CTU ELECTION NEWS: Memo to Mark Ochoa! Be sure to let Mark Ochoa know what Mark Ochoa has been doing... Now you don’t see it, now you do; the case of the vanishing ‘treasurer’

No sooner had the nominating petitions for the May 21, 2010 Chicago Teachers Union election been distributed from the union’s Merchandise Mart headquarters on Friday, February 19, 2010, than five of the six caucuses had a competence issue to raise against the incumbent United Progressive Caucus (UPC) and its vice presidential candidate.

Nominating petitions for Chicago Teachers Union officers and executive board members began circulating on February 19, 2010, three months after the CTU membership voted in a referendum to abolish the office of treasurer (which has been held by Linda Porter, one of the critics of CTU President Marilyn Stewart). Despite the fact that the referendum was run by CTU Financial Secretary Mark Ochoa, the same person in charge of preparing the nominating petitions, Ochoa apparently forgot to remove "Treasurer" from one of the offices to be nominated. Substance graphic by a friend.The question being asked is simple: "Does Mark Ochoa tell Mark Ochoa what Mark Ochoa has been doing so when Mark Ochoa does something new he knows what he's done?" (Or something like that).

Those who have been following in the intricacies of CTU politics may remember that in November 2009, CTU president Marilyn Stewart rushed three referendums (referenda?) through a membership vote, claiming that the union had to save money and streamline. The referenda won. One of them was to abolish the office of treasurer, reducing the number of CTU officers from five (president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, and treasurer) to four (president, vice president, recording secretary, and financial secretary).

NO TREASURER! The fact that dissident union officer Linda Porter had been serving as treasurer, Stewart assured the union’s members, had nothing to do with abolishing the position of treasurer. It was, as the Board like to explain when closing schools, for “efficiency” — to save money and all that.

Current CTU Financial Secretary Mark Ochoa (above, during the February 10, 2010 protest against school closings outside CPS headquarters) was in charge of the November referendum to abolish the office of treasurer but didn't change the nominating petitions in time for the distribution of the petitions three months after the referendum. Ochoa is running for Vice President on the UPC slate. Substance photo by Garth Liebhaber. All that doesn’t explain why the Chicago Teachers Union has now issued official nominating petitions for the upcoming election listing, as one possible office for which candidates can be nominated, TREASURER. (See the petition with this article).

The complex process by means of which CTU nominates and elects candidates would make a Byzantine bureaucrat proud. But the question of competence arises alongside the question of efficiency. The candidate of Marilyn Stewart’s United Progressive Caucus (UPC) is the same guy whose office is in charge of the election process, Financial Secretary Mark Ochoa. Ochoa is also the guy whose office ran the referenda that resulted in the elimination of the office of Treasurer, so it can’t be argued that Ochoa didn’t know that there wasn’t going to be a “Treasurer” elected on May 21, 2010.

CTU treasurer Linda Porter (above right during the February 10, 2010 demonstration against school closings) has been working at the CTU offices without duties for a year since she was ordered to resign by lawyers hired by Marilyn Stewart and refused. Porter is now the candidate for President of the CTU on the slate of the Caucus for a Strong Democratic Union. Substance photo by Garth Liebhaber. Ochoa could not be reached for comment. There were nearly three months between the time of the referenda that eliminated Treasurer as an office in CTU and the day the petitions had to be distributed to those interested in running for office. Didn’t anyone tell Ochoa that Ochoa’s office had overseen the referendum that eliminated the Treasurer? And this is the guy that Marilyn Stewart is hyping as the union’s “Renaissance Man” (in the pages of a recent issue of the Chicago Union Teacher, the union’s official newspaper). We’ve seen Ochoa when he seems to have been talking to himself, but we can’t believe that Ochoa the Financial Secretary forgot to tell Ochoa the guy in charge of printing the petitions that the referendum run by Ochoa had eliminated TREASURER… 


February 20, 2010 at 4:42 AM

By: kugler

all i can say........... SWEET!

February 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM

By: Margaret Wilson

Retired teacher/parent

So will Marilyn now push through another referendum adding the treasurer position back into the officers and then they will be the only ones with a candidate?

February 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM

By: Danny

And another thing

After the brouhaha that followed the theft of a laptop computer containing teachers' social security numbers and other sensitive information, the CTU was instrumental in getting the Board of Ed to stop using our SS numbers on everything.

Why can't the Union do the same thing? Even though the BOE now uses a 9-digit "employee number" instead of the SS# on our paychecks and other documents, the CTU still asks for SS# on grievances.

According to the petition pictured above, signers must give the last 4 digits of their SS#. Heck, my credit card company uses that information as one way to identify me.

Frankly, I don't trust the CTU any more than the CPS in keeping my confidential information secure.

It's time for CTU to stop using our social security numbers, too!

February 22, 2010 at 10:12 PM

By: Gideon

Mark Ochoa an idiot. Thank you, Marilyn for running him for VP.

The only scary thing is..what if they steal this election and we get the two of them as the #1 and #2 of the largest local in the state?

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

3 + 1 =