Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DFER-IL Calls On CTU President Karen Lewis To Choose Between Mayoral Candidate Or Lead Negotiator In New Teacher Contract
Chicago — Democrats for Education Reform – Illinois (DFER-IL) today called on Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to either declare her intentions to run for mayor of Chicago or step down from her post leading negotiations for a new teacher contract.
“With a $40,000 contribution to her mayoral campaign, President Lewis has made it clear she is running for Mayor, but she has also said that she will force negotiations over a new teacher’s contract this year,” DFER-IL State Director Rebeca Nieves-Huffman said. “Doing both would present nothing short of a conflict of interest. Chicagoans wouldn’t know whether President Lewis was representing her members, her political interests, or if she’s using the negotiations merely as an extension of her campaign. If Karen Lewis truly cares about representing the interests of all Chicagoans, she should step down from her role as head of the CTU as she pursues a campaign for mayor.”
President Lewis has stated previously she will not agree to a contract renewal without providing any justification other than to score political points, such as in May when she said she was not “looking to make anybody’s election year easy at all.”
“Contract negotiations should be determined by what is best for our schools, our students, our teachers, and our city – not a vehicle for political agendas,” Huffman said. “Chicago students should not have to suffer because President Lewis wants to use contract negotiations as a political platform. She would be best serving her members, and the citizens of Chicago whose votes she is seeking, to pick one political role and devote her time and attention toward that.”
DFER-IL is urging President Lewis to make her decision by the end of the week in order to avoid a conflict of interest.