CTU President Jesse Sharkey sent this eblast to members announcing the signing of HB 1167 today by Governor Pritzker Wednesday morning.

Late this morning, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 1167 into law, formally establishing COVID administrative leave for future use and retroactively restoring previously used days into state law. The law applies to all school employees in both CPS schools and charter schools.

Stacy Davis Gates, our vice president, represented us in Springfield today for the bill signing (click here or on the picture at the right to watch the entire press conference). Stacy summed up perfectly what this legislation means. “Our members, our students and all of our families have worked their hearts out to support each other through more than two years of this pandemic,” she said. “Collectively, we’ve worked tirelessly for safety measures so educators and students who have sacrificed so much in the era of COVID can get the resources and supports they deserve. This bill is a critical part of that effort.”

We are grateful to House sponsor Janet Yang Rohr for her advocacy, to Senate President Don Harmon for moving this through the upper chamber, and to Governor Pritzker for moving swiftly to sign this bill.

Be clear: Now that the Governor has signed this bill this morning, educators no longer have to use sick days if we catch COVID-19, and can reclaim sick days previously used for COVID. Educators must be fully vaccinated within five weeks of today to receive the benefit. As defined by the law, fully vaccinated means either one or two rounds of a vaccine (depending on which one you receive) plus a booster.

If you haven’t yet gotten your full round of vaccine shots or your booster, schedule your shot today! The State of Illinois offers a handy link to vaccines.gov to find a shot near you.

We’re still waiting for word from CPS about how members sign up to receive credit for sick days they’ve used for COVID, and will share that out with you as soon as we get those details.

We advocated tirelessly for this legislative victory over many months with our partners in the IFT and the IEA, and the voices of rank and file educators played a central part in the effort. Our unity is our most powerful strength, and together we’ve helped steward this effort through a legislative process that can be long and frustrating. Our solidarity is the backbone of our efforts to secure real safety and equity for our members and our school communities, and our unity always sees us through.

In solidarity

Jesse Sharkey
CTU President

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 www.ctulocal1.org.