Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Monday urged Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis and Mayor Rahm Emanuel–two “strong-willed individuals” to “get back to the table” until they have a deal to end the strike that sent public school teachers to the picket lines on Monday.
“The basic message is get back to the table. Sit at that table and stay there till it’s done. Get these kids back in school tomorrow. That ought to be the message,” Durbin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Asked by host Joe Scarborough “But isn’t there a better way to do it than this,” Durbin said, “Well, we’ve avoided this for 25 years, and that’s a good thing. And what happened was basically Mayor Daley, if you’ll remember way back when, said, give me the schools. I’m sick and tired of the Illinois General Assembly playing, you know, badminton with the Chicago Public Schools. Give them to me; give me the responsibility. I’ll take it. And that was a good move.
At this point, though, there’re two pretty strong-willed individuals, Karen Lewis, the head of the teachers union, and a fellow named Rahm Emanuel.”
On CBS “Early Show” on Monday Durbin also discussed the strike and urged Lewis and Emanuel to negotiate more.
“It’s really devastating when you think about the impact on families, particularly on the children. And I understand what the mayor is trying to do. He’s trying to say to Karen Lewis with the teachers’ union, roll up our sleeves. Let’s sit down and get it done. And that’s exactly what needs to occur.”