From the President: The Path to Our Goals
In 2008, when teachers from the three CICS-Civitas Schools began meeting with organizers from Chicago ACTS, we were seeking to resolve specific problems at our schools: excessive teaching load, at-will employment, an arbitrary pay scale and teachers quitting in disgust. As we went through the long process of forming our union, and battling Chicago International Charter Schools and the management company, Civitas, over our ability to do so, it started to occur to us that union representation is about more than solving specific workplace problems. We realized that when it comes down to it, there is no compelling reason that all authority over working conditions should lie in the hands of a small group of people in a school community...
Read more from Chicago ACTS Local 4343 President, Brian Harris
Meet our PD Trainers
Chicago ACTS’ professional development program continues to grow! We’ve hosted over 16 PD sessions utilizing the American Federation of Teachers’ Strategies for Student Success (SSS) professional development program. Here’s what two Chicago ACTS SSS presenters and Local #4343 members have to say about the PD program:
Read more about our PD program and trainers
Register for our next PD, Rethinking Punishment, today!
At a school, the teachers’ working environment is the students’ learning environment. As part of a union, teachers design and negotiate a contract with their school management to improve their school and better fulfill its mission.
Unionized charter school teachers have these provisions in their union contracts:
- Salary Schedule
- Standardized Pay
- Shared Leadership Model
- Evaluation Systems
- Guaranteed Benefits
- Jointly Established Working Conditions
Contact us to learn more about unionizing
You Deserve a Pension!
The IRS has taken regulatory action that could force states to prohibit public charter school employees from participating in secure defined-benefit plans.
The IRS is currently reviewing charter school teachers' eligibility for participation in public (“governmental”) pension plans. This action could thrust charter school teachers into the unknown territory of a job with either no retirement security or a small private sector plan administered by a school board or management company.
The AFT and Chicago ACTS have always been a champion of the public pension system in general and defined-benefit plans in particular. These plans are secure, funded and transparent. Now, it is time to speak up in their defense.
The IRS is in the midst of a public comment period on governmental pension plans. Let them hear from you! Urge the IRS today to keep charter school employees in governmental retirement plans.
Stand up for your pension! Contact the IRS today
Read more about your pension on ChicagoACTS.org
Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff around the U.S.
First Michigan Charter School Union Makes News Splash
It took six months—and that was just the final stage—but teachers and staff at the Arts Academy in the Woods (AAW) outside Detroit finally took a vote in December and found near unanimity in their hopes for a union. In the beleaguered state of Michigan, the good news rippled out quickly, resulting in perhaps the most abundant media coverage of a charter union vote anywhere in the country.
Read the full story on AFTacts.org
Read more from the Huffington Post