Recently a group of teachers represented by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) took a trip to Venezuela to visit with government officials and teachers and tour communes.
CTU was very clear this trip was not sponsored, supported or funded by the union. However, the group used CTU’s logo to fundraise, the union’s official Twitter page retweeted updates from the group while they were abroad and the group dubbed itself the CTU Delegation.
Upon their return to the United States, the four sang praises of the living conditions they observed and the Socialist, totalitarian regime running the country.
Sarah Chambers, an executive board member of CTU, enthused, “Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”
Chambers also said in a tweet, “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see 1 homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere.”
The international junket comes on the heels of the March 12 passage of the CTU Resolution to Oppose the Invasion of Venezuela, in which the CTU House of Delegates officially condemned and opposed the Trump administration’s efforts to influence the Venezuelan government.
Now, if you’re left wondering why a teacher’s union in Chicago is voting on meaningless foreign policy declarations, and teachers who have apparently never opened a history book are praising a man whom more than 50 nations have condemned as an illegitimate president for the starvation, brutalization and extermination of his own people, you’re not alone.
In fact, the Chicago Tribune reports heavy criticism from other union members who are appalled that four extremists would be allowed to use CTU’s platform to make such bombastic claims while claiming to represent the nearly 25,000-member union.
One teacher and fellow union member commented, “I’m appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour.” “(B)oth the resolution and the trip,” he continued, “reflect the personal politics and world view of (CTU) leadership and their inner circle, not the majority of rank-and-file teachers.”
Another teacher stated, “CTU has no business involving themselves in foreign policy,” and “I did not vote for this type of representation, nor am I comfortable (with) delegates supporting a dictator.”
Unsurprisingly, this is just the latest song on a broken record showcasing to the world how out of touch union leadership is with reality, as well as their own members.
For too long, unions have invested their time and resources in efforts that could not be further beyond their purview. The sentiments expressed above by the concerned members are all too common not just in CTU, but in every union.
Supposedly in the name of equality and inclusion, unions across the nation have used their platform to take a hard left by elevating and fighting for the most extreme viewpoints, leaving the majority of members feeling ostracized, ignored and ill-represented.
This lack of leadership and lack of understanding by leadership, is exactly why national union membership is at one of its lowest points in decades.
This is also why the Freedom Foundation’s message of individual liberty and being able to reclaim your voice resonates with so many people so easily. When public employees are told they have the ability to keep more of their own money in their pockets while simultaneously being able to separate themselves from leaders who allow themselves to be used as a public relations prop by a dictator who orders protesters run over with tanks, they can’t opt out fast enough.