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On Strike Anniversary, Mayor Offers Olive Branch To Teachers Union Boss

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CTU President Karen Lewis; Mayor Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

CTU President Karen Lewis; Mayor Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A year after the last Chicago teachers strike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel seemed to offer an olive branch to the head of the Chicago Teachers Union on Monday.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the seven-day teachers’ strike last September highlighted the contentious relationship between Emanuel and Lewis, who accused the mayor of screaming and cursing at her two years ago in a private meeting.

Emanuel said, in the past year, he’s tried to visit with and talk to a number of teachers, and said he recently reached out to CTU President Karen Lewis.

“When Karen was ill, I sent her a note to say ‘I wish you well. I wish you a happy, healthy new year as well,’ and that I look forward to – when she feels better – to actually have a good conversation,” he said.

Lewis, like Emanuel, is Jewish, and recently celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

A CTU spokeswoman would not discuss the nature of Lewis’ illness, but confirmed she received a note from the mayor.

“The mayor did make a gesture of good will toward her via a text message and later a note he sent to her home. It’s been two years since they’ve spoken. Karen is always hopeful and she looks forward to having a detailed and profanity-free conversation with the mayor about how to strengthen and improve the school district,” the spokeswoman said.

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