Northbrook Teachers Union: District 28 Educators Begin Organizing

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NORTHBROOK, IL — Northbrook School District 28 educators have begun labor organizing, and on Friday "a strong majority of employees" filed cards to form a union.

Teachers and certified staff at three elementary schools and one junior high school filed the authorization cards. Officials said the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board is expected to certify the new union, which would be called the Northbrook Federation of Teachers District 28.

If approved, 230 District 28 employees would become a council of the North Suburban Teachers Union Local 1274, which represents roughly 2,000 teachers, certified staff, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel.

The North Suburban Teachers Union is part of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), which is a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers/AFL-CIO.

If a union is formed, members will begin establishing its governing structure and electing leaders, officials said.

District 28 is one of Illinois’ few remaining nonunion public school districts, the Chicago Tribune reported — according to the newspaper, IFT President Dan Montgomery estimates that over 90 percent of teachers in Illinois public schools are members of the IFT or the Illinois Education Association.

In a statement, Montgomery said a union is the best way to "improve student learning and keep communities safe."

"We are proud and excited that the outstanding educators and staff in Northbrook District 28 are joining our ranks," Montgomery said. "With a union, everyone wins."

Kerri Edwards, a teacher at Greenbriar Elementary School, said in a statement that forming a union will help teachers ensure their collective voice is heard.

"I love my students and my district," Edwards said. "As education professionals, it’s important for us to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that impact our working conditions because they directly affect student learning."

Larry Hewitt, District 28 superintendent, told the Chicago Tribune that his district would "follow the Labor Board’s process and respect whatever decision a majority of our staff makes with respect to representation."

via Northbrook, IL Patch

November 23, 2021 at 02:30PM

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