The CTU has been busy in the General Assembly so far in the 2022 legislative session. Several important bills already have passed out of committee and we expect other legislation we support to advance, as well.
Pension/Retiree Bills in Motion
CTU has moved two bills out of committee to increase pension benefits available to CTU members:
- SB 2989 (sponsored by Sen. Ram Villivalam) allows members of the CTPF who previously taught in private schools to purchase up to two years of service credit in CTPF.
- SB 3465 (sponsored by Sen. Rob Martwick) increases the pool of available teachers in specific shortage areas by allowing a retiree to teach in that position without impact on that retiree’s pension. Read the Chicago Tribune article on SB 3465.
Limit Standardized Testing
CTU also strongly supports SB 3986 (sponsored by Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas). In the face of the Illinois State Board of Education’s efforts to expand standardized testing, this bill would greatly limit standardized testing in pre-K through second grade.
COVID Sick Days
Finally, CTU continues to work on the COVID sick days bill. Gov. Pritzker vetoed the bill in January, arguing that he feared it would provide an incentive to refuse the COVID vaccine if employees know that their sick days will be covered if they or their children contract the virus.
The governor and lawmakers have agreed to work jointly on a replacement measure that would be substantially similar to HB 2778. The two main provisions — COVID sick days and retroactivity — would remain. But the new legislation would apply only to employees who are vaccinated and boostered. CTU supports other modifications to the bill, clarifying that it applies to charter school employees and quarantine coverage for parents whose children are in daycare settings.
We also are supporting a bill that would shorten the time required to attain tenure. We will share updates on these bills as they proceed through the legislative process.
Success Depends on You
In the meantime, remember, our success in the General Assembly depends on you. We depend on your engagement with your legislators and support of our union’s advocacy in the legislature. To do that, we need a strong Political Action Committee (PAC) to help us defend our rights and support our public schools and their communities.
If you already contribute to our PAC, thank you. To learn more about the committee and to make a contribution, visit ctulocal1.org/pac.