Earlier this year, educators from the prestigious Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) were officially certified by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) as members of the IFT family. The teachers originally filed cards affirming their intent to join in December, 2019.
“We filed with the IELRB with overwhelming support because we knew forming a union would help us continue to fulfill IMSA's mission to be an innovator and leader in STEM teaching and learning,” said Michael Hancock, an English teacher at IMSA.
As IFT members, the 63 educators at IMSA will now be able to better advocate for the needs of their students. The union will help faculty fight for the academic freedom that is crucial to providing a challenging education, as well as provide greater influence over decisions that impact student learning and teaching and encourage the recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty by securing fair compensation for their work.
“As a union of educators at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, we will help ensure we attract and retain the best and brightest professionals to design and implement the challenging educational programs we offer to talented mathematics and science students,” said Brooke Schmidt, science teacher.
A world-renowned public school with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), IMSA serves more than 650 students in grades 10-12 from 44 Illinois counties. The residential college preparatory academy has been named the #12 STEM school by Newsweek, a top 40 public or private college preparatory school by the Wall Street Journal, and the top high school in Illinois by Niche.com.
The new union at IMSA is part of AFT Local 604.