Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Politically Connected, Scandal-Plagued NYC Charter School Fires Teachers For Union Activity

It's stories like these that ought to convince people why union protections for schoolteachers are needed:

A scandal-plagued Queens charter school fired at least nine teachers Tuesday - via FedEx, union officials said.

Some of the Merrick Academy staffers who got the boot are chalking it up to a bitter contract dispute between the school and unionized teachers.

"If the board of the Merrick charter school is firing teachers because of union activity, then we're going to take all legal action against them," said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

Teachers at the Queens Village school voted to unionize in 2008 but they haven't reached a contract with Victory Schools, which operates the charter.

Gerald Karikari, chairman of Merrick's Board of Trustees, would not say how many teachers were fired and denied the layoffs were retaliatory. "At the end of the year, every teacher is evaluated on the way they performed," he said.

Kindergarten teacher Marjorie Berry, 60, one of the fired teachers, isn't buying it. "I was upset, because I put my heart and soul into these children and into the school," said Berry, who has taught at the school since it opened. "I just feel like I've been pushed aside like a piece of garbage."

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed documents from a politically connected architect who helped design Merrick's school building in an ongoing corruption probe of several Queens politicians, including Merrick founders Senate President Malcolm Smith and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks.

No reasons given to the teachers for the firings.

Notice given via FedEx.

The excuse given to the Daily News - teachers were evaluated for performance - is RttT/Gates Foundation generalized jargon that means nothing but always gets used in education deform propaganda.

And the teachers fired had voted to unionize.

Yeah, this is EXACTLY why union protections are needed.

The world Barack Obama, Mayor Moneybags, Bill Gates and the rest of the anti-union/pro-charter people want to bring is one where you get fired via FedEx with no reason given other than your performance has been evaluated and found wanting.

No details, no reasons - just you suck, bye-bye.

Maybe, just maybe, after a few more years under the corporate jackboots of Barack Obama and Mayor Moneybags, teachers in this city will realize we need an even stronger union to fight these pro-charter/pro-privatization/anti-union/anti-working and middle class politicians and business leaders.

As Brian Wilson once wrote, wouldn't it be nice...


  1. It's like when you whacked by the Mob: "It's nothing personal;it's just business."

  2. If you read The Godfather, I think later in the book someone says that actually it's all personal, no matter what they say.