Apologists for Big Labor special privileges often suggest they are necessary to protect honest and hard-working employees. But do good employees really benefit when union bosses wield their monopoly-bargaining privileges to protect the worst of their colleagues?
An April 6 New York Daily News editorial and a follow-up commentary for Big Government by the Education Action Group (EAG), both linked above, illustrate how good teachers as well as schoolchildren, parents and taxpayers suffer when cynical government union bosses zealously defend the “right” of teachers of “highly dubious character,” as the EAG puts it, to remain in the classroom.
Case histories recently made public show that, time and again, New York City public school officials have tried to fire teachers against whom highly credible accusations of serious wrongdoing have been made, only to have United Federation of Teachers (UFT/AFT/AFL-CIO) union bosses appeal the decision to so-called “impartial” arbitrators, who ultimately gave the teachers their jobs back.
The EAG commentary cites several egregious examples:
Gym and health teacher Willie Laraque was charged with bending a male student over a desk, leaning in to him and saying, “I’ll show you what is gay.” The Daily News reports Laraque is back in the classroom after paying a $10,000 fine.
Norman Siegel, a high school teacher, was accused of pressing his genitalia against a female student’s leg. Siegel only received a 45-day unpaid suspension, “although the arbitrator found that the girl’s charge was likely true” and that Siegel “was previously accused of a similar offense,” the Daily News writes.
There’s also a case involving Edward Cascio, a gym teacher who accepted pornographic pictures from a student – of another student. Cascio was back at work after serving his three-month suspension.
The fact is, when teacher union chieftains like UFT President Michael Mulgrew succeed in keeping sexual predators in the classroom, the reputations of all education professionals suffer. Undoubtedly, Mr. Mulgrew’s “success” in keeping creepy teachers like Willie Laraque, Norman Siegel, and Edward Cascio on the job is a key reason why many of their dedicated and conscientious colleagues want nothing to do with the UFT union.