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Rogers Park Montessori School Educators Request Union Recognition

CHICAGO – On Friday, teachers, assistants, and student-facing staff at Rogers Park Montessori School (RPMS) requested union recognition from their employer. As the overwhelming majority of eligible staff have signed authorization cards to support this process, they are hopeful that RPMS Principal Ben Blair and the Board of Directors will respond with a commitment to work collaboratively.


“We are forming a union because we think it will make our already wonderful school even better,” said Erin Flynn, a teacher and parent at the school and member of the new union’s organizing committee. “We believe that teachers can love their jobs, trust their supervisors, and feel valued each day while still deserving the benefits a union can provide.”

These educators include both Montessori trained teachers and other staff who serve about 350 students from ages two to 14. The independent school, located in Bowmanville, serves families from there, Andersonville, and surrounding neighborhoods.


Inspired by Dr. Montessori’s belief in peace and democracy, the educators are forming a union to ensure a teaching environment where all voices are heard and respected. They are seeking open communication and more participation in decision-making at the school, as well as a contract that enhances teaching and learning conditions.


“The Montessori philosophy prioritizes respect and agency, and our school goes to great lengths to teach the values of equity and interdependence. We believe having a unionized staff will allow us to model these values in our school structure and live out the values we hope to instill in the children,” said Joan Costa, an educator and organizing committee member.


If the school administration and board does not voluntarily recognize the union, educators can hold an election with the National Labor Relations Board as another path to gaining recognition.


The new Rogers Park Montessori School union will join the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

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.


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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