COVID 19 has exposed the power of the teachers’ unions.
For parents, it has been an especially painful wake-up call. They have learned that public schools are not primarily for educating the next generation. They are all about supplying permanent lucrative employment for teachers who only work September thru June.
As never before, the teachers’ unions have shown their muscle. At every turn, at every level, they have fought against kids going back to school. Even the White House is scared of these unions. Just look at the fluctuating messages about classroom learning. While the Biden Administration implies that they want children back in classrooms, no action has been taken.
The same is happening locally. This week Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield) and Rep. Carol Doherty (D-Taunton) have filed “An Act to provide a retirement enhancement opportunity to members of the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System.” After a year of not teaching, these Bacon Hill lawmakers want to “enhance” retirement. Isn’t that the wrong message to be sending teachers at this moment?
Their bill would allow teachers to “purchase up to five years of service.” According to Velis and Doherty, this will help make room for new teachers. That’s right; they want to spend more money to get rid of bad teachers. The lack of common sense and backbone at the State House never ceases to amaze me.
If you really want to get rid of bad teachers, you abolish tenure. Like all of us in the private sector, let teachers keep or lose their jobs on merit.
Velis and Doherty are just the front men for this bill. The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) wrote the legislation “as a way to provide an early retirement opportunity for teachers who have struggled to adapt to the remote teaching model and those who are at high risk for COVID-19 and do not want to return to or continue teaching in-person.”
So if you don’t want to work, you can retire and add to the taxpayers’ already crushing burden of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities.
Why are Velis and Doherty shilling for the MTA? Of course, follow the money. Both Doherty and Velis received mega-support from this labor organization during last year’s elections.
The MTA spent $57,000 on independent expenditures for Doherty and 13 other legislators. That might seem like Bacon Hill chump change until you look into Mass Values. That PAC is financially supported by the MTA which spent $50,200 to help elect Doherty to a seat formerly held by a Republican. To give you perspective, $50,200 is the average amount spent to win a Massachusetts House seat.
Velis, also running in a formerly Republican district, was likewise lucky. The MTA spent $1.6 million on independent expenditures for Velis and 21 other legislators. He received roughly $73,650 in support. It must be great to have friends like the MTA at election time, but these friends expect benefits.
So now knowing what Velis and Doherty received from the MTA, do you think that they filed this bill “for the children,” as the pols always say, or were they indebted to the MTA?
I know that I am dreaming but let’s hope we can someday change the conflict-of-interest laws and that voters will start to question candidates/officials who are being financially supported by this union.