Mar 14, 2010
Another Raw Deal For DC's Returning Teachers !
DC's 266 laid off teachers got a raw deal earlier last year when they were terminated in November 2009 by the Rhee administration after school began. Given that lay-offs in our public schools have historically taken place at the end of the school year in June, rif'd teachers were hit with a double whammy of having to search for new jobs during a economic down turn after school had already begun.
An ousted teacher recently contacted me to say that she attended the March 12 meeting for laid off teachers with hopes of hearing some good news from our union president. This meeting was conducted by the Washington Teachers Union to address laid-off teachers appeals and legal matters, etc. One of the issues that was addressed in the meeting was that 10 to 12 rif'd teachers had been re-hired by DC schools according to George Parker, WTU President. I was alarmed to learn that these rif'd teachers were required by DCPS administration to sign a contract so that they could be re-hired as temporary teachers in at at will status (until the end of the school year in June). Other draconian conditions reportedly have been imposed to include: lesser pay and a clause which would subject them to immediate termination should they receive a poor IMPACT rating score, unlike their teacher counterparts.
It doesn't sound much like these teachers will be bonafide members of our union any longer and certainly they do not retain the due process and contractual rights of newly hired WTU teacher members. I can't help but wonder what WTU president George Parker is doing to address this matter. Unfortunately the WTU Executive board has not been apprised of this situation and discussions have not been held since no board meetings have been called in months by Parker.
Refusing to rehire certified and qualified teachers in regular full time teaching positions while scaling back employee rights certainly will harm retention of teachers and future recruiting efforts. Ultimately it will have an adverse impact on our union membership. Perhaps that's the point. As I see it, this ongoing torrent of abuse inflicted upon DC's teachers is just another raw deal.
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson - blogger in residence