Lori Lightfoot says Chicago Teachers Union akin to a ‘political party’ – and she doesn’t like the power grab

In what is being characterized as a Democrat Party family feud, far-left Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is implying that the public school teachers union has too much power and wants more.

“When you have unions that have other aspirations beyond being a union, and maybe being something akin to a political party, then there’s always going to be conflict,” Lightfoot claimed in a New York Times interview. “I think, ultimately, they’d like to take over not only Chicago Public Schools, but take over running the city government.” Democrat politicians typically welcome unions with open arms, however, for votes, campaign workers, and funding, so some might argue that they already run the government in some municipalities or states.

 


The mayor’s comments about the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in a softball New York Times interview come in the context of the intense resistance by the union to a return to classroom teaching. The organization finally agreed to in-person instruction on an incremental basis starting in March. The deal applies to K-8 only; high school students are still stuck at home for now.

As alluded to above, labor unions overwhelmingly back Democrats, with some exceptions, throughout the country. Given this support, it’s ironic or perhaps a form of crocodiles tears that partisan Democrat Lightfoot seems to be complaining that the teachers union in Chicago spends too much money on politics. She noted that her administration maintains a good rapport with bargaining units in the heavily unionized city, except for two.

“We have relationships with over 40 [organized labor] units. We have labor peace with almost every single one, except for two. The Fraternal Order of Police, which has a lot of right-wing Trump aspirations, and the Chicago Teachers Union….

“I mean, if you look at [the teachers union] spending, there’s a real clear indication of what their larger ambitions are.”

In her criticism of the CTU, Lightfoot also insisted that she eschews worrying about politics in the middle of a pandemic.

This is the same lockdown-championing mayor, however, who suddenly changed her tune in the aftermath of the Biden certification and became an advocate for reopening bars and restaurants as soon as possible.

Lightfoot patted herself on the back by telling the news outlet the agreement to partially reopen schools never would have happened without “mayor control,” which apparently included locking out teachers from remote learning platforms as a bargaining chip.

“Look, what’s easy, the path of least resistance, the political expediency, would have been to do nothing and just let the unions dictate what the state of play was going to be in education. That’s never, ever going to be the path that I take,” she claimed. At the same time, she conceded that many private schools have been open since September 2020.

The agreement with the union includes fast-tracking COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers along with implementing various safety protocols.

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Robert Jonathan

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