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Tensions High Between Mayor Emanuel and Teachers Union Pres.

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 9, 2011 8:00PM

2011_1_26_Rahm.jpg In addition to the Chicago Teachers Union filing an unfair labor practice claim against the Board of Education for its attempts to bypass union pressure and push through the school day extension. President Karen Lewis also says Mayor Rahm Emanuel "exploded" at her with profanity, and that he has declared war on the union.

Lewis shot back at Ald. Ed Burke's comments about CTU's position during an interview on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight", saying, "I don’t know what he is embarrassed about. I mean, it’s sort of like Michele Bachmann calling somebody stupid.”

Lewis said during a meeting about the school day extension a few weeks ago that she had a tense interaction with Emanuel. From the CTU Blog:

“When I explained to him that a longer school day should not be used for warehousing or babysitting our youth he exploded, used profanity, pointed his finger in my face and yelled. At that point the conversation was over—soon thereafter we found ourselves subject to a full-scale propaganda war over a moot point.”

We caught a glimpse of that infamous temper back in July, too, when he gave NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern a piece of his mind and walked out of the interview after she asked about his decision to send his kids to private school.

“This is just out-and-out disrespect and war. That’s what this is. This is an attempt to take down and make irrelevant the Chicago Teachers Union because if the CTU goes, they can roll over every union in the city.’’