Will Rahm Emanuel Stand Up to the Chicago Teachers Union?

by Robert Arvay

Remember Rahm Emanuel? He was chief of staff in the ultra-liberal, radical left wing Obama White House.

He is the same man whom Rush Limbaugh refers to as “Deadfish” (an allusion to Chicago Mafia violence), and who is now the (get this) mayor of Chicago.

As mayor, Rahm gets to negotiate contracts with the Teachers Union. But will a liberal Democrat mayor have the nerve to go against the liberal teacher unions? Or will it all be gangland theater? Let’s take a look at the players:

The Chicago teachers, already in charge of some of the most mis-educated children in the nation (perhaps in the world), are demanding a modest pay raise – if you can call 30 percent modest.

Yes, you read that right (unless you went to a Chicago public school, in which case you possibly cannot read at all). The under-performing teachers, in addition to all their perks and benefits and days off and tenure and sick leave and health insurance and lifetime job security for doing nothing –- want more money.

They don’t want to be held accountable for their performance. They don’t want to compete in the private sector. They don’t want to be evaluated. They do not wish to be judged based on their results.

They just want thirty percent more money.

And if you believe their protest signs, they also wish to be loved. But wait. Isn’t love, when expressed with dollar signs, called prostitution?

In any case, Rahm Emanuel has a wonderful opportunity to take a stand, to defy the teacher union, and to institute both money-saving and education-improving reforms. He could start by eliminating collective bargaining for the teacher unions, or at least lobbying his state government to do so.

But that is not going to happen. Chicago is in Illinois, not Wisconsin. And Rahm Emanuel is no more interested in cutting costs or in improving education than the teachers are. If he were, he would be a Republican, not a Democrat.

Rahm, like his former boss the president, is a Chicago politician. As such, he understands how to survive on the waterfront and in the back alleys. You make deals. You give something to get something, so long as the something that you give is not your own money, but somebody else’s.

The way the game is played, the teachers demand thirty percent, the mayor offers ten, and they settle on a twenty percent pay raise for the teachers, with the taxpayers getting nothing in return except the bill and more mis-educated children. Rahm Emanuel, of course, gets money for his reelection campaign.

Oh wait, Rahm, tough guy that he is, wants the teachers to work more hours. Not more hours than a private sector worker, just more hours than a nine month per year public employee teacher who already is not doing anything productive. Even Rahm has run up against the mathematical reality of busted budgets. So he wants to squeeze the teachers for more hours. Then he can claim to be another Scott Walker, but with union support.

To bolster the teacher union demands, something like forty percent of Chicago voters favor the teacher union position. What is not said, however, is that most of those forty percent are themselves already on the government dole in one form or another – whether they are themselves on the tax funded payroll, on welfare, or have relatives who are slopping at the government trough. But the union would have us believe that those forty percent are hard working, tax paying citizens who applaud the wonderful results that the teachers are supposedly accomplishing.

The real victims in all this are the kids, especially the ones who struggle mightily to escape the educational slavery of a system that plunders their family money, and destroys their souls, while claiming to “love” them. These are the kids who line up by the thousands whenever there is the slightest opportunity to get a rare seat in a charter school – you know, the schools where students can actually learn something other than to chant, “mmm-mmm-mm, Obama.”

The real villains are the majority of teachers who, poor souls, were themselves the product of under-performing public schools. But they are no longer victims. They are traitors.

The real villains are the politicians who use the children as human shields, claiming to protect them from fiscal and social conservatives who, when WE run the schools, do a better job of it.

Are there heroes in this tragedy? Yes. There actually are a few good teachers who work hard, who actually know how to write a coherent paragraph, who can solve binomial equations, and can name the century in which the Civil War occurred. But there are scant few of them, and most of them get the boot from jealous administrators fearful of virtuous souls.

Millions of dollars in union dues were spent on a failed effort to unseat and punish the Wisconsin governor who had the courage of his convictions, and the temerity to improve a failing system. Millions of dollars in union dues go to politics, and not one cent to the students.

It’s the Chicago Way.

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad.


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