CLC-AFO, a Council of Local 504

At the general meeting on 17 Sept 2005, we adjuncts discussed affiliation with Local 504, and an election in October made that affiliation official. IFT’s Local 504, the Lake County Federation of Teachers, is a Gurnee-based Federated Local within the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Federated Local 504 consists of unions, like ours, that consolidate the housekeeping of their organizations and pool their resources. These unions (which are called “Councils” within Local 504) share the critical infrastructure of full-time staff, the building in Gurnee on Ambrogio Drive, and a smooth-running financial system. Each council remains entirely independent with respect to their bylaws, their organizations, and their negotiations with employers. Of course, Local 504’s is carefully supervised by an Executive Board, with representatives from your union in attendance.

IFT and Adjunct Unions

We are organized under the auspices of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. That is why your Membership Authorization Card mentions the IFT-AFT / AFL-CIO. The IFT’s support was one key to our organizing drive. The full-time CLC faculty belong to the CLC Federation of Teachers (CLCFT), Local 2394, IFT-AFT / AFL-CIO.

Where else does the IFT represent adjuncts?
The IFT represents adjuncts at 8 other Illinois state community colleges:

  • Blackhawk College (Moline)
  • Elgin Community College (Elgin)
  • Hartland Community College (Normal)
  • Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)
  • Parkland Community College (Champaign)
  • Richland Community College (Decatur)
  • Southwestern College (Belleville)
  • South Suburban College (South Holland – newly organized as of November 7th, 2004)

Across the nation, our national union, the AFT, represents over 50,000 adjuncts. Also, the IFT represents adjuncts at universities.

The IFT has a Community College Council
The IFT represents more employees of public universities and community colleges than any other union. The IFT Community College Council includes members at 34 of the state’s 48 community colleges.

What is the IFT?

The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents approximately 90,000 men and women across the state of Illinois. IFT members include elementary and secondary teachers, school-related personnel and support staff teaching assistants, clerks, secretaries and bus drivers, higher education faculty and staff, and public employees.

The IFT is an AFL-CIO affiliated union and a state federation of the American Federation of Teachers, an organization of more than 1.3 million education professionals, public employees and health professionals headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Since its beginnings in 1936, the IFT and its affiliated locals have had one common goal: to improve public education and public services for Illinois students and citizens. The Illinois Federation of Teachers continually seeks ways to improve public education, through innovative programs. Recognizing the need for continued training for union and professional development, delegates to the 2001 IFT convention voted to establish Union Professional Development centers to assist members to improve both their professional and union leadership skills, no matter what their job classification.

IFT Member Benefits

In addition to negotiating contracts, lobbying in the legislature and handling grievances, the IFT works to provide its members high quality consumer benefits and services to stretch your hard-earned dollar. At the national level, the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus program offers credit card, mortgage loan, insurance and other programs to help union families. The American Federation of Teachers offers AFT Plus, with additional discount programs for members. Member benefits may require dues payment, which begins when we ratify our first contract. If you have questions about a particular benefit, please contact us.

IFT Member Benefits Include:

  • Free $1 million Professional Liability Insurance
  • $25,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Policy
  • Insurance Discounts
  • Investment/Retirement Planning
  • Member Discounts
  • Personal Legal Services
  • Loan Services

Union Governance

The structure of our union is mostly determined by federal and state law, and the regulations of the IFT and AFT. Within those limits, we govern ourselves through bylaws and elected leaders. There are four elected officers and other elected delegates. Our bylaws can be found here