June 10, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – Unionized teachers at Chicago charter schools began voting June 5 on whether to join the Chicago Teachers Union, which represents teachers in the city’s regular public schools.
The merger would give all Chicago teachers “a unified strong voice to fight for the things we want,” Chris Baehrend, president of the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, told the Chicago Tribune. “We face the same issues with privatization. We face the same issues with budget cuts. We face the same issues with resources in our schools.” If the charter-school teachers approve the merger, the CTU would also have to approve it, a vote that probably wouldn’t happen until the fall. The merger would make the CTU a broader “organization for public educators in the city of Chicago,” Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. With all 10 of the city’s charter-school labor contracts expiring next year, it would also mean that the CTU would no longer be subsidizing a separate union when it helps those teachers negotiate—a situation pro-merger flyers have called “no longer sustainable.” Read more