Teachers and Staff at Charter Schools
CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Thursday commended the Illinois General Assembly for passing a bill that protects Illinois educators from intimidation, retaliation and interference when they organize to join a union in privately operated charter schools, a move that will help educators improve the teaching and learning conditions in their schools. The legislation, HB 1120, requires charter school operators taking public school funding to include a labor neutrality clause as part of its school authorization. Under such a clause, an employer agrees to refrain from opposing or taking a position on union organizing by their employees.
CTU members at Instituto del Progreso held a week of action protesting the charter’s attempts to diminish contract protections. ChiArts members, parents and students rallied outside the charter’s regularly scheduled board meeting, which the organization canceled instead of facing public scrutiny. Hope educators voted unanimously to join the CTU and school officials immediately announced it would rather close the school, which mostly serves Black students, instead of bargaining collectively with its workers. In other news, YCLA announced it will be staying put at its Pilsen location.
8:30 am 2/22: Lightfoot, CPS and Charter Leaders Ignoring the Need of Migrant Students Placed in Chicago’s Public and Charter Schools
8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 22: Press conference to demand great attention be paid by CPS, City Hall, and Charter operators to the classroom resources and wraparound services necessary to meet the needs of newly placed migrants in Chicago.
Answers for Charter Educators Without a Union
Don’t have a union, but think you might need one? Get answers to common questions about education unions and learn how to explore your options to unite and empower your colleagues.
Is it possible for charter school teachers and staff to form unions?
Charter school teachers and staff have the same right to form a union as all public school employees. In many states, charter school teachers have begun to organize and bargain collectively for union contracts, just like traditional public school employees. Chicago charter school educators have been leading the way in this movement!
What is the CTU Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ACTS)?
CTU-ACTS is a division of charter school employees organized by the CTU. The alliance’s goal is to mobilize charter school employees around issues of common concern, such as providing the best possible education to all children, regardless of background; strengthening our profession; expanding professional development; improving the conditions of teaching and learning; and bolstering our voice in school-level decision-making.
Know someone that may be interested in forming a union at their charter school?
CTU-ACTS is helping charter teachers across the city to unionize, and CTU is proud to call them our brothers and sisters. CTU- ACTS knows that what’s best for the educators and students at charter schools is not always what the charter operator CEO wants to hear. Charter teachers have said loud and clear that a formal and respected collective voice has let them make their schools better places to teach and better places for students to learn. If you know a charter school teacher or support staff member interested in starting a union, have them email CTU, call us at (312) 467-8852 or complete the form at the bottom of the page.
Know Your Rights
Download our Know Your Rights document to learn your right to organize and inform others about their own.
Charter School Councils Within the CTU-ACTS Division
CTU-ACTS contracts are provided on this website’s contracts page alongside the district contract.
A. Council of Educators (ACE)
ASPIRA Antonia Pantoja Alternative HS
ASPIRA Business and Finance
ASPIRA Early College High School
ASPIRA Haugan Middle School
Alliance of Progressive Teachers at Latino Youth (APTLY)
YCCS-Latino Youth HS
ChicagoQuest Union (CQU)
CICS – ChicagoQuest North
Civitas Federation of Teachers (CFT)
CICS – Northtown
CICS – Wrightwood
CICS – Ralph Ellison
Independent Federation of Teachers (IFE)
Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy
Leadership Academy ACTS
YCCS-Youth Connection Leadership Acad HS
Organization of Namaste Educators (ONE)
Namaste Charter School
Passages Teachers Union (PTU)
Asian Human Services – Passages Charter School
Rudy Lozano Alliance of Social Justice Educators (“RLASJE”)
Instituto – Justice Lozano
United Educators for Justice (UEJ) at Acero Schools (f/k/a UNO)
Educators at Acero (f/k/a UNO) Charter Schools
- Bartolomé de las Casas
- Brighton Park
- Carlos Fuentes
- Esmeralda Santiago
- Major Hector P. Garcia HS
- Octavio Paz Campus
- Officer Donald J. Marquez
- PFC Omar E. Torres
- Roberto Clemente
- Rogers Park
- Rufino Tamayo
- Sandra Cisneros
- Soccer Academy Elementary School
- Soccer Academy High School
- SPC Daniel Zizumbo
United for Scholar Artists (USA)
Urban Prep Union (UPU)
Urban Prep Academy for Young Men – Bronzeville
Urban Prep Academy for Young Men – Englewood
Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men – West
Interested in Organizing a Union at a Charter School?
Organizers with the AFT charter organizing project are always ready to contact you confidentially. Fill out the form below and only use a personal email address (never your work email). Our organizers will contact you promptly.