The Worcester Teacher’s Union (EAW) tabled their endorsement for a mayoral candidate last week when they could not reach a consensus. The two choices couldn’t possibly be more different.
City Councilor Michael Gaffney has stood up for teachers time and time again. Ever since the hippies started hijacking the conversation, this is what WPS teachers have had to deal with from the hippies:
- They’ve insisted that racism is prevalent amongst faculty at the Worcester Public Schools.
- They’ve insisted that white teachers cannot possibly teach students of color effectively.
- They’ve screamed and hollered that there are not enough teachers of color, and as a result we now have a $90,000 a year Chief Diversity Officer.
- They’ve steadfastly opposed a stronger police presence at North High School, even though several students, teachers, and principals were savagely assaulted by criminals in the building.
- They’ve aligned themselves with Lisa Dyer, and more than likely dictated the email she sent to her faculty calling one of her best teacher’s a racist for using the term “color-blind.”
- They’ve been forced to pass students along who have not done what was required to pass their classes so that their incompetent superintendent can point to a chart and brag about her graduation rates.
- They’re often unable to teach because principals like Lisa Dyer get pressure from their superiors not to suspend dangerous and disruptive students in order to improve Dr. Boone’s suspension rates.
- They’ve adamantly opposed cameras in schools, despite the fact that there were several gun incidents at Burncoat, Worcester Tech, and South High.
- They’ve had to watch as groups such as “Coming Together Collective,” Mosaic Cultural Complex, and Communities United Collective, have gotten special meetings with the mayor, city manager, and superintendent to share their views on school safety, while the opinions of teachers remain unheard.
- Teachers at North High School had to watch as Lisa Dyer was rehired, despite her fascist and incompetent reign of terror.
- Their social media pages have been monitored by Jen Roy, Clive McFarlane and others, to make sure they are not reading, liking, or sharing Turtleboy Sports – a blatant violation of their first amendment rights, on top of an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Mike Gaffney has worked to address all of these things for teachers. He has steadfastly favored an increased police presence, and rejected the premise that our teachers are incapable of doing their jobs merely because of the color of their skin. He has also been a vocal proponent of stricter and harsher punishments for students involved in violent incidents.
Meanwhile Joe Petty has done the exact opposite. He has continued to appease the hippies by giving Brenda Jenkins and Joyce McNickles special meetings, neither of which is qualified to speak about high school discipline. He steadfastly opposed a police presence in the high schools, despite threatening teachers with the police at a School Committee meeting. He has backed Melinda Boone 100% of the time, despite her gross and obvious malfeasance.
But worst of all for teachers, when Janice Harvey’s reputation was irreparably damaged after Lisa Dyer called her a racist in a schoolwide email, Joe Petty backed Lisa Dyer. Union president Lenny Zelauskus talked a big game initially, demanding that Lisa Dyer be terminated. Joe Petty obviously ignored this completely, and Lenny brought it up again at the next school committee meeting where Petty basically told him to shut the fuck up and sit down:
So after all that, you would assume that the teacher’s union has no choice but to support Gaffney right? LOL. Wrong. The EAW announced on Friday that they will be supporting Joe Petty.
Ya got that? The union, which exists to further the interests of their dues paying members, is giving money to the guy who has gone out of his way to fuck them every chance he’s gotten.
But here’s the thing. It’s not really the “union” that did this, it’s just Lenny Z:
Len Zalauskas, president of the Educational Association of Worcester, said a special nine-member union committee submitted online votes for the endorsement this week. He declined on Friday afternoon to say what the specific voting totals were.
The specific voting total was 5-4. And that’s only because when it was initially deadlocked 4-4, Lenny brought in a ringer. We have definitive knowledge that the initial vote was 4-3 in favor of Gaffney. He couldn’t let it go to a vote though, because Joe Petty would’ve torn him a new asshole. Lenny doesn’t exactly have a stellar background in the classroom, and going back to teaching is not really an option. He needs Joe Petty in office if he wants to get another no-show, bullshit job in the future. That’s why he donated to his campaign:
So there was no way he could let the vote go forward with Gaffney getting the nod. That’s when he called in a ringer. He added another teacher to the board, who he handpicked, and she brought the vote to 4-4. According to EAW bylaws Lenny would then act as the tiebreaker. That is REAL story of how Joe Petty go the “teacher’s” endorsement. If he has another story we invited him to come forward and name the teacher’s on the committee who voted for Petty. But we all know he won’t do that because we only report the truth.
But make no mistake about it, the teachers had absolutely no say in this. Despite paying dues for basically nothing, they do not have a say in which candidate their money would support. If you polled WPS teachers they would vote overwhelmingly for Gaffney, and they will do so in November. So this isn’t really the EAW’s nomination, it’s Lenny’s nomination.
So how can Lenny possibly justify this to the media? Here’s what he told the Telegram, because he was too gutless to email us back after we tried reaching out to him multiple times:
“We think he’s the best candidate right now to be the next mayor,” Mr. Zalauskas said of Mr. Petty, whom the EAW backed in the last election as well. As examples, he cited the mayor’s work in the past year in helping the city pass a school-friendly budget and supporting efforts like Worcester’s new recovery high school. But Mr. Zalauskas also knocked Mr. Petty for his and the school administration’s recent handling of staff and student issues at North High School.
