Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation on April 2 restoring the Chicago Teachers Union's ability to bargain with the city on a broader range of issues, including class size, layoffs and the duration of the school year. The new law repeals an amendment to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act that has limited the union's bargaining power since 1995.
"With the signing of this bill, we now at last bargain from a level playing field," said Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey, "with the ability to at last reject the chronic classroom overcrowding, incompetent and wasteful third-party contracting and the desperate shortage of school nurses, social workers and counselors and other chronic staffing needs."
The union's expanded bargaining rights go into effect immediately, potentially changing the scope of its ongoing negotiations with the city over whether Chicago's high schools will return to in-person instruction before the end of the school year.