Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rhode Island Firings Strike DIRECTLY At Seniority System

In LA, the ACLU successfully sued to ban the use of seniority in determining layoffs in some schools.

In NY State, Mayor Bloomberg has had his paid state senate and assembly whores introduce bills that will end the seniority system as a basis for layoffs.

There are no guarantees the mayor will get what he wants on this issue, since the plan put into place to replace seniority is complicated and even some lawmakers in favor of ending LIFO for teachers have expressed reservations about the bills.

These are all shots at the seniority system, damaging but perhaps not completely fatal to it.


But the Providence, Rhode Island policy to fire EVERY teacher is fatal if the mayor and the city is allowed to get away with it:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- No matter how you slice it, the decision Thursday by the city School Board to notify Providence teachers that they might be terminated at the end of the school year strikes at the heart of their union contract's seniority system, school experts say.

Mayor Angel Taveras says that the decision he recommended to the board is strictly about balancing the city's budget.

He says that termination will save money because teachers who are dismissed and not rehired will not end up in a substitute teaching pool.

But David V. Abbott, the state's deputy education commissioner, said the difference between layoffs and dismissals is this: When a teacher is laid off under state statute, he or she is put on a recall list. Although that teacher is no longer working and no longer paid, that person exists in an employment "limbo." The teacher hasn't been actually dismissed.

If a job becomes available for which that teacher is qualified, that person must be rehired based on seniority.

"If you are laid off, you have the right of recall," Abbott said Friday. "You still have one stick in your bundle. If I'm dismissed, I'm out of work and I need to be rehired."

In effect, every teacher who is terminated has to re-apply for his or her job as would any new teacher entering the system.

As I pointed out yesterday, Rhode Island has become the union-busting, teacher-bashing laboratory for America, so forget about Wisconsin for a moment and focus your sights here:

If Mayor Taveras is able to get away with this move legally to fire EVERY teacher in the city and rehire whoever he wants to teach (i.e., the cheapest and the newest), then mayors and governors all across the country will be doing this stuff next year.

Yes, the Wisconsin battle is an important one for unions.

But this Rhode Island battle against teachers is even MORE IMPORTANT for teachers.

So Randi Weingarten, rather than issuing some jiveass comments about the move on the same day that she issues an AFT plan to fire teachers ought to be doing what her members want her to do - protect them against corporate scum like Mayor Taveras who seek to balance their budgets - budgets that were blown up by the Wall Street criminals who caused the financial crisis of 2007-2008, btw - on the backs of loyal, hard-working teachers.

Your ball, Randi.

What do you intend to do?

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