FILE - Illinois Rep. William Davis

In this Thursday, May 15, 2014 file photo, Illinois Rep. William Davis, D-Homewood speaks on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. 

(The Center Square) – A bill passed the House that would amend the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act to allow Chicago Public Schools principals to unionize.

House Bill 3496 passed through the Executive Committee by way of a 9 to 5 vote and has been scheduled for a second reading. State Rep. William Davis filed the bill. It has gained 16 co-sponsors.

The bill would amend a state labor law that prohibits any person in a managerial position from joining a union. President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association Troy LaRaviere said passage of the bill was important because policymakers usually miss things principals will see at the bargaining table.

"When school district officials create policies they often can not see unintended negative consequences that Principals could see if they were at the table. In Chicago however, Principals are not at that table," LaRaviere said.

Those in opposition to this bill include Matt Lyons, who is the chief talent officer for Chicago Public Schools. Lyons said that the bill would not give the principals the voice they want.

"We know that there is a lot of frustration and fatigue that is widespread and those are challenges that must be addressed, but this legislation does not do it," Lyons said in the Executive Hearing.

State Rep. William Davis said the bill is "vital in terms of getting representation at the bargaining table."

"Our effort is not necessarily intended to start a trend, ours is about supporting those individuals who have been left out of the conversation," Davis said when asked if principals in other districts should be allowed to join unions.

House Bill 3496 has passed through the executive committee with a 9-5 vote and is scheduled for a second reading.

Staff Reporter

Andrew Hensel has years of experience as a reporter and pre-game host for the Joliet Slammers, and as a producer for the Windy City Bulls. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University and Illinois Media School, Andrew lives in the south suburbs of Chicago.