Arise Chicago partners with workers and faith communities to fight workplace injustice through education and organizing and advocating for public policy changes.
Request voluntary recognition from administration, will be members of IFT MEDIA CONTACT Shelly Ruzicka (773) 251-5003 shelly[at]arisechicago.org | @AriseChicago CHICAGO – At a rally filled with music and celebration, teachers from the Old Town School of Folk Music announced today that an overwhelming majority of faculty have signed cards to form a union with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and have a greater voice to address issues in their workplace. Immediately prior to the event, the teachers – who formed the Old Town Teachers Organization (OTTO) - requested voluntary recognition of the union from School administration. If the School declines, an election will take place in the coming weeks. The teachers began their organizing drive in November 2017 with support from local workers’ rights group Arise Chicago. OTTO decided the best way to address issues at the school was through union representation with the IFT, which also includes K-12 and higher education members in the Chicago area and throughout the state. “We are passionate about the work we do and proud to be a part of this historic institution,” said Lindsay Weinberg, an Old Town School teacher of piano, guitar, and voice of thirteen years. “Our group came together fueled by a strong desire to do what's right, to support our organization's rich community, and to preserve its soul. It is because of our commitment to the Old Town mission that we believe the best way forward is to form a union with the Illinois Federation...
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Arise organizers observed a disturbing trend in long-term negative impacts on workers and their families after a worker was injured on the job. In addition to living with long-term or permanent pain, members shared other physical and mental health issues, as well as financial difficulties, and strain on family relationships.