Charter teachers union votes to merge with Chicago Teachers Union

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Members of the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff Local4343, or ChiARTS, voted Friday to unify with the Chicago Teachers Union, ChiACTS officials said.

The union said about 84 percent of its members voted in favor of the unification.

"This vote for unification is a vote for educators with both ChiACTS and the CTU to speak with a stronger collaborative voice for real educational justice for all of our students. It is our identity as public educators -- not our employers -- that defines us, and our overwhelming vote for unity affirms that charter educators are educators first, and servants of the public with a shared commitment to the futures of our students across the city," said ChiACTS Local 4343 president Chris Braehrend.

"The CTU supports union rights for all educators in Chicago, including charter teachers and students," said CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey.

The CTU will vote on the merger in the fall. An affirmative vote is required as part of the CTU's constitutional change process.
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