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The Labor Day weekend is typically a time to gather for late summer barbecues with friends and family, and we hope this year you have enjoyed a lovely holiday weekend.

Labor Day is also a time to reflect on the importance of our struggle as workers, and the value of our union. People have fought and died for the right to form unions, and that right to organize is still under attack by the far right. That is why your rank-and-file membership — and that of your colleagues — is so important.

Labor, across many spectrums, is the foundation of our nation’s history, and your labor is the bedrock of our public schools. Your dedication to colleagues, students and school communities in the face of enormous inequities and leadership challenges is what keeps our district and our city moving forward. Your willingness to stand up and fight for safety and for the schools our students deserve continues to inspire the labor movement across the U.S.

And as we’ve seen at Starbucks, Amazon and here in Chicago with staff at the Chicago Reader and the Art Institute of Chicago, there is power in the rank-and-file. The labor movement is growing stronger, and cooler (!), as more workers and industries are seeing opportunities to organize as an effective tool for advocating for workplace rights.

As workers in Chicago Public Schools, our teachers, PSRPs, clinicians, counselors, librarians and other staff know what our students and school communities need. Unity and solidarity — our greatest strengths — continue to allow us to fight for the common good, and transform our schools into places of love, joy and humanity.

We are so grateful for your work, and proud of all you do for our schools and for our city. In solidarity, we wish you a very Happy Labor Day!

Stacy Davis Gates, CTU President
Jackson Potter, CTU Vice President
Maria Moreno, CTU Financial Secretary
Christel Williams-Hayes, CTU Recording Secretary