Local 73 members worked hard to lobby House and Senate members in support of the Chicago Public Schools Collective Bargaining Bill.
Jonathan Williams (Special Education Classroom Assistant at Chicago Public Schools), Sherry Nickerson (retired Special Education Classroom Assistant at Chicago Public Schools), and Karen Bynum (Special Education Classroom Assistant at Chicago Public Schools) traveled to Springfield this week to lobby on behalf of a bill which equalizes Chicago Public Schools employees collective bargaining rights to the rights enjoyed by employees of every other Illinois school district. House Bill 2275 reverses the changes imposed on Chicago Public Schools employees by Mayor Daley’s 1995 “School Reform” legislation.
Jonathan, Sherry, and Karen met with the House and Senate legislative sponsors, the House Committee Chairman, and over a dozen other members of the House lawmakers.
SEIU Local 73 represents 7,500 Chicago Public School workers – special education classroom assistants, custodians, bus aides, parent aides, security personnel, and other non-instructional job titles. Jonathan, Sherry, and Karen reminded lawmakers that House Bill 2275 is not just about teachers – it also applies to the workers SEIU Local 73 represents.
Sherry Nickerson, member of the Political Engagement Committee, reminded the new lawmakers who had participated in the union’s candidate interviews that they had told us they supported the bill. Karen Bynum reminded lawmakers that SEIU Local 73 members had the same rights as other school district personnel that are fighting for better special education resources and staffing, better school cleanliness, a reduction in the contracting out of essential services, and many other items.
The bill passed out of the Committee on a party line vote, 19-8.
When we Fight, We Win!
The next part is all up to us. Please contact your Representatives and tell them to support House Bill 2275, which equalizes collective bargaining rights for all Illinois educational employees.
HB2275 passed the Illinois House today, March 28. This bill equalizes Chicago Public Schools employees collective bargaining rights to the rights enjoyed by employees of every other Illinois school district.
Many thanks to chief sponsor, State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, and other sponsors of this bill. This is a major victory, and a crucial step toward equalizing collective bargaining processes between Chicago’s public schools and schools in every other district throughout the state.