District 214 teachers join larger union

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District 214 Education President, Jim Arey

Post By: Daily Herald

For more than three decades, the District 214 Education Association has operated as an independent teachers union -- one of only a few in the state -- but 88 percent of members voted to join Northwest Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1211 of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and its national umbrella organization, the American Federation of Teachers.

There's some 870 teachers from District 214's 11 school buildings that will now become part of Local 1211, which represents about 2,000 school employees, including teachers, secretaries and support staff in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, secretaries and support staff in Itasca Elementary District 10, and therapists in Palatine Elementary District 15.

Jim Arey, president of the District 214 Education Association, said surveys sent to teachers last year indicated many wanted to affiliate with a larger union. He said the partnership will allow District 214 teachers to have "a seat at the table" on public policy issues, increase opportunities for professional development, and provide access to a larger network of educators.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers, which includes 103,000 teachers and other staff, is an affiliate of the larger AFL-CIO that represents other labor unions. The other major teachers union in the state, the Illinois Education Association, has 135,000 members.