NORTHBROOK, IL – Educators and certified staff in Northbrook School District 28 filed cards with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) today, affirming their intent to form a union, the Northbrook Federation of Teachers District 28.
“I love my students and my district. As education professionals, it’s important for us to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that impact our working conditions because they directly affect student learning,” said Kerri Edwards, a teacher at Greenbriar Elementary School. “By forming a union, we can ensure our collective voice is heard and help to make our schools even better.”
The 230 teachers and certified staff will become a council of the North Suburban Teachers Union (NSTU, Local 1274). NSTU is a local union in the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers/AFL-CIO.
“The North Suburban Teachers Union is thrilled to welcome the Northbrook Federation of Teachers District 28 into the NSTU family,” said NSTU President Pankaj Sharma. “We know that by forming a union, these dedicated professionals will be better able to advocate for and support their students in the years ahead."
“We are proud and excited that the outstanding educators and staff in Northbrook District 28 are joining our ranks,” added IFT President Dan Montgomery. “Throughout the pandemic, men and women across the state have organized with the IFT in record numbers because they understand that standing together in a union is the best way to improve student learning and keep communities safe. With a union, everyone wins.”
As the Northbrook Federation of Teachers District 28, educators and certified staff will have a powerful collective voice to help them negotiate fair contracts that address curriculum, health and safety, equitable working conditions, and other provisions that improve student learning and help attract and retain outstanding professionals in the district.
Now that authorization cards have been filed by a strong majority of employees (in three elementary buildings and one junior high), the IELRB is expected to certify the new union. Members will then begin the process of establishing the union’s governing structure and electing leaders.
"In my 11 years in District 28, I have worked with the most innovative and caring staff and administrators in the profession,” said Nicole Gas, a teacher at Northbrook Junior High School. “As the Northbrook Federation of Teachers District 28, we’ll be able to collaborate in a transparent way to provide the best possible student learning outcomes. We’re excited to get started."
The North Suburban Teachers Union (NSTU, Local 1274) represents about 2,000 teachers, certified staff, and paraprofessionals and school-related personnel in school districts throughout Chicago’s Northern suburbs. NSTU is a local union of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 100,000 educators 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.