(via the Illinois Federation of Teachers)
CHICAGO – It’s official! Arts educators and facilitators from The Second City - Chicago are celebrating today after the announcement by the National Labor Relations Board that workers have overwhelmingly (95%) voted to form a union, the Association of International Comedy Educators (AICE).
"From this day forward, our educators have an official means to work with management that parallels the impact they have on our students," said Taylor Walters-Chapman (she/her), a four-year acting program teacher. "We are so ready to build this new relationship in which the The Second City faculty, facilitators, and musical directors are instrumental in upholding the integrity of this institution and advocating for the next generation of talent and teachers alike."
The Chicago-based AICE members are now affiliates of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers/AFL-CIO.
“We are excited to welcome the incredible comedy educators from The Second City - Chicago into the Illinois Federation of Teachers,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery (he/him). “As members of the Association of International Comedy Educators (AICE) and IFT/AFT, these professionals will now have the powerful voice they deserve to make improvements in their workplace for themselves, their students, and the famed institution they love. It’s a win for everyone at The Second City.”
The Second City boasts stages and training centers in three cities, including the original Chicago location, as well as in Toronto and Hollywood. In February, more than 100 comedy educators in Toronto voted to join AICE and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) – Canada. On April 7, educators and facilitators at The Second City-Hollywood location also voted to join AICE and are now represented by the CWA, Local #9400.
In Chicago, AICE includes about 160 comedy educators who help students of all ages develop their skills in comedy improvisation, performance, writing, editing, and much more. Now along with their Toronto and Hollywood colleagues in one strong union, they’ll be better positioned to achieve their collective goals of guaranteeing equitable and just working conditions and establishing health and accessibility, diversity and inclusivity, fair compensation, and reasonable employment terms for all AICE members.
Since opening in Chicago in 1959, The Second City has produced hundreds of highly acclaimed performers and famous alumni, including Bill Murray, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Tina Fey and many others.
The Second City educators and facilitators began the organizing process last spring and have been coordinating their efforts between Chicago and the other cities.
"I am so proud of our faculty and look forward to creating a more inclusive, equitable, and antiracist environment at The Second City,” said Sarah Little (they/them), a five-year teacher of media literacy, film analysis, and screenwriting and a member of AICE’s Union Intersectional Justice committee. “We’re ready to get to work!"
Follow @AICEunion on Twitter and Instagram.