Flaherty Accuses School Department of Lying About Teacher's Contract, Wants to Rescind $744,000 in School Funding

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Interestingly, despite Flaherty's insinuation that the terms of the new contract were purposefully withheld from public knowledge until September 1, Google's cache shows that a memorandum of agreement between the WEA and the City has been on the WEA website at least since August 23rd, 02:46:31 GMT. Although Flaherty says he had no knowledge of increases in longevity benefits, the memorandum posted on the WEA's website makes it clear that this was the terms of the agreement. Flaherty claimed that one line item in the budget amounted to a cost of "$8400 per person over the life of this agreement to get a $300 furlough day [concession from the teachers]."

City Councilors Peter Miller and Richard Onofrey rebuffed Flaherty on his motion to suspend the rules, essentially arguing that even if his accusations were true, the City Council does not have the right to insert itself into the collective bargaining process. City Councilor Mary O'Connell appeared to support Flaherty's efforts.

If Flaherty were able to muster enough support to pass a measure to rescind the money, it would once again throw the school department into chaos once again and undoubtedly lead to layoffs. It has been the position of Save Westfield Schools in the past that the withholding of school department funding by the City Council in order to extract concession from the teachers is a dangerous and reckless action. We here at Save Westfield Schools will do everything we can to ensure this does not happen.