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Good news! Thanks to your support, advocacy and solidarity over the past two years, HB 1167, the bill to create and restore COVID sick days for school employees who must quarantine, passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday and is now on its way to Gov. Pritzker. We will be in touch with the legislature and the governor’s office to make sure the measure is signed into law as soon as possible.

This important legislation creates COVID-specific sick days going forward and restores days already used if you or your school-age child were forced to quarantine. This bill now applies both to district and charter schools and covers all CTU members. To be eligible for the benefit, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster if applicable, within five weeks of the bill becoming law.

The CTU’s leadership and collective struggle for safety during the pandemic created the conditions for moving a bill like HB 1167. The solidarity we maintained over the past two years — in the face of hostile attacks — ensured that we can speak with one voice. On the bill specifically, hundreds of members called and emailed their state representatives and state senators, as well as the governor, to advocate for its passage.

CTU was part of a coalition of unions working together in the legislature to make HB 1167 a reality, in the process winning a real, tangible victory for all of our members — whether a district employee or a charter school employee — and their families. CTU thanks the bill’s chief sponsors, Rep. Janet Yang Rohr and Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, for their strong support.

We are always up against powerful forces in the state capitol — passing legislation is never a walk in the park. But when we harness the power of our members, speak out in unity and advocate for what truly matters to our school communities, we can succeed. Thank you to all who advocated for the bill’s passage. Our continued success depends on you and on our collective voice.