What is the CTU?
Since 1937 the Chicago Teachers Union has been the voice for professionals who are employed in Chicago Public Schools, including educators at more than a dozen charter school networks. We are one of America’s leading labor unions representing more than 25,000 teachers, clinicians, and paraprofessionals working in CPS and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Chicago Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO is the third largest education union local in the country and the largest in Illinois.
What does CTU do?
We organize, we protect and we defend public education in Chicago. We have an organization that represents us democratically. Our Union staff supports members when they need protection from arbitrary and unjust actions by administrators. And, collectively, our Union puts the needs of CPS educators and of the students and families we serve at the forefront and we challenge the people who wield power in Chicago to meet those needs. When we speak and act collectively, we have a powerful voice in our workplaces, our communities, and in Springfield, to affect change.
Are you new to CPS? It’s a large bureaucracy that chews up and spits out many educators. Being a member of the CTU means you’re not alone. Our union represents educators and support staff at every single public school operated by the district as well as 35 unionized charter schools. Our unity and collective strength help us advocate and win for important professional issues like class size, teaching and learning conditions. You can join the CTU right now with our online membership card.
CTU’s Vision for Chicago vs. the 1%
Elites prioritize their vision of Chicago as a ”global city”, built around finance, technology, law, management, and incidentally, tourism. Because of these priorities, the disparities between wealth and poverty in the city are stark. They are also racialized, as the poor are more likely to be African American or Latinx. Working class people are segregated and pushed out of the city. This explains why schools don’t have money for libraries and clinicians but the city can offer wealthy corporations millions in tax breaks to move to Chicago.
CTU’s vision is for a city where working people can make a living, have decent health care, be able to afford a place to live, and send their children to good public schools. This is a package deal. Conditions in schools don’t improve if living conditions for our students and their families don’t improve. This is why CTU is committed to fighting for affordable housing, living-wage jobs, and racial justice, as part of the fight for the schools our students deserve.
For public schools to thrive they must be properly staffed with a full allotment of teachers, paraprofessionals, librarians, clinicians such as nurses, social workers and school psychologists, and more. CTU is committed to fighting for progressive revenue to fund these positions.
New Educators Happy Hour
Friday, November 13 at 4:30 — Meet CTU officers and staff and relax with other new educators online. Music by DJ Ronnie Reese.
Sign Your Card!
Illinois is now “right to work for less.” Beat the anti-union attack. Join CTU!
Our podcast, CTU Speaks! is hosted by Andrea Parker and Jim Staros. We’ll chat about our union, enforcing our contract, and our fight for the schools our students and educators deserve.