GRAYSLAKE, IL – Today, support staff from the highly-acclaimed Prairie Crossing Charter School (PCCS) filed their intent to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“We’re excited to announce that PCCS support staff filed to organize our union today,” said Kristen Zimmerman, instructional assistant. “By joining together in a union, we will be better positioned to advocate for ourselves and our students so we can continue to provide the unique, high-quality education kids deserve and parents expect at PCCS.”
The 30 teaching assistants and other support staff serve about 425 students in grades K-8. The overwhelming majority have signed authorization cards.
As dedicated professionals, PCCS support staff want a greater voice in decisions made at the school. They seek to work collaboratively with the administration to provide the best possible education for students while receiving fair compensation and the respect they deserve. As a union, they will be able to develop a collective bargaining agreement that accomplishes these goals to help meet student needs.
PCCS support staff now await voluntary recognition by their employer. Teachers at PCCS have been unionized since 2010.
“Today’s filing puts us a giant step closer to formalizing our union so we can begin working with the administration to create an agreement that supports our students and support staff,” added Zimmerman. “We are dedicated to this school, our students, and the community. Being in a union will give us a greater ability to advocate for them all.”
The new PCCS Support Staff union will be part of the Lake County Federation of Teachers (LCFT, Local 504), which represents 5,500 teachers and support staff in K-12 public schools in Northern Illinois.
LCFT Local 504 is an affiliate of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 100,000 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.