Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Boston Teachers Fire Back at Rahm

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "There is nothing that can't be worked through while our kids stay in the classroom," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday.

    The teachers union in Boston wants everybody to know it supports the Chicago Teachers Union.

    Boston's union took the unusual step of taking out a full-page ad Friday in the Chicago Sun-Times, saying the union "voted unanimously" to support the CTU.

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    The union addressed its ad to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, taking him to task about the tone of the negotiations and suggesting he should treat the union with the same respect the city showed the union in Boston.

    "We understand you referenced our recent contract settlement in Boston a few days ago," the letter reads. "While one cannot compare apples to oranges, we'd like to point out a few flaws in your characterization of our settlement."

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    "This is, in my view, a strike of choice, and it's the wrong choice for our children," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday of the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years. "It's not necessary. We need to just finish the job."

    The Boston union drew key distinctions between what Chicago schools are offering and what Boston teachers have. The Boston union says teachers have to find a new job if their schools close. In Chicago, the CPS's proposal is to give teachers in closed buildings a job if there is an opening.

    "By the way, in Boston, the deal they reached, I think, is six years, 12 percent," Emanuel said at a Wednesday news conference. "We're talking about here in the city of Chicago, over four years 16 percent. So ours is more financially ... it's different, financially."

    Boston teachers weren't so pleased.

    "Thank you for mentioning our contract settlement, which came about as a result of a mutually respectful conversation between the parties," the ad read. "Perhaps you can learn from us -- and begin to treat your own teaching force with the same respect."