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District 128 Educational Support Professionals file to form a union

LAKE COUNTY, IL – Today, the Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) in Libertyville and Vernon Hills Community High School District 128 filed their intent to unionize with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB).


“The time has come, and the ESPs in District 128 are excited to announce that we officially filed today to organize our union,” said Tim Akers, campus safety staff at LHS. “By joining together with one unified voice, our support professionals will be empowered to help enhance students’ educational experience by establishing an equitable work environment and culture of respect for everyone in our schools.”

A supermajority of the 165 new union members signed authorization cards expressing their intent to form a union. The support professionals work in a variety of positions in the district, including classroom aides and assistants and clerical, campus safety, technology and other staff.


As dedicated professionals, District 128 ESPs want a seat at the table in decisions made in the district that impact them and their students. They also want to work collaboratively with the administration to ensure that ESPs in every position have clear job descriptions, reasonable workloads, and are paid fairly for their valuable contributions to the district. Together in a union, these professionals will develop a collective bargaining agreement with their employer that accomplishes these goals to help meet the needs of students and school staff.


“Today, we have taken the necessary steps to formalize our union,” added Jenn Sheppard, data processing staff at VHHS. “Our ESPs are committed to our students, District 128, and this community. As a strong union of support professionals, we’ll now have a greater voice to make a positive difference for all of them.”


District 128 includes Libertyville High School (LHS) and Vernon Hills High School (VHHS) and serves about 3,400 students.


The new Educational Support Professionals Council will be part of the Lake County Federation of Teachers (LCFT, Local 504), which represents nearly 6,000 teachers and support staff in K-12 public schools in Northern Illinois.



LCFT Local 504 is an affiliate of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 100,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.




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