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Teachers and Staff at Charter Schools

Teachers and staff at unionized charter schools face many of the same issues as at district-run schools. On top of that, their schools are run by private corporations and non-profit groups that often diminish accountability while adding bureaucracy.

Charter Contracts

Winning recognition was important. Winning a strong contract is essential. Study your contract and discuss your rights with coworkers. Together, Union members and staff can make our schools better places to teach and learn.

Charter school headlines for the week of Jan. 4, 2021

Namaste and Passages charter schools are mapping out plans to return staff and students to in-person learning in the new year. But Union members are fighting back. Educators at Latino Youth continue their impressive hold out, continuing with remote learning. And CTU members in charters will be electing delegates to begin a three-year term in February

PSRP/Clinician/Citywide Teacher Delegate Positions for the 2021-2023 Delegate Term

In accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the Chicago Teachers Union Constitution and By-Laws, the term of current delegates will end on January 31, 2021. The Notice of Nominations and Election for each citywide functional group will be sent via email to each member eligible to vote and posted on the CTU website on Friday, December 4, 2020.

Charter school headlines for week of Nov. 16, 2020

The CTU New Organizing Committee met with charter school educators interested in unionizing. CTU members at Aspira are strategizing how to deal with colocation efforts. Acero Sped and ELL educators participated in a Know Your Rights training and are beginning to reach out to parents. Negotiations on our first contract with Epic are expected to begin after Thanksgiving

Charter headlines for the week of Nov. 9

Namaste is the latest charter school to experience a COVID-19 outbreak. After months of negotiations, and a request for a mediator, we are seeing progress in CICS-Civitas talks. Instituto Health and Science Career Academy is hiring a psychologist to comply with the CTU contract. Three laid off special education apprentices have been recalled at Acero, after members organized against the layoffs.

Charter school headlines for the week of Nov. 2

CTU reached an agreement with Epic Academy that provides for remote learning through the second quarter, ending Feb. 4, 2021. The agreement also allows for “no stakes” observations. Finally, the union was able to negotiate 30 minutes on the clock for union meetings...

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

EPIC Educators
Epic Academy College Prep
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)

ChiArts HS

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.