Oct 10, 2009
21 Teachers Laid Off From DC's Ballou Senior High School
Where is our WTU President when we need him ?
Pictures are two of a series of photos taken at Ballou Senior High School to document OSHA complaint. As I have stated four of our Washington Teachers Union (WTU) board members were laid off in this recent reduction in force. One of them is Robert Willis who was not only a WTU Executive Board member but also a WTU Building Representative for Ballou Senior High School teachers and related school personnel. My understanding is that Robert and Ballou teachers were instrumental in filing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaint about the hazardous conditions at Ballou. Perhaps advocacy of these Ballou teachers contributed to their recent layoffs . Certainly from where I sit these layoffs had nothing to do with performance as Mayor Fenty suggested but more to do with teachers who were outspoken and advocates for students, teachers and schools. Here's to you Robert and Ballou teaching staff as well as former union reps. for working to make Ballou a better school over the years!
Here is an October 10 email that I received from a teacher colleague from Ballou who recently was laid off.Candi: I just wanted you to know that DCPS is still RIF'ing teachers at Ballou SHS. I heard from one of my colleagues yesterday that she also was RIF'd. The count is now 21. " Anonymous Teacher- Ballou SHS
I am gravely concerned that the WTU lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of laid off teachers by WTU Prez George Parker has not been made available for review. Unfortunately to add insult to injury our October 10th WTU Executive Board meeting has been cancelled by Parker. It is also troubling that in the October 8 WaPo article, Parker does not present as a strong leader who is transparent and forthcoming about what has happened to DC teachers. It is hard for our members to have faith in Parker when the press quotes him as saying: "Parker was not completely conversant with its contents when he spoke to reporters after briefing teachers at Metropolitan AME Church on M Street NW. He first claimed that "at least half'" of the fired teachers are 45 or over" but minutes later said that they might be 35 or older." Now is not the time for Parker to continue back peddling and seem unclear about the facts. The WTU has to be ready go into attack mode or risk losing a significant share of its membership. I like a lot of other union members are wondering whether Parker is up for the job.
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson blogger in residence