WESTMONT – IFT President Dan Montgomery released the following statement today upon the House passage of House Bill 2778, establishing COVID wage and benefit protections for education employees.

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“Our union thanks the many thousands of IFT members who took action this week. By contacting their lawmakers and making their voices heard, they made the overwhelming passage of this legislation happen.

“We also thank bill sponsors Senator Chris Belt and Representative Janet Yang-Rohr and all the House and Senate lawmakers who voted for this critical legislation to help educators and staff in K-12 schools, public universities, and community colleges.

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“House Bill 2778 provides paid time off for teachers and staff who must quarantine when they or they children are sick with COVID or have been exposed to COVID. It also ensures that non-instructional staff do not suffer loss of pay if they are unable to work remotely when their school is closed or switches to e-learning.

“The overwhelming passage of House Bill 2778 demonstrates support for basic fairness for all education employees statewide. At the same time, it promotes economic recovery and ensures that schools are safe for those who learn and work in them.

“We urge Governor Pritzker to sign this legislation immediately on behalf of our members and communities.”

The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.

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