Saturday, April 4, 2009

Big News

Chicago Sun-Times

Charter school teachers OK 1st union

April 4, 2009

Teachers at three charter schools operated by Chicago International Charter School on Friday moved to become the first unionized charter school teachers in the city.

Three-quarters of the teaching staffs at the Northtown Academy, Wrightwood and Ralph Ellison campuses have signed union authorization cards, saying they want to be represented by the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, teachers told Chicago International officials Friday.

The union would be an affiliate of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.

One Northtown teacher said teachers there start out at about the same pay as that of Chicago's unionized teachers but have to put in a longer school year and longer school day to get it.

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board has 30 days to certify the union results. Chicago International is "reviewing the petition and studying the next steps with our counsel,'' a spokeswoman said.

Rosalind Rossi

Also see Edwize


  1. That's kind of like what's going on at KIPP AMP here in NY. But still, the union isn't officially in until management gets time to harass and intimidate employees into changing their minds. Hence, the "would be" status you allude to.

    We'll see, I guess. Also, I'd like to see these teachers have a real union, rather than a make-believe one like Green Dot has, but we'll see I guess.

  2. NYC Ed,

    I agree that the struggle is just beginning in Chicago. But having 3/4 of the teachers sign union cards at the largest charter school chain, is a great breakthrough. It also shows the need for passage of the Employees Free Choice Act. But I'm not sure what you mean by a "real union." Green Dot teachers in L.A. voted to join the CTA, largest teachers union in the state. Isn't that a real union? In N.Y. Green Dot teachers joined the UFT. Isn't that a real union? My definition of a real union is the one that goes out and organizes teachers and the one that teachers democratically choose to represent them. Isn't that yours?

  3. Wow! I am really surprised. I taught at a CICS in Bucktown and the idea of unionizing was completely off the table. They once fired five teachers mid-year for trying to organize. This organization (AQS)is a nightmare to work for, the year I left 6 out of 9 teacher sleft the upper grades due to test prep, fascist micro management, corporate tactics.

    It makes me really happy to hear about CICS teachers organizing!


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