Cheng helps West New York teachers continue contract battle with BOE


For the second month in a row, West New York teachers stormed the board of education meeting to demand a new contract – though they would’ve been silenced until the late hours of the night if not for the quick thinking of Trustee Matthew Cheng.


After a two-and-a-half hour award ceremony to recognize the teachers of the year in each school of the district, the board voted down (3-4) a measure introduced by renegade Trustee Matthew Cheng to open the floor for public comment.

This left the members of the West New York Education Association irate, prompting Cheng and fellow trustees Lorena Portillo and Steven Rodas (who all voted no) to threaten to walk out – rather than go to closed session and leave the teachers waiting.

In the event that the three board members would’ve walked out, their would no longer be a quorum and the meeting would have effectively ended on the spot.

Therefore, the previous motion was rescinded and the board unanimously voted to open the floor to public comment.

Anita Kober, the president of the WNYEA, had some visuals to drive her points home for the board. While over a dozen teachers addressed the board, West New York parents punctuated the frustration in the room by explaining their children’s struggles within the school district.

The board did not take any action on the teachers’ contract and the only response the public received was when Superintendent of Schools Clara Brito Herrera said she has nothing to do with contract negotiations.

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  1. Clara has some nerve sitting on a high horse behaving this way. No everyone is naive in who you really are and what you did. You’re a disgrace. But the bigger disgrace here is the administration. Elected school board or not, they all do what they are told from the idiots at town hall. It was bad enough when this stuff went on when the first group of clowns were in office… But it’s it truly disheartening to see a former board president, a teacher and the aide to a congressman allow this to continue. You are all a disgrace. Each and every one of you.

    Donald came in and although it looked like he was setting you fools on the right path, I guess a better deal came along and he now plays this great disappearing act leaving who in charge? Does anyone know? Then you bring in Watkins who couldn’t wait to run after her got a rude awakening of what’s really happening. Only to be replaced with Turner, the mold guy, whose only purpose was to stick hand in the pot and really stir it up. And finally you bring in Cryan. I can’t pass judgement because he hasn’t been around long enough but unless he has super powers, he should plan his exit, tonight.

    Employee morale is at an all time low. Hardly anyone wants to work, and the ones who do get nothing in return while the ignorant, nasty workers reap raises and special privileges. But I guess when the guys at the top can’t get out of their own way, this is what happens.

    Together We Can …. Really did! They drove what was left of a damaged WNY into the ground and in 2015 with the new team in place, you all have taken it to another level.

    But your leader is already looking to bail out to Cuba. Good riddance. I hope you take your slimy, dirty corrupt friends with you, back where you all belong.

    Band aides don’t fix abortions. And that what you have made WNY, an abortion.
    But it’s your abortion now. It has all of your names all over it. I hope you’re happy.

  2. Clara Herrera is the biggest hypocrite liar in wny. She takes her orders from Roque and totally controls the negotiations. Don’t believe there lies.

  3. Teachers follow the contributions to Roque from vendors and follow the money trail. You will see the waSTE of 100S of thousands of dollars for no reason. Why does are purchase orders processed and expedited for certain vendors by someone who has no authority to do so and this I CORRUPTION Is allowed. Why do certain family members of elected officials have no show jobs ????? where was the enforcer last night to shut down the teachers the convicted felon from north Bergen.

  4. Great recap. It was exciting to see Matthew Cheng dissent. I’m pretty sure it was Mejia who dissented with him, not Portillo, but I could be wrong. I disagree with the above statement about Clara. I feel at the end of the day she’s a good person and cares for her student body. She’s professional and respectful to others. It doesn’t benefit her in any way shape or form to enrage her entire staff. She is not the Board of Education nor a trustee nor has any say in contract negotiations. She will not get any less money if and when teachers settle. I’m sure if she could snap her fingers and fix the budget deficit she would. What leader wants to turn their backs on all of their army? My biggest gripe is as follows: how on Earth did the budget get in such disarray snd who can we hold accountable?

    • JG, if you think Clara is so respectful and professional, then you don’t really know her. She puts on a great show for the people, but lets not forget how she got there. On the back of Mayor Roque. If you don’t believe me, just look back at footage from those disgraceful meetings and protests. She was right there the whole time,Yelling and holding signs. She will not speak to or see any parents unless they have a connection to the mayor and treats her staff as if they are beneath her. As for your more important question on the budget. The budget got this way because of Clara’s mismanagement of the money. As one man stated in the meeting, the district created many unnecessary jobs bought vehicles carpeted offices and gave undeserving raises to friends. That is how the budget got t be where it is now. If you believe anything else you are mistaken. These people are controlled by the politicians and spin everything away from themselves. She does benefit from not giving the teachers the rise they deserve because it is the only way she could get out of the financial mess she has created. And again, you are mistaken, the superintendent has everything to do with negotiations, not only in WNY, but in every district in the state. Do some homework before you make ridiculous statements like that. So yes , I agree, you should hold the right people accountable, unfortunately for you, that is the superintendent. She is the worst I’ve ever seen in such a short time.

  5. this is what happens when the voters elect the Mayor’s puppets , the only person on the board at the present time the voters and teachers can count to look out for their interest is Matthew Cheng. The rest of the board is a disgrace. It’s time and long overdue to change who you want to represent you .

  6. I am addressing the dishonest approach to the teachers of our district by the administrators of our community. Hopefully you all know that your administrator in charge of the technology department, Yonarkis Estaveze, has received a $50,000.00 increase in pay when all of the faculty are striving for a desent contract negotiation. Mr. Yonarkis Esteveze has taken advantage of this outrageousness you all are having at this moment in time.