Educators at BASIS Tucson North (BTN) voted to unionize Wednesday, making it the first Arizona charter school to do so according to the union’s organizers.

BTN voted by a 2-to-1 margin to unionize in a National Labor Relations Board election which ensures that teachers will have a say in determining future educational policies and indicates the growing national push to unionize charter schools.

“We respect the teachers at BASIS Tucson North and their right to vote on this matter,” said Phil Handler, Vice President of Communications at BASIS Educational Ventures. “We remain focused on the best interests of students at BASIS Tucson North, and making sure this school remains one of the best in Arizona and the nation. We will keep working hard to ensure that’s the case, while following the law and negotiating in good faith with the union.”

AFT-AZACTS (American Federation of Teachers Arizona) will represent the teachers at BTN, joining the approximately 12% of other charter schools in this country with unionized staff.

More than 240 charter schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia are represented by the American Federation of Teachers.

Its high time for Arizona charter schools to stop manipulating the right to work laws and taking advantage of our teachers, parents, and students. BASIS should be ashamed of their treatment of their teachers and eagerly welcome negotiating rights for their staff. Si se puede, said AFT-AZACTS President Ralph Quintana.

In order to assure more accountability, administrative transparency, and more resources and time to efficiently identify and address students’ needs, BTN educators will seek to negotiate a first contract with the school’s administration.

An 8th-grade Algebra teacher Justine Sleator said As a BASIS alumni and second-generation BASIS Teacher, I am so proud to be a part of this community. Our union will allow us to reprioritize the needs of our students. We will be able to protect new teachers from burnout and retain high-quality educators, as BASIS has been known for.

Duncan Hasman, 8th-10th grade Spanish teacher, said “I am indescribably proud of the Teachers and Teaching Fellows who decided to stand up for us and our students. Let this step help open the door for workers all across Arizona.