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Delegates Reclaim the Promise of Public Education at AFT Convention


Hundreds of IFT members from locals around the state joined nearly 4,000 delegates and guests at theAFT’s 83rd convention in Los Angeles from July 10-14.


Delegates took action on important resolutions that will guide our national union’s policies on key issues, including ensuring accountability for equity and excellence in public education, delinking the implementation of the Common Core State Standards from the consequences of high-stakes assessments, creating a healthcare system that puts patients above profits, garnering support for funding quality public services, and ending the reliance on contingent academic labor system in higher education.

Among other key business conducted by delegates was the election of AFT’s top officers. Delegates overwhelmingly reelected Randi Weingarten to a fourth term as AFT president, Lorretta Johnson was re-elected as secretary-treasurer, and Mary Cathryn Ricker, previously the president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, was elected executive vice president, replacing outgoing AFT executive vice president Francine Lawrence who plans to retire this year. IFT President Dan Montgomery and IFT Executive Vice President Karen GJ Lewis were reelected as vice presidents on the 43-member AFT Executive Board.

IFT highlights include:

AFT Everyday Heroes
After a nationwide nomination and voting process, nine union members were selected as AFT Everyday Heroes, including two IFT members.

  • Julie Ahern, third grade teacher at Andrew Cooke Magnet School in Waukegan and member of Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504  received the award in the Teachers division.
  • Richie Pawlak, a computer programmer at Morton College in Cicero  and member of the Cook County College Teachers Union, Local 1600 received the award in the PSRP division.

UICUF Organizing Campaign Recognized
University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty (UICUF) member Scott McFarland accepted the Norman G. Swenson Miltancy Award on behalf of all UICUF supporters for their highly successful first-contract campaign.

CPS Student Asean Johnson Speaks to Delegates

Ten-year old Asean Johnson spoke to cheers as he shared the stage with teacher and veteran union organizer Mark Levy to share a no-surrender spirit in the fight to keep strong public schools in Chicago.


IFT Locals Recognized for Outstanding Communication Efforts
The AFT Communicators Network (AFTCN) recognized the winners of its 2014 communications contest. The state federation and three locals received top honors for their work. Winning IFT locals included:

    •    AFT Local 604
    •    Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504
    •    West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571


UPI President Honored
University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) president and IFT vice president Ellie Sullivan was presented with the Living Legacy Award for her years of service to the IFT, her local, and her community.

Visit the AFT website or #AFT14 for complete Convention coverage.




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