Aug 16, 2009
The Proposal To Sell Out DC Teachers
Did AFT Prez Randi Weingarten and WTU Prez George Parker Cut A Deal With Rhee ? Guess what an insider told me about teacher contract negotiations. If it is true then only some teachers will be celebrating. This proposal could wipe out a 'significant share of our teacher workforce' through buyouts. (Sound familiar to Rhee's five year education plan which promises to get rid of a significant share of DC's teacher work force. ) It seems that AFT President Randi Weingarten, WTU George Parker and the WTU (Washington Teachers' Union ) negotiation team have agreed to a teachers contract proposal with Chancellor Michell Rhee. A recent letter to WTU members indicates that Rhee is trying to determine whether this contract proposal is financially feasible during these cash strapped times.
According to my inside source, teachers with a minimum of 20 years of experience in DC public schools would be afforded an 'early out' to retire with full retirement benefits. This would be the deal breaker and would be unprecedented. I imagine if the money is approved then many highly qualified and experienced teachers not yet eligible for retirement would walk out the door and leave our school system. Can anyone blame them ? For those who remain, this news would come as just another sorry reminder of how our labor union has failed to protect all of its members. It also would confirm what New York teachers have been warning us for a long time that AFT President Randi Weingarten is promoting her sell-out tour nation wide. The implications of this type of teacher contract proposal if approved by the WTU membership would have devastating national implications.
Mutual consent would be a component of this teacher contract proposal. This was confirmed by AFT President Randi Weingarten during the spring of this year. Mutual consent or mutual agreement simply means that if a teacher is excessed from a school and could not get a principal to hire them- they would not have a job. Basically in a nutshell, you need mutual consent of the principal in order to work. According to Ed Notes On Line blogger "Excessed NY teachers stay in their schools and work as subs. They have to get paid full salary but are not placed. They have to find their own jobs.They are vilified if they don't find a job on the open market system which is where you are heading. There is a feeling they become targets to be sent to rubber rooms especially if they are senior and high salaried. "
Giving principals this type of absolute power involved with mutual consent will be devastating for any remaining teachers in DC. So I am told that our mutual consent WOULD NOT have the benefits of the NY public school system. Given that we have many teachers who are excessed yearly, they may be given a year to find a new teaching position. If unable to find a new position then technically they would be out of a job or be forced to retire if eligible. It would lead to a revolving door workforce of teachers and related school personnel. I can only imagine that Chancellor Rhee is thrilled at the prospect of such a contract proposal. If funded, it would not be in the best interests of our students. Certainly it would discourage career teachers from applying to our school system. Under this proposal, I believe that new teachers would never make twenty years in our school system as many will eventually leave or be excessed or eventually be fired under Rhee's new evaluation system with the assistance of willing principals and master teachers and our infamous 90 day termination plans.I find all of this disgusting and disheartening. Our union may be "working" for some but it isn't working for all its members. What a way to begin a new school year.
Posted by The Washington Teacher