“I have been a teacher in the Rockford-Machesney Park area for 23 years. Just six years ago, I was on my union’s negotiating committee. That is when I began to see just how little the union had to do with the students and how much it had to do with politics.”

“During my time on the committee, I learned that nearly 70% of my union dues were going to political activists – told to me directly by a member of the executive board – and had nothing to do with education in the classroom or anything at all to do with teaching.”

“These comments sparked my skepticism of the union. The union is here to push the political agenda of the left, using your money.”

“Since that time, I have seen colleagues pushed out of the profession for trying to hold students accountable and refusing to give passing grades to teens to make the failure rates look better. I have seen grades literally being changed, and having staff members told to sign off, and if they refused being basically shown the door.”

“The union’s response was to ask the staff member why they wouldn’t just cooperate.”

“I have also been witness to staff being verbally harassed for their personal beliefs by administration and other teachers and the union does nothing.”

“Freedom of expression is not a priority of the union.”

“My final straw was this past summer. I had completed some graduate credits to move up on the pay scale and had the coursework approved in advance by the district. Once I had taken the coursework and turned in my transcript, I received notification it would not be accepted by the district. I contacted the union president and was told the university was no longer deemed accredited by our district and that I could have my tuition money refunded.”

“There was no discussion of fighting for my credits or even discussing the time I had spent completing the work, even though I had been pre-approved.”

“I was done with the lack of support from the union.”

“I now know four more people in my district that will be leaving the union next August when eligible.”

“I would encourage anyone currently thinking about leaving to do so, as you can find many ways to better spend hundreds of dollars when you could get much better support.”

Brian Harty
Math teacher
Rockford, Illinois