Joe Ocol

Joe Ocol

“I was a dues-paying member of the Chicago Teachers Union for more than 10 years, but I saw a lot of wrong practices pursued by union officials, which made me unhappy to be in the union.”

“When I filed grievances against my school principal, there were instances when the union didn’t stand up for me because of politics.”

“I also realized that the union has mandates that only hurt students. And this just does not make sense at all because the union is supposed to help teachers which help students, but instead they support the opposite.”

“The union has played too much politics that students and parents have to suffer out of these political games. I believe that the union’s unbridled use of its power needs to be checked. This is one reason I joined the lawsuit against Amendment 1.”

“I had a sad experience in the past when I needed union help and I was not helped, despite being a dues-paying member of the union. That experience made me realize that being in the union is about politics. There’s a political game in the way the union does things. When the union pushes for teachers to strike, it’s not fair for students and parents.”

“While it’s good to get salary increases or additional perks, why did they have to make the kids suffer for that? Why leave the classroom, go to the picket line, and neglect the students with no teacher? There’s no point being a teacher if there’s no students, and if you’re not teaching, why be with the union?”

“There are other ways to bargain, you don’t dangle the plight of the kids in a fight where kids and parents have to suffer.”

“In my opinion, the Chicago’s Teachers Union has become too powerful and it is becoming even more powerful. I fear that if Amendment 1 passes, the union will have limitless power. There must be checks and balances.”

“The union may be good and may have good intentions, but the people using the union — for their own political gain — are the problem. We need to have checks and balances on their power. You see, when both money and power are involved, politics becomes exponentially more powerful.”

“Of course, politicians use money and power to get union endorsements. If some union members don’t trust the politician endorsed by the union, their union dues are doomed. This is wrong. Where is freedom of choice in the union?”

“I don’t think we should allow an organization to be so powerful that its officials brazenly abuse their power. There must be checks and balances. I think there even ought to be a lifestyle check on all the top officials of the union. Is it true that one can become rich being a union official? Is this what this is all about, that there’s money in being a union official? If so, there ought to be a lifestyle check or an audit of these officials. And it’s about time.”

Joe Ocol
Chicago, Illinois

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