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Illinois Federation of Teachers welcomes Columbia Faculty Union to its membership

Updated: May 23, 2020

Chicago - Today by a majority vote, the Columbia Faculty Union (CFAC) voted to join the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT). 

“CFAC is proud to be joining with IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO at this time; in this historical moment. When labor is under attack and the very foundations of education are threatened, we need to unify in order to secure fair wages, fair working conditions and ensure that critical thinking and quality education guide our work,” said Diana Vallera, CFAC President. “Our unions share the principles and practice of standing up, including on the picket line. Together our principles are stronger, our voices louder, and our power undeniable.”

Columbia Faculty Union is the union representing the interests of contingent faculty at Columbia College Chicago. Contingent faculty teach a majority of classes at Columbia and are deeply committed to the quality of students’ education. They bring professional expertise into the classroom; many are high achievers in media arts, fine arts, arts management, and other fields. Columbia was founded as a college where part-time faculty would be honored for their dedication to their students and their professions.

“As a high school English teacher, I saw many of my students go to Columbia College, where they studied with leading artists and practitioners in their respective fields. I’m thrilled that these faculty members have chosen to join our IFT family. We understand the unique needs of contingent faculty, who are fighting powerfully against institutional changes that directly impact their work and their students’ education. Our union’s knowledge and experience in higher education, combined with the collective strength of nearly 103,000 members, makes IFT the right choice for Columbia College Chicago faculty and for every local union seeking support and a strong voice on their campus,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery.

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The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 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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