Two more charters scheduled to vote on joining CTU in coming weeks, as alternative school educators prepare to bargain for living wages and student needs.

CHICAGO, May 26, 2021 — Rank and file educators at Association House Alternative High School have voted unanimously to join the CTU, with educators expecting to start bargaining their first contract this summer.

“We want to negotiate a legally binding contract with consistent, fair and public guidelines for evaluation, support and pay,” the educators wrote to management on April 5. “We also want a seat at the table in conversations about how resources are allocated to bring the greatest benefit to our students.”

The charter for Association House’s alternative school was awarded by CPS to YCCS — Youth Connection Charter School, one of the region’s largest charter operators — and Association House in turn runs the school for YCCS. As an alternative school, Association House serves some of CPS’ most disadvantaged students.

Educators have raised concerns about the need for more educational resources and classroom supports for students. “I believe in the work we do and the community we are working to build at AHHS — and I believe that in order in to continue to do this, the union is necessary,” said educator Jemina Lyle.

Educators are calling on management to invest more of the funding they receive from CPS into critical areas of student need, as well as raising the floor on low wages and benefits.

Charter educators continue to organize in Chicago. Rank and file educators at Christopher House charter school plan to vote on joining the CTU on June 2, and educators at Intrinsic charter high school will vote on joining the CTU on June 11. Intrinsic’s management has targeted workers with a relentless anti-union lobbying campaign at the school in recent weeks.

Key issues at the schools include the need for special education resources, support for English language learners, and high turnover of teachers and staff that drives instability and undermines student needs.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at