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Historic merger will strengthen CTU and ChiACTS

1/30/2018

Last June, educators at 32 Chicago charter schools who are members of ChiACTS (Local 4343) voted to unify with the Chicago Teachers Union (Local 1). Today, CTU announced that an overwhelming majority of their membership voted to formalize this historic merger.
 
ChiACTS is the largest union of charter school educators in the nation. The two unions have previously worked together on issues ranging from support during contract negotiations to legislative initiatives to organizing efforts; the merger now establishes their formal alliance. As a federated local, both ChiACTS and CTU will be stronger and better prepared to fight on behalf of Chicago’s students and communities.


This announcement was posted on the CTU website:

Constitutional Change: CTU members pass both questions by large margins

by Jesse Sharkey - CTU Vice President

The CTU's Rules & Elections Committee began counting ballots Friday on proposed constitutional changes. At about 6:20 PM today, Monday, January 29, the Committee certified the final vote, after counting a handful of schools and retiree mail-in ballots that came in before today's 5PM deadline. We'll be publishing school by school numbers in the next 24 hours, but the certified totals are as follows: 16,206 members voted on question 1 and 16,235 members voted on question 2. Results from 44 schools were not certified, either because they did not submit ballots in time or because they failed to submit a signature sheet with their ballots.

Question 1: Allow unionized charter school teachers, PSRPs and other staff to join the CTU, create a Charter School Division within the CTU, and make related changes?

Yes: 70.65%
No: 29.35%

Question 2: Create clinicians functional group, allow schools with <20 members a voting delegate, lower part-time/substitute dues, set retiree dues at $50/year, create Retirees Standing Committee, add language committing to racial, social and economic justice?

Yes: 81.69%
No: 18.31%

Our members have voted to SUPPORT merging with unionized educators in charter schools, SUPPORT better representation for members and SUPPORT embedding racial, social and economic justice in our union's constitution.

These results are the outcome of a lengthy dialogue among members - and today we’ve declared that we’re stronger together in one big union. We've embraced our common struggle to support our workers, our students, their parents and our neighborhoods. Our two unions share the same goals: an end to school privatization and charter expansion, a living wage and a fair contract for workers, and classroom resources and supports that allow our students not just to survive but to thrive and grow into engaged, empowered, productive adults.

This merger isn't a magic bullet - but it does mightily strengthen our hand against charter operators, who were rabidly opposed to merger and the threat it poses to charter expansion and the very survival of the charter venture in Chicago. While merging our two unions will come with challenges, we've joined the ranks of federated unions across the nation that are stronger together - and better prepared to challenge Rahm, Rauner and Trump when they attack public education and its workers. Onward!


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