Longtime member and president Karen Lewis of the Chicago Teachers Union—a Goliath of a union in an already strong union city—announced late last week that she will be stepping down from her position amid health concerns. Lewis is moving aside for new leadership, eight years after first being elected as union leader.
Lewis has a reputation as being a tough negotiator. One of those who sat across the table from Lewis in contract negotiations during her tenure was Jim Franczek, the longtime labor attorney for Chicago Public Schools.
Despite being Lewis’s one-time adversary, Franczek says he has nothing but respect for the outgoing CTU president. He stopped by the Morning Shift to talk about Karen Lewis’s legacy, and the future of the CTU without her at the helm.
GUEST: Jim Franczik, chief labor negotiator for CPS
CTU President Karen Lewis Stepping Down From Her Post (Chicago Tribune, 6/22)
Chicago Teachers Union Boss Karen Lewis Recovering After Stroke (DNA Info 10/17/17)