ChicagoQuest Charter School Teachers Join Union in a Nearly Unanimous Vote
by Illinois Federation of Teachers | 05/20/2014
CHICAGO—On Tuesday, Teachers at CICS ChicagoQuest Charter School in a nearly unanimous vote, joined a union after months of their employer refusing to recognize a majority's wish to unionize. 96% of staff at the west side school voted for a union, joining fellow educators at the three other CICS schools as members of the Local 4343 of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers.
In December, 94% of teachers and staff signed cards showing their decision to join the union and announced this decision on December 18th. Teachers and staff indicated that the lack of voice they had in the decision making at the school was a key factor in their desire to unionize. Like most charter schools in Chicago, the main authority over CICS schools is an appointed Board of Directors that does not include any CICS teachers, parents or students. CICS Board meetings, though subject to the Open Meetings Act, are practically inaccessible to those stakeholders. A Union gives teachers and staff a mechanism to advocate for the students they serve and the security to do so without fear of retaliation.