Director of Professional Issues : Illinois

Illinois Federation of Teachers
Illinois Federation of Teachers
500 Oakmont Lane
Westmont, Illinois 60559

Director of Professional Issues

Based in Westmont, IL

To Apply
Application is made by sending a letter and a current résumé to the attention of Barb Latta, at the address shown above or via e-mail at:, in both cases no later than August 28, 2020.


  1. Applicant must demonstrate expertise in a broad span of education issues, including but not limited to, a deep knowledge of the state’s education policy making structure, assessments, evaluations, curriculum requirements, special education, higher education, para-professional issues, career and technical education, and trauma informed practices.
  2. Applicant should have some knowledge of state agencies affecting education and other state education policy organizations such as ISBE, IBHE, ICCB, Advance IL, Stand for Children, Teach Plus, etc.
  3. Applicant must demonstrate highly accomplished interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills. Experience communicating directly with practitioners and/or their union representatives is preferred, and interacting successfully with staff, partners, other stakeholders, and the general public is required.
  4. Experience helping local unions build power through professional issue campaigns and/or training programs is desired. Significant teaching experience in preK-12 or higher education is strongly preferred.
  5. Applicant must be able to develop positive relationships with agency officials and staff, leaders from other education organizations, policy staff from other education labor organizations, and policy staff with IFT and AFT, local leaders and members.
  6. Applicant must possess an ability to plan and direct programs that will meet the long-range goals of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
  7. Supervisory or managerial experience is highly desired. A master’s degree or higher in education or a related field is required.
  8. Applicant must understand, recognize and support diversity and equity in the hiring processes of the IFT. Applicant should have a strong knowledge of diversity and equity-informed organizational practices and be able to successfully practice and incorporate them as a departmental and IFT leader.
  9. Applicant must possess the ability to speak to large and small audiences effectively.
  10. Applicant must exhibit a strong capacity for creativity and teamwork.
  11. Prior experience in planning and conducting meetings, workshops, and trainings is desired.
  12. Prior experience in and fluency with relevant computer software and programs is required (ex: Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, Google docs).
  13. Statewide, as well as out-of-state, travel will be required at times. Weekend and evening work will be required and expected when necessary.
  14. Residency and start date are negotiable.


  1. Follow the directives of the President/COO and the IFT Executive Board and reports directly to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the IFT.
  2. Serve as chief administrator of the Professional Issues Department and manage all department staff.
  3. Attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the IFT Executive Committee, the Executive Board and all IFT/AFT conferences (as required) and conventions.
  4. Participate in all IFT administrative meetings with the officers and other departmental administrators and works under the President/COO and with the administrative team to help plan and execute the IFT’s program and operations.
  5. Plan and conduct regular staff meetings. Supervise and evaluate all departmental staff.
  6. Fulfill the directives of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers conventions relative to union professional issues.
  7. Perform other and further duties as may be required by the President/COO of the IFT and the Executive Board.
  8. In conjunction with the President/COO and the Board, guide the process for the employment of all positions within the Department, supervise the selection process and make employment and retention recommendations to the President/COO and the Executive Board.
  9. Make recommendations for the development of the department budget and take necessary corrective action required to operate within the approved IFT budget.
  10. Assign, train, support and supervise IFT Professional Issues Directors to assure high quality professional issues work for locals, field service directors, and members.
  11. Oversee the creation, development and implementation of IFT member trainings on professional issues.
  12. Oversee updates to and implementation of the Union Leadership Institute (ULI) program.
  13. Analyze and coordinate professional issue resources from the AFT and external partners to maximize assistance to locals and staff.
  14. Keep well abreast of current trends and advise IFT officers and staff on state and national developments and decisions regarding education policy and professional issues.
  15. Assist other departments in the analysis and understanding of professional issues and developments and decisions regarding education policy and professional issues.
  16. Work closely with local/council leadership and staff to support members on professional issues and training.
  17. Manage, maintain and ensure the safekeeping of records related to the IFT’s role as a certified provider of Professional Development credits.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.

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