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IFT unions fight for students and schools on Day of Action

In the midst of Governor Rauner’s 22-month budget impasse and the threats to public education under the Trump administration, IFT members in local unions and councils around the state joined with parents, students, and community partners on International Workers’ Day, May 1, to hold a Day of Action to demand the future our students deserve.

From rallies, walk-ins, and marches to social media posts using the hashtag #ForOurStudents, members across the state held events in their schools and communities to highlight the critical need for:
  • Governor Rauner to do his job and present a balanced budget to fully fund higher education.
  • An end to the mass deportations and threats to immigrant students and their families.
  • Investment in public schools that serve all students, not a wall that divides us.
“President Trump and Secretary DeVos want to take billions of dollars out of our neighborhood schools and invest it in private school vouchers and an unrealistic border wall,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “And then we have Governor Rauner, who spends his days campaigning instead of doing his job, leaving our state in crisis while he puts political conditions on passing a budget. Our leaders are failing us, so teachers and staff are doing what they always do: stepping up and fighting for the future our students deserve.”
Today’s events amplify and expand on other recent efforts, including last week’s higher education rally and “teach out” at the state Capitol, where hundreds of union members, elected officials, and supporters gathered to call on the Governor to do his job and end the budget impasse that is devastating colleges and universities and starving PreK-12 school districts of many millions of dollars in mandated categorical funding that supports special education, transportation, and other essential services in schools.

Here are a few highlights of today's actions around the state: 


Participating IFT locals and councils included:
  • Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1
  • Belleville Federation of Teachers, Local 434
  • AFT Local 604
    - Hersher Council
    - Kankakee Teachers Council
    - Kankakee College Faculty Council
    - Kankakee College Adjuncts Council
    - Park Forest Council
    - Pembroke Council
    - West Harvey Teachers Council
  • Peoria Federation of Teachers, Local 780
  • Quincy Federation of Teachers and Education Support Personnel, Local 809
  • East St. Louis Federation of Teachers, Local 1220
  • Northwest Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1211
  • North Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1274
    - Niles Township Federation of Teachers
    - Skokie District 69 Council
  • Dupo Federation of Teachers and Paraprofessionals, Local 1732
  • Blackhawk College Teachers Union, Local 1836
  • Benton Federation of Teachers, Local 1956
  • Cuba Federation of Teachers, Local 3799
  • O’Fallon Federation of Teachers, Local 3939
  • University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100
    - Western Illinois University Chapter
  • Harmony Emge Ellis Federation of Teachers, Local 4131
  • Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants, Local 4324
  • Central Teachers and Support Staff Association, Local 4673
  • Staunton Federation of Teachers, Local 4818
  • UIC Graduate Employees Organization, Local 6297
  • UIC United Faculty, Local 6456

Watch this powerful video to learn more about the motivation behind today’s events.

The May 1st Day of Action is the fourth nationally-coordinated event sponsored since 2016 by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools. Click here for AFT's wrap up of event highlights across the country.



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