You know what they say about birds of a feather.
Something like that’s happening on the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education.
On Oct.12, the school board appointed former board member Richard Pento to the seat recently vacated by James Kane, who no longer resides in the district.
The significant thing about Pento’s appointment is not the fact that he’s a former member of the board, but the fact that he’s married to a teacher who works at Liverpool High School.
Eight board members voted unanimously to welcome Pento back into the fold despite his defeat in last May’s election. Of those eight, five have ties to district teachers.
Two-thirds favor teachers
Now with Pento added, six out of nine board members have good reason to favor the powerful and arrogant United Liverpool Faculty Association.
Last spring that union, which represents 1,000 district employees, flatly refused to accept a wage freeze to help offset the $5.7 million budget gap then facing the school district. No, the teachers wanted their money, and they wanted it now. ULFA cares nothing for the taxpayers who bear the burden of higher levies even while struggling to feed their families during this endless recession.
Now contract-talk season has rolled around again. ULFA’s new president, Rich Funnell, must feel pretty confident of finding sympathetic souls on the other side of the table this fall. The current school board includes two retirees who are still ULFA members, one with a son who is a substitute music teacher in the district and three with spouses in the union, including Pento.
Get the picture?
Birds of a feather flocking together. And taxpayers get pecked to death.
Union boss gets raise
On Veterans Day the Albany Times Union reported that New York State United Teachers union officials in Albany recently rewarded themselves with lucrative raises. NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi received a 23 percent increase of $44,808 increase – more than the salary of many teachers laid off in recent years – to an annual salary of $240,180. With benefits including use of a vehicle, Iannuzzi s compensation package totals $345,987. And yes, that comes out of the mandatory dues of teachers. No wonder they keep asking for higher wages.