Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

It's Official: You Have Bargaining Rights

In February, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB5107 to restore collective bargaining to Chicago school leaders.  Our bill has become law.

HB5107 gives Chicago’s school leaders the right to recognition and good faith negotiations with district management. Bargaining rights for school leaders is common across our country. Oakland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis; Seattle, and New York City are among hundreds of school districts that negotiate and collaborate in good faith with their principals and other school leaders through their elected representatives.

We–the members and officers of CPAA–put the no-strike clause in ourselves to make it absolutely clear that our goal is collaboration, not conflict. We simply want recognition, a binding voice in the policies that affect our students and school communities, and processes to ensure fairness when it comes to decisions that are made about our members and their schools. While we deeply respect the right of employees to withhold their labor as leverage for fair treatment, we believe the strongest leverage point for principals is the respect with which they are held by the communities they serve. We will work with those communities and employ these negotiation rights to create better learning environments for our students.

Our most important jobs are to coach teachers, create ideal learning environments, foster collaboration, problem-solve, and engage in ongoing strategic planning for the deployment of resources and personnel. One of the most impactful resources a principal has is the time to focus on actions that positively impact student learning. HB5107 will help us protect that time.

We appreciate the contributions of the many individuals and organizations who made this possible. These include the members of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and our allies including the American Federation of School Administrators, the Illinois AFL-CIO, and the Chicago Federation of Labor, our House sponsor, Will Davis, our successive Senate Sponsors, Celina Villanueva and Robert Peters, and of course Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

HB 5285 Signed As Well: Fairness and Transparency in Principal Eligibility

Governor Pritzker also signed HB 5285 to bring fairness and transparency to the Principal Eligibility Policy. We held an information session on that bill in January and will hold additional sessions in March.