The Chicago Teachers Union is heading into contract talks with the wind at its back: A new poll that shows likely voters have a favorable view of the union that stood toe-to-toe with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and overwhelmingly embrace the union’s “educational justice agenda.”
The telephone poll of 600 likely primary voters was conducted Dec. 11-through-16 by Lake Research Partners and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
It shows 62 percent of voters surveyed have a favorable view of the union that led its members on a seven-day 2012 teachers strike that was Chicago’s first in 25 years after Emanuel instigated the walkout with his bullying missteps, including cancelling a teacher pay raise.
That’s compared to a favorability rating of just 31 percent for the City Council, 41 percent for the Chicago Board of Education and 33 percent for County Board.
* From the polling memo…
* Voters are generally pessimistic about both the direction of the city (57% wrong track) and the state of CPS (52% wrong track).
* They are dejected and their issue agenda is noticeably diffuse, with concerns over crime and public safety (19% most important problem), education (16% MIP), property taxes and fees (15% MIP) and jobs and the economy (12% MIP) rounding out a top tier of issues.
o A close second tier includes ethics and corruption(9%), community-police relations(9%), healthcare (8%), and criminal justice reform (7%). […]
* A majority (56%) of voters also says it is important that the next Mayor do something to address the unequal concentration of wealth in downtown and the “push out” of working class African American and Latino families.
* A similar 56% majority also believes that racial segregation should remain an important factor when determining attendance boundaries for Chicago Public Schools. These are key issues the candidates for mayor would do well to address, as they are among the criteria the remaining undecided voters will use to assess them.
* When it comes to sources for new revenue, a millionaires’ income tax (34% excellent idea, 73% total good idea) remains the most popular idea for generating more funding for Chicago Public Schools.
* Voters also solidly support implementing a new tax on large corporations that pay their employees less than $12 an hour (30% excellent idea, 59% total good idea), suing the big banks to recover losses from ‘toxic swaps’ (27% excellent idea, 61% total good idea).