Chicago teachers and staff at Passages Elementary Charter School in the Edgewater neighborhood voted to unionize Thursday, allowing the Chicago Alliance of Charter School Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS) to represent them.
The 32-9 vote in favor of joining the union will need to be certified by the National Labor Relations Board.
"Passages teachers and staff unionized so our school's resources can be allocated to benefit our diverse population of students," said Passages paraprofessional Ann Stella-Tayler, who works with special education students. "A union will allow us to work collaboratively with administration on providing the best possible education for students. With unity, we can continue making Passages an amazing place for students and staff."
Michael Scott-Rudnick is a science and writing teacher at Passages, located at 1643 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
"Passages is part of me, and forming a union further invests me in this great community," he said. "Unions ensure stability for teachers and staff, who provide stability for our students and empower us to have the voice we need to participate in decisions involving curriculum and classroom resources."
Nearly 1,000 teachers and staff at 32 Chicago charter school campuses are currently represented by Chicago ACTS, according to the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
"This is a growing movement, and we've now reached a tipping point in Chicago, where teachers at a quarter of all charter schools in the city have come together to join the American Federation of Teachers," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "It's a ground-up effort by teachers who've stuck together in spite of many charter employers' anti-union tactics. Today's vote shows yet again that there is strong demand among teachers at charters for a voice in decisions that affect their students, fair evaluations that help them grow professionally, due process protections, and transparency and accountability from their employers."