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Chicago: NLRB backs EPIC charter workers, mandates mail-in vote on workers’ bid to join CTU

By staff |
May 22, 2020
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NLRB backs EPIC charter workers, mandates mail-in vote to join CTU

Chicago, IL - Educators at EPIC Academy College Prep who are seeking to join the Chicago Teachers Union celebrated the afternoon of May 18, when the NLRB - the National Labor Relations Board - blocked their employer’s reckless demand that they hold an in-person union election at the school. Such an election would have forced workers to risk their own health and the health of their loved ones during the shelter-in-place order.

Educators’ relief was tempered by disappointment at the labor board’s ruling to exclude three colleagues, who are security specialists at the school, from the bargaining unit. “We are extremely frustrated with the decision that the security staff at EPIC would be considered guards alone,” said EPIC teacher Quincy Bloem. “These dedicated and kindhearted workers represent the glue that holds EPIC together; they work daily to build strong relationships with students and faculty alike to help make EPIC feel like a second home.”

Andrew Escalante, tenth grade lead teacher at EPIC, said educators will push through in their bid to join the CTU. “This decision will not stop us from establishing our union and working to ensure all members of the EPIC community are being supported.”

With those security specialists excluded, 42 educators will vote on joining the CTU. Ballots will be mailed Friday, May 29 and must be returned by Wednesday, June 24. Ballots will be counted Wednesday, July 1 at 3 p.m.