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Teachers at Another Chicago Charter School Want a Union

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Teachers at another Chicago charter school have decided to form a union.

For many the whole idea behind charter schools is they’re free from union work rules and able to innovate. Many charter schools offer a longer school day.

SOROCK: We knew we were going to be paid less and that the hours would probably be more demanding, but we thought they’d be exciting places to work.

Alexa Sorock is a teacher in the ASPRIA Charter school network, where two-thirds of staff have signed union cards.

SOROCK: We don’t feel like we have enough of a voice in creating the innovative environment we’ve in.

ASPIRA runs three high schools and a middle school on the city’s northwest side. Last year teachers at a separate charter became the first in Chicago to unionize.

The organizing efforts come as teachers unions, and provisions like tenure, are being blamed nationally for blocking school reform efforts.

One estimate says 12 percent of charter school teachers nationwide are now in a union.

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