Friday, May 13, 2011

Why A4E Should Support Seniority

If you think about it, no one outside of Bloomberg's circle or his media buddies thinks layoffs are a good idea. Governor Cuomo is against them. So is the city council, headed by Christine Quinn. So are the people of New York with some skin in the game; only 25% of adults with children in the public schools think Bloomberg is doing a good job.

Of course, the exception is Asshats4Education. Oh, sure, they say they are against layoffs, but in truth, they are only concerned about who gets laid off, and not how many. Privileged trust fund babies like Evan Stone and Sydney Morris, who don't even have full time jobs and never achieved tenure themselves, are carrying the mayor's water on this issue. Stooges like Ruben Brosbe and Michael Loeb are willing to do the dirty work of vilifying the union in the hopes that the billionaires will let them eat a few crumbs from their filthy lucre. These backstabbers are only too willing to grab their ankles for the mayor. Their motivation is obvious. But what about the rest of the the "members"?

I don't believe even for a minute that A4E has 1600 members. What they have is 1600 "likes" on their Facebook page. Given how much press they have gotten, it's actually kind of embarrassing for them to only have 1600 likes. I could create a page called "Naked New York Goat Wrestling" tomorrow and get that many likes.

Still, we can't ignore the fact that there are, perhaps, a few hundred teachers who really drink the Asshat Kool-Aid. It's easy to see why. They are afraid of losing their jobs, and A4E seems to be reaching out to them in a way that the UFT has not. Our union needs to point out to these people, and other newbies who may be feeling the same way, that keeping seniority is in their own interests as well. Here are some points they should make:
  • A change to the "LIFO" law will guarantee 6,000 lost positions and a commensurate increase in class sizes. The mayor's idea all along has been to gut seniority so that he can fire high priced veterans and eviscerate the pension system by making sure no one ever gets that many years in. If he gets his way, he will, without a doubt, carry out every single layoff he has promised--not only this year, but every year in which he can phony up a financial crisis (remember, we currently have a 3 billion dollar surplus). If seniority stays in place, the number of layoffs will decrease dramatically--perhaps to the vanishing point. The city council will restore most, if not all, of the funding to stave off the layoffs.
  • What the mayor wants is to change the layoff rules entirely. He wants the power not to just lay off senior teachers, but to fire them without due process. Once he gets that power, all bets are off. In contrast, if seniority rules are maintained, those laid off will be asked back according to seniority in the system. Will it suck to be unemployed for a time? Of course it will. But you will be hired back by a system that still has due process in place. Without that, you can rest assured that you will be fired at some date in the future. The mayor wants an at-will workforce. If you support the mayor, you may keep your job for a while, but you will lose it permanently as soon as you begin to make a decent living, piss off a principal, get a low TDR score, or your boss wants to give your job to his son-in-law.
  • The mayor doesn't want to lay anyone off. His education numbers are in the toilet, and his general poll numbers aren't far behind. If he lays teachers off, he will likely become one of the most hated mayors of all time, and he knows it.

The Asshats at A4E aren't doing anything noble. If they get their way, teaching will become a profession that no one will want to pursue. That's not going to benefit the children, but you can bet Evan and Sydney will profit.



ed notes online said...

While I generally agree I also think A4E is tapping into some level of resentment even by senior teachers towards some of the people in their schools who are shirkers, lazy, principal suckups who get gigs, always looking for an edge even if they screw their fellow teachers -one guy in my school - a sort of friend and a great teacher - would do anything to get the top class and step on anyone along the way. Or the guy who did 3 lunch hour gigs so he could leave at 1PM thus forcing all our preps in the morning.

And then there are always people who just are lousy teachers and if you follow them the next year you get screwed. Now we will see people playing all sorts of games to get good scores. Imagine if the guy before you cheats his way to a high value-added score and you get stuck holding the bag next year. I know I had some resentment towards certain people and wished the admin would do something - not fire them but light a fire under their ass.

These conditions exist and A4E is using the argument to end LIFo whrn in fact if they did, guys like you or me would go first for daring to speak out.

Chaz said...

E4E are simply fifth columnists and a stooge for Blommberg.