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IFT statement on Gov. Pritzker’s signing of the COVID-19 sick leave bill for vaccinated educators

SPRINGFIELD - Leaders of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) released the following statement today after Governor Pritzker signed HB 1167 into law, creating COVID-specific sick days for vaccinated educators and school staff and restoring previously used sick time for school and university employees who were forced to quarantine (or stayed home with school-aged children forced to do so) during the 2021-22 school year.

IFT President Dan Montgomery said,

"The pandemic has been emotionally and economically daunting for us all, especially educators, school staff, and their families who have been on the front lines of COVID’s effects from day one. By signing this bill today, Governor Pritzker has provided important relief and ensured that education personnel can afford to take time off if they or their families become ill with COVID-19. His leadership will help keep our students and communities healthy even as new variants arise and COVID rates in our state fluctuate over time."

“Our members, our students and all of our families have worked their hearts out to support each other through more than two years of this pandemic,” said IFT Executive Vice President and Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates. “Collectively, we’ve worked tirelessly for safety measures so educators and students who have sacrificed so much in the era of COVID can get the resources and supports they deserve. This legislation supports our school communities, and we are grateful to House sponsor Janet Yang Rohr for her advocacy, to Senate President Don Harmon for moving this through the upper chamber, and to Governor Pritzker for moving swiftly to sign this bill,” she added.

“While the overwhelming majority of IFT members are fully vaccinated, we look forward to working with the governor and lawmakers to encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated and boosted as recommended to protect themselves and others from severe COVID illness and help continue our state’s road to recovery,” Montgomery said.


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