Monday, June 18, 2012

Randi and Rahm

Is Randi playing on both sides of the fence in Chicago? I know, I know, you are shocked, just shocked.

Mike Klonsky reports in this blog: Axelrod's old firm behind 'Infrastructure Trust', Citibank, and attacks on CTU

All this calls into question the motives behind AFT President Randi Weingarten's recent visit to Chicago. Weingarten spoke in support of the Infrastructure Trust at Bill Clinton's Global Initiative Conference. To her credit, Randi had been in town a few weeks earlier to support and march with thousands of rallying union teachers. But now, here she was rallying support for the very forces that were attacking the CTU in a massive media campaign. According to the Sun-Times report:  
Emanuel was seated onstage next to Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose largest member union, the Chicago Teachers Union, [was] taking a strike-authorization vote this week, frustrated with Emanuel’s administration, which killed a negotiated 4 percent raise for the teachers last year. Emanuel has said he thinks teachers deserve a raise. His board has offered a 2 percent raise in the first year of a proposed five-year contract and no guaranteed raise after that.
Weingarten and Emanuel didn’t go near that issue Thursday.
Why not?
 Watching the Chicago strike scenario and how Randi will play it will be fascinating. If the CTU and Karen Lewis win a big victory, that undermines Randi's entire platform she has been selling for 15 years --- that militancy can't win. And it would put Karen in direct competition with Randi as a representative of teachers. Imagine an insurrection at the 2014 AFT convention calling on Karen to run against Randi for AFT president. It won't happen in Detroit and in fact Karen is a member of the Progressive Caucus, the national version of Unity. How is that possible? Well, in order to be a VP on the AFT Exec Council you have to be elected and with an essential one party system in the AFT like there is in the UFT, that can only happen if you run with Progressive Caucus. Randi tried to get Karen to sign up the entire CTU/CORE delegate faction into Progressive last time but CORE held fast an only 2 members joined I believe. Some of the rest joined with the party running against them.

1 comment:

  1. Norm, I am just as shocked as you are. I know that Ms. Lewis would get my vote. If we could only figure out a way to have UFT leadership mind meld with her, maybe they can learn something. I doubt it, but it would be worth a shot, nothing else has worked to get the UFT to stop kissing Napoleon's tucchus.

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