Legislation sets minimum wage standards pegged to cost of living for underpaid public educators.

CHICAGO, August 22, 2019—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today in response to Governor Pritzker’s signing of legislation today that raises the wage floor for Illinois teachers:

“Today is ‘Black Women’s Equal Pay Day’, yet in Chicago some of our hardest working educators – Black female paraprofessionals with advanced degrees – earn so little their children are eligible for free or reduced school lunches. That’s wrong.”

“Public school teachers and paraprofessionals do critical work – for our students and our society – yet they earn vastly less compared to other professions with similar levels of education. At the same time, those low wages exacerbate a critical shortage of these vital education professionals.

“It’s heartening to see Governor Pritzker publicly acknowledge the value of our work and put his promise for education equity in writing. We urge Mayor Lightfoot to take a page from the Governor and do the same for CPS teachers, paraprofessionals and other critical frontline workers – particularly our low-wage Black female paraprofessionals – in an enforceable contract.”

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.