The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), will now allow its educators and staff to unionize, following an agreement with the Chicago Alliance of Charter School Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS).
UNO, which manages 13 schools and educates approximately 6,500 students in Chicago, has some 400 teachers on its rolls.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the average salary for a UNO teacher is
$50,732, some $20,000 a year less than the average Chicago Public
Chicago ACTS has no affiliation with the
CPS teacher union, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), but both are
affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Weingarten, president of the AFT, told the newspaper Friday that the union
deal for UNO teachers “has the potential to change the conversation
between charter operators and teachers.”
"UNO’s central mission has always been to empower communities and make positive change in our communities and our society," the charter school organization stated in a press release announcing the ability for its educators to unionize. "UNO has long-held strong relationships with unions and we believe that the labor movement is an essential partner in the fight for social justice and economic equality. This agreement is consistent with our founding values.
This agreement also represents a step toward ensuring public education is about collaboration instead of competition and polarization. This agreement is an opportunity for UNO and Chicago ACTS to elevate the dialogue around school reform in the spirit of cooperation."