The IFT has a long history of successfully advocating for our members, public education, and state services. Our union has helped to secure important gains for workers in Illinois, like higher pay, better benefits, job security, the right to collectively bargain, fully funded public education and state services, a retirement we can count on, and more.
So whether or not you’re a member, unions have played an instrumental role in fighting on your behalf!
The IFT Advantage
When we speak and act collectively, we have a powerful voice in our workplaces, our communities, and in Springfield to affect change.
Collective action of Illinois labor groups put Fair Tax on the ballot.
The Fair Tax proposal will finally give us the chance to fix our state’s broken tax system that places the burden on working families.
By asking the wealthiest Illinoisans to pay their fair share while giving 97 percent of us some relief, Illinois will generate much-needed funding for public schools, higher education, and state services in a responsible way.
Member advocacy keeps special education class size limits in place.
IFT members sent thousands of emails to policy makers sending a strong message that big classes are a big mistake for our students, parents, teachers, and PSRPs.
The media heard the message loud and clear, too. Across the state, reporters described how the ISBE proposal would hurt kids and education, and they highlighted your incredible efforts to stop it.
Union advocates for teacher recruitment, retention, and equity.
IFT was a driving force behind legislation that increased the minimum teachers salary to $40,000/year. This is a major step in improving starting salaries and paying teachers based upon their years of education, which will encourage high-quality professionals to enter and stay in the profession.
Dyett hunger strikers win fight to keep neighborhood school open.
After 34 grueling days, a group of dedicated union members, parents, and activists working to save Dyett High School on Chicago’s South side ended their hunger strike after winning key victories, including keeping their beloved school open and public.
The strikers’ efforts made an impact. Chicago Public Schools has agreed to reopen Dyett as a school with a neighborhood boundary, meaning enrollment is open to all children in the attendance area.
Union program prepares students for the future.
The Peoria Federation of Teachers (Local 780) found a solution to decrease the shortage of skilled workers to fill existing jobs in their community. Peoria Pathways to Prosperity, with assistance from IFT and AFT, provides students access to a variety of employment options, including careers in healthcare, cosmetology, culinary arts, construction trades, emergency medical services, and other fields through a powerful career and technical education network.