Coinciding with a strike involving Chicago teachersthe first since 2012nearly 400 delegates and guests from around the state convened in Rosemont this past weekend to conduct union business at the Illinois Federation of Teachers ( IFT ) 2019 Convention.
Daniel J. Montgomery ( Local 1274 ) was re-elected to his fourth term as IFT president, while Stacy Davis-Gates ( Local 1 ) was elected as executive vice president and Jane Russell ( Local 571 ) was re-elected to a second term as secretary-treasurer. Also, 40 IFT vice presidents were elected to represent members in local unions across Illinois.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritkzer was the convention's keynote speaker. Besides thanking the crowd for its support, he advocated for the fair taxa proposed amendment to the state constitution that would alter the state income tax system from a flat tax to a graduated income tax.
IFT President Dan Montgomery gave a state of the union address that included expressing the statewide union's support for the Chicago Teachers Union. Montgomery also introduced a special order of business to honor former longtime CTU President and retiring IFT Executive Vice-President Karen GJ Lewis, who attended to accept gratitude from the IFT for her nearly 30 years of service.
Other speakers included U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, state Rep. Mary Edly-Allen and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Resolutions addressed on the floor included support for passing a fair tax, the importance of diversity in workplaces and unions, the need to address the state's teacher shortage, a committee to develop curricular supplements on LGBTQ+ contributions and history, and more.