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Union History

The Cook County College Teachers Union, Local 1600, received its charter on December 1, 1965. Here you'll find a detailed timeline of Local 1600’s history. 

Read our special 50th Anniversary Edition of The Voice


Founding of Local 1600

Before the 1960s, none of our colleges were unionized. Tenure didn’t exist, management could determine work load however they saw fit and there was no grievance procedure to protect workers against unfair treatment. Prior to collective bargaining in our colleges, the administration would often “meet and confer” with groups of employees, agree to handshake deals, and then proceed to do whatever they wanted without consequence.

Everything changed starting in the mid-60s. A teacher’s union movement was starting to take hold in the country. In New York there was a historic teacher’s strike that resulted in an actual contract for teachers—something unheard of before. Here in Chicago, teachers and administrators took notice.


Classified Division History

In 1984, a law was passed in Illinois giving public employees the right to organize to bargain collectively.  Moraine Valley Classified was the first support staff chapter in Illinois to organize after the law was passed.  They were also the first support staff chapter admitted into Local 1600.  

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