CHICAGO, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel is backing an Illinois bill to limit public school teachers' strike rights.
The "Performance Counts" bill under consideration in Springfield would basically revoke the right to strike, the Chicago Teachers Union says.
Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, "As we have [strike bans] for police and firefighters, I would have it for teachers because they provide an essential service."
He said the package will reward high-performing teachers and empower principals to weed out bad ones.
"The teachers in the city of Chicago work hard and they are good," Emanuel said. "They are working very hard in adverse conditions in many places, but they are not underpaid."
All the mayoral candidates are playing up their humble, working-class ties, the Chicago Tribune reports.
City Clerk Miguel del Valle recently touted himself as "the poorest candidate" in the race, and Carol Moseley Braun, the former U.S. senator, is citing her chronic financial problems as an asset.
Gery Chico, a millionaire lawyer, is playing up his youth near the old Stockyards.
And Emanuel, who became rich as an investment banker between government jobs, dwells on his native neighborhood and having a policeman uncle.