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Rogers Park Montessori School Educators Vote “Union YES!”

CHICAGO – Last week, the teachers, assistants, and student-facing staff at Rogers Park Montessori School (RPMS) voted to form a union and filed authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The new union should be officially certified by the NLRB in the next five weeks.

When asked about her decision to join the union, RPMS educator and proud union member Mary Costa connects this process to the Montessori values she teaches in her classroom. “I was guided by the belief that a Montessori education is one that prepares a child to be part of a more just and peaceful world than we have today. But the adults do not have to wait for the children to create a more just and peaceful world, we can do our part as well.”

The teachers and staff decided to form a union to foster a respectful teaching environment where they can be part of the decision-making process. While they originally asked the school’s administration to voluntarily recognize their union, when that didn’t happen, there was enough support among the educators to vote “union YES” in a democratic election.

"RPMS is a wonderful community,” said Erin Flynn, an RPMS teacher and parent. “Our union is going to help make our school become an even more amazing place to work and learn."

Once the union is certified by the NLRB, they will elect officers, form a bargaining committee, and set goals to negotiate a contract that enhances teaching and learning conditions at RPMS.

The new RPMS union is part of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

“We are so proud to welcome the Rogers Park Montessori educators into the Illinois Federation of Teachers,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “We know that, together in a union, we can best advocate for our professions, students, and communities. It’s wonderful to see these Montessori educators come together and demand that the same principles of democracy, equity, and agency that guide their teaching also guide their workplace.”

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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