Learn More About Homer "Chip" Markel
I graduated from Trico High School in 1978 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy where I celebrated my 18th birthday in bootcamp. While in the Navy, I served on the Air Craft Carrier USS Midway stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, and the USS Norton Sound stationed in Port Hueneme, California. I received an Honorable Discharge in July 1982.
Upon discharge from the Navy, I was employed as a boiler technician at the Sikeston Power Plant in Sikeston, Missouri. During that time, I was a member of IBEW Local 702.
In November 1985, I began my 26.5 year career in the Illinois Department of Corrections when I was hired as a Correctional Officer at Menard Correctional Center. I transferred to Tamms Correctional Center in April 1995 and eventually promoted to Lieutenant, Captain, and Major where I served as Chief of Security. I retired from IDOC as a Major in January 2012.
During my career with IDOC, I was active in both AFSCME and ISEA/Laborers unions.
While at Menard Correctional Center, I served as the Union President of AFSCME Local 1175 from 1988-1994. In addition to many successful contract negotiations, I was instrumental in the establishment of Tamms Closed Maximum Security Facility. In working closely with the late Representative Terry Deering, AFSCME Council 31 and IDOC Administration, we successfully lobbied Governor Jim Edgar and the Illinois Legislature in recognizing the need for such a facility to address the safety and security concerns within the Illinois Department of Corrections.
While at Tamms Correctional Center, I was a union steward and contract negotiator for ISEA/Laborers Local 2002 which included the initial contract between ISEA/Laborers and the State of Illinois. This initial contract established the wage scale, workplace rights and benefits for Majors and many other supervisory positions.