Joe Petty is the “best candidate.” Ya got that? The guy who has gone out of his way to bend teachers over and make it more difficult for them to do their jobs, is the “best candidate.” Because apparently his opponent is Kim Jong-Un. That’s the only person Joe Petty could arguably be a better candidate than for teachers.
And how does supporting a “recovery high school” benefit teachers? Do you think teachers at schools filled with out of control gang members are thinking to themselves, “boy, I sure hope that recovery high school comes through.”
No, the most important issues by far in this election are safety and discipline, and Joe Petty has failed miserably in that regard. This past year it was North High School, but it could easily happen next year at Sullivan Middle, Forest Grove, or Doherty. Petty’s incompetence is a threat to teachers everywhere. But hey, no big deal right Lenny?
Mr. Zalauskas responded saying he supports “who I think is the best candidate,” and did not have any influence over the committee’s decision – “I don’t have any hidden agenda,” he said.
There it is folks. The person who “I think” is the best candidate. Not who the teachers think, but rather who HE thinks is the best. Lenny could give a fuck less about the teachers. That’s what is so disappointing about this. Because make no mistake about it, here at TBS, we are 110% pro-labor. Down with management. And here we have the head of a union, who collects a very generous salary despite not having to teach, and he’s going out of his way to disregard the opinions of the people he is paid to represent. He is nothing more than a puppet for Joe Petty.
Mr. Petty on Friday said he was “very pleased” with the EAW’s support.” It means a great deal to me, because teachers are on the front lines of working with our young people in this city,” he said. “And I’ve been working hard over the last few years to move the public schools forward.”
That might be the most Joe Petty comment I have ever seen. “I’ve been working hard to move the public schools forward.” What the fuck does that even mean? Ya see what I’m saying now? This is what he’s all about. Dumbass, meaningless cliches that do NOTHING to improve the working environments for teachers. Joe Petty is a useless empty suit.
The committee, which is comprised of volunteer union members picked by Mr. Zalauskas, had to table its initial vote on the mayoral endorsement a couple weeks ago, he said, because members couldn’t come to a decision at the time. Some on the committee had wanted to make no endorsement, he said.
Here’s another thing we found out about this committee – Janice Harvey wanted to get on it and Lenny went out of his way to make sure she didn’t get on. Her crime? Not being a supporter of Joe Petty. Ya got that? The most famous teacher in Worcester, one who needs the union more than any other because she essentially lost her job while the union stood by and did nothing, was denied access to a committee that endorses political candidates. She was just one of several teachers we spoke with who also said they tried to get on this committee and were denied.
And did we mention that School Committee members Tracey Novick and Hilda Ramirez have identical voting records as Petty. Novick and Ramirez didn’t get the EAW endorsement in June. Ya got that? The three of them have voted together on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE 100% of the time. The “EAW” said that Novick and Ramirez weren’t good enough. Petty though? He’s fine. It literally doesn’t matter how you vote or what you do while elected. Lenny will throw cash at you regardless.
The best part is the EAW’s Twitter account, which for whatever reason is under Lenny’s name. Because apparently HE is the union. He alone is the voice of 3,000 teachers, 1,500 of which live in the city and pay property taxes. He has a total of 66 followers:
Guess how many are teachers? The correct answer is 3. Ya got that? Three fucking teachers think their leader is worth following for news. Do other teacher’s unions do this too? Do other mid sized Massachusetts city teacher’s unions have their Twitter account tied to a lone individual? How bout Cambridge?
Nope. How bout Fall River?
Nope. Fall River even says that they are there to represent the “interests of students and teachers.” Worcester’s just says Lenny.
How bout Quincy?
Nope. But they do endorsements too, and when they do them, they speak for ALL the teachers in the QEA:
Cool. Like a real union!!
Even more telling are the people that Lenny chooses to follow with the EAW’s Twitter account:
A look, a hippie and a bunch of politicians who work against the interests of teachers. Harriette Chandler, Michael Moore, John Mahoney, and Jim O’Day all voted in favor of Chapter 222 funding. This funding requires schools to drastically cut suspension rates, primarily for students of color. And when you do that, you get North High School 2014-15. A school where dangerous students are kept in the classroom because politicians don’t let schools police themselves. This is who Lenny Z aligns himself with.
The bottom line is that teacher’s are basically in an abusive relationship right now. Every year their state, local, and federal government make it harder for them to do their job. They add more and more bullshit and give them nothing in return. They are forced to pay dues to the union, and then the union gives their money to politicians who fuck them over. This is why teacher’s get half of what police get paid. This is why cops get paid when they work details and teachers get jack shit when they stay after school or correct papers in their free time. Because their leaders are a bunch of self-serving assholes who kiss ass to politicians because they’re looking for a hack job when it’s all said and done.
I love WPS teachers, but if you don’t vote these two IDIOTS (Lenny and Petty) out of office, then you deserve everything that’s coming to you. Take your union back.