CTU Promising Strike Vote If CPS Lays Off Teachers

(CBS) — The Chicago Teachers Union is charging that public school students are being held hostage by the continuing budget battle in Springfield.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine spoke CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey, who promised, “If CPS follows through its plan to lay off thousands of teachers, there will be a strike vote.”

But neither Mayor Rahm Emanuel, nor House Speaker Mike Madigan would touch that threat with a ten foot shovel. Both attended the ground breaking of a new Best Western Vibe Hotel near Midway Airport this afternoon; both ducking direct questions about Sharkey’s threat.

Neither the mayor nor Madigan, who huddled for a few minutes after the event, would blame anyone but the governor for impending public school showdown; Madigan scoffing at the suggestion that Governor Rauner, camouflaged but hiding in plain sight with hunters today, would be successful in driving a wedge between the two.

“He has not and I don’t think he will,” Madigan said. “The mayor and I share too many common interests.”

And so while everyone agrees that Chicago school children are being shortchanged by a patently unfair school funding formula, it appears that they’re about to be held hostage by the political, labor and class warfare.

“I think there’s plenty of blame to go around which happens in these cases all the time which is a reason why everybody should get with it, start to work a little harder start to be reasonable and not extreme.”

Of course, it’s the Governor who’s positions are extreme, according to Madigan and the mayor, who show no sign of giving in, despite CPS students being set up to take the fall.

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