The expectation of a local teacher’s union in New Jersey is complete privacy during salary and benefit negotiations with the local school board, all the way through to the point where negotiations are finalized. That old-school practice is no longer acceptable, and eight members of the Ramsey, N.J. school board pulled back the curtain for local residents in February.
I’ll take one of these please. Another New Jersey teacher tries to take on Chris Christie and learns a thing or two about decorum. Watch the video while you listen and you tell me, is this really a teacher or a 1st grade student? Perhaps she’s been around kids a little too long. Read more
On Wednesday, the Senate overcame a filibuster for a bill that would send $26 billion to the states to “prevent teacher layoffs and help states with Medicaid costs”. The bill will now pass the Senate this week. As a result, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.) has quickly called all House members back from their “summer vacation” to a special House session set for next Tuesday so that the House can pass the same bill. Read more
In early May I wrote about an LA Times article on teachers being paid to do nothing while their fitness to teach is under review. Now the Associated Press is digging into 700 New York City teachers who spend their days in “rubber rooms” occasionally fighting about seating assignments.
I remember reading about this a couple of years ago. Now seems like a good time to bring it up again to see if there would be any backlash, and the Los Angeles Times has the story written by Jason Song. Teachers across California and in New York City are being paid their full salary and benefits – in some cases for years – while education bureaucrats try to figure out if they are fit to teach.
From the Times, with my emphasis in bold.
Every school day, [Matthew] Kim’s shift begins at 7:50 a.m., with 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell at his old campus rings at 3:20 p.m. He is to take off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, per a district agreement with the teacher’s union. At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school.
He has never missed a paycheck.
In the jargon of the school district, Kim is being “housed” while his fitness to teach is under review. A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.
Last week, Kim was ordered to continue this daily routine at home. District officials said the offices for “housed” employees were becoming too crowded.
Do read the entire article at the Times’ Web site. It also includes a video report.
Why? Union contracts. Previously, these teachers were assigned duties that did not involve teaching students, but district officials are…
…prohibited from assigning chores under the contract with the teachers’ union. Although there is no specific reference in the contract to housed employees, an attorney for L.A. Unified pointed to Article 9, Section 4.0, which defines the “professional duties” of a teacher, such as instructional planning and evaluating the work of pupils.
With no mention of photocopying, stuffing envelopes or answering telephones in the contract, the district and union have interpreted this provision as prohibiting clerical duties.
“Why would we denigrate [teachers] by forcing them to do something they’re not supposed to do?” said A. J. Duffy, who is now president of UTLA, adding that housed teachers are entitled to a presumption of innocence.
Look, either they are fit to teach or not. If not, they should find another job.
Would this work in the private sector? Hell no, unless of course your backed by the United Auto Workers, they too seem to get paid for doing nothing. These union contracts are unsustainable and destroying the productivity of this country.
As Malkin says…
Nice non-work if you can get it.