Governor Quinn is silent but his hands are dirty.
Progress Illinois, the SEIU website, reports that Pat Quinn has been silent during the strike except for a few non-statements about being “for the kids.”
But his hands are quite dirty in all of this.
The teachers’ strike is often framed as a clash of two colorful personalities: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTU President Karen Lewis. But as Progress Illinois has examined, it was the mild-mannered Quinn that signed in 2010 the Performance Evaluation and Reform Act before Emanuel was mayor and Lewis took over CTU. That measure drove the dispute over teacher evaluations and SB7, which Quinn signed into law one year later, and enabled Emanuel to push for a longer school day. The law also established a new Chicago teachers collective bargaining process.
The governor is no stranger to battling public employees unions, including CTU affiliate the Illinois Federation of Teachers, over proposed cuts in state worker pensions.