MTA Friend of Labor Award
Chicago Teachers Union
The Chicago Teachers Union is an organization of educators formed in 1937 and dedicated to advancing and promoting quality public education, improving teaching and learning conditions, and protecting members’ rights. But the CTU is more than that: It is a trailblazer for the common good. Before there was a Red for Ed movement, the CTU was already transforming public education through rank-and-file unionism. Because CTU members have been willing to put up a good fight for decades, students and educators have won improved schools, and neighborhoods have grown stronger. Under former President Karen Lewis, the CTU pushed back against school closings, radical disparities in school resources, and other policies that hurt students. This MTA Friend of Labor award makes special recognition in honor of Lewis, who died in February, but the CTU under President Jesse Sharkey continues to offer inspiration as the MTA continues its own advocacy in advancing antiracism and common good principles.