Affiliate News
March 27, 2018

CTU Members Vote to Merge with Union Charter Educators

CTU Members Vote to Merge with Union Charter Educators

In January, members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted to merge with ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents union educators who work for charter school operators in Chicago.

“Our members have spoken,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey, in a press release posted to CTU’s website. “We’ve declared that we’re stronger together in one big union— and we embrace our common struggle to support our workers, our students, their parents and our neighborhoods. Our two unions share the same goals: an end to school privatization and charter expansion, a living wage and a fair contract for workers, and most importantly, classroom resources and supports that allow our students not just to survive but to thrive and grow into engaged, empowered, productive adults.”

The charter lobby blasted the merger proposal in the runup to the vote, echoing past charges that a merger between CTU Local 1 and ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents workers at more than 30 charter schools in Chicago, would erode the “independence” of charter schools, serve as a way for the CTU to “grab power,” and “undermine the charter movement.”

“Educators in district and charter school share the same challenges and the same commitment to our students and the public good,” said ChiACTS President Chris Baehrand, in a press release posted to CTU’s website. “Together we can more effectively fight for more fair, more equitable funding for our students and their needs – especially for our underserved Black and Brown students and their families – and against the corporate privatizers and profittaking business interests that have bled the public coffers of precious education dollars.”

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