Teachers at two charter school networks in Chicago have been collecting signatures to demand recognition for their union, ChiACTS (AFT4343). Five schools are involved, three at Urban Prep and two at North Lawndale College Prep. Significantly more than half the teachers at these two charters have signed cards, indicating that ChiACTS already has enough to be recognized as the representative of the teachers involved – if the two charter companies were ready to recognize the teachers' democratic rights.
ChiACTS currently represents teachers and staff at 29 of the 134 charter schools in Chicago. Union recognition at the five schools run by these two charter companies would give ChiACTS over 25% of all charter schools in Chicago.
The teachers say they face overcrowded classrooms, heavy teaching loads, and not enough time to prepare their classes – and all of this is damaging to the children they teach. So, yes, they want to be unionized!