Boston Teachers Union Weighing Mayoral Endorsement

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The president of the Boston Teachers Union says the organization is "keeping an open mind" about endorsing a candidate in the final round of the mayoral election.

Richard Stutman, the union chief, said BTU is expected to make a decision early next month about whether to get involved.

The union has been sharply critical of City Councilor John Connolly, one of two finalists in the race.

Connolly has embraced charter schools and longer school days. He was the lone vote, last year, against the teachers contract.

State Rep. Martin Walsh, the other finalist, has deep ties to the labor movement. His support for charter schools — he serves on the board of a charter in Dorchester — has complicated his relationship with the teachers union.

But the charter school issue is not the deal-breaker for the BTU that it once was.

BTU made late endorsements in the preliminary election, backing City Councilors Felix Arroyo and Rob Consalvo, who both spoke out against the "demonization" of teachers by education reform advocates.

Arroyo finished fifth in the 12-person field with 8.8 percent of the vote. Consalvo finished seventh with 7.6 percent.

Stutman said he was "disappointed" with the results, but pleased the endorsed candidates "stayed true to their principles."

The union, which hadn't endorsed a mayoral candidate since 1991, has about 5,000 members — including retirees — living in the city.

This program aired on September 25, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.