power to end this strike and get our students back in classrooms tomorrow.”

So it isn’t a question of dollars or cents. It’s a question of power. The union is holding a gun to Lightfoot’s head demanding she support the most radical social and political agenda in the nation.

Or else.

Chicago Sun Times:

“Are we really keeping our kids out of class unless I agree to support the CTU’s full political agenda wholesale?” the mayor said, a scowl on her face and dark circles under her eyes.

“If the CTU wants a deal, there’s a deal to be had right now on the table. … It’s time to move forward towards a resolution and stop throwing more items at the wall at the 11th hour. Take yes for an answer, CTU. This is a deal of historic proportions. … We have met them on every issue that they’ve told us was important to them. They should take this contract to the House of Delegates and get a vote so we can get our students back in class.”

Not taking “yes” for an answer. Upping demands at the 11th hour. Throwing in extraneous issues that shouldn’t even be in the contract. These are tactics that aren’t designed to bring about any kind of resolution. They are tactics designed to exhaust the other side and give the union everything they want.

The union says they may deign to end the strike today if the mayor caves.

“We made a pathway very clear. [But] we don’t have a deal right now. That’s where we stand,” Sharkey said after huddling with the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus.

The city has no money. The school district has no money. The state has nothing more it can send. And yet the union is very likely to get everything they want while the school district will be forced further into debt as they meet the union’s extortionate demands that will cost them $250 million.

And all it takes is fanatically determined and ruthless people.