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I Am Proud To Be IFT!

Dear Member,

We have many great things to be thankful for as we start another school year. As your union president, I have witnessed firsthand both the power and the professional support that our union provides. As I reflect on the past year, I feel such pride in IFT’s role in the labor movement and am so glad that you’re a part of it.

Our union is growing stronger every day and, in doing so, expanding our movement. This past school year alone, we’ve organized workers throughout the state, from growing our Local 504 councils in Lake County to bringing in resident teachers to Chicago Teachers Union, to helping workers come together to fight an unfair RIF policy down in Ullin. More and more educators and public servants are finding their strength when they come together in a union.

Our union professional development program is expanding along with our membership. Over the years, we’ve adapted to offer both in-person and online courses covering a variety of topics. We’ve also brought an antiracist lens to our programming to reflect our organizational priorities to fight systemic racism and lift up workers who have been historically excluded. It’s continuously rewarding to watch our members take what they have learned at our trainings and conferences to accomplish great things in their workplace.

Your union provides benefits beyond the workplace, too. We recently awarded three scholarships to our members’ children and students and do so annually. In addition to helping your local, council, or chapter bargain and uphold fair contracts and fighting for public education and public services in Springfield, the IFT has your back once you’re ready to retire as well. Use this Retiring Wisely guide when you’re ready to start planning.

Finally, I can’t end this note without mentioning the power and solidarity we all gain by working and fighting collectively in our union. We had three chapters of our University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, out on strike in the spring after months of bargaining and little progress at the table. They were fighting for better support for their students, fair compensation after years of stagnant wages, and family leave – and they won once they came together to hold their institutions accountable and demand what was right for their students and their profession.

I hope these brief stories of our collective power bring you as much pride as they do me, and I wish you the best as we all continue this momentum in our workplaces throughout the state.

In solidarity,


IFT President


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