Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bloomberg Loses Out On Eliminating LIFO On His Terms. However, Do The Teachers Lose In The Long Run?

In what is a major (and expected) defeat to Mayor Bloomberg. His court jester, Jonathan Bing's bill is "dead in the water". Shelden Silver has publicly stated that the Assembly will not take up the bill to end seniority-based layoffs for "last in, first out" (LIFO) in this session. That effectively puts an end to Bloomberg's attempt to get rid of teachers that he does not like. To make matters worse for Bllomberg, the Governor Andrew Cuomo, has also rejected the Bloomberg proposal and proposed his own teacher evaluation process that mirrors RttT. There is little doubt that the Mayor is upset that he could not get what he wants. The question now is what will the Emperor, Mayor4Life Michael Bloomberg do now?

Unlike Providence Rhode Island he cannot fire the entire teaching staff. New York State law is much more stringent than Rhode Island's when it comes to mass firings. The New York State Civil Service Law is iron-clad when it comes to this. Any civil servant will be rehired based upon a seniority list, no exceptions, Therefore, Bloomberg can fire all the teachers but will be required to rehire them based upon seniority. This draconian approach might encourage some teachers to leave the profession but not many and It will cost the City millions of dollars to implement only to eventually not achieve its desired purpose. I truly believe that if Bloomberg actually does issue layoff notices to the entire NYC teaching staff it will backfire in his face as parents, educators, politicians, except for his court jester, Jonathan Bing, will be up in arms and any support he might have will vanish both in the City Council and the State Legislature.

The next question will he actually layoff the "newbie teachers"? The short answer is no. We all know he has the money to avoid layoffs. Bloomberg has a 3.1 billion dollar surplus this year and we all know that his 3.6 billion dollar deficit for next year is not real. The only question is will the Mayor simply say that he found money to avoid layoffs? Or will he issue layoff notices to the "newbies" only to rescind them during the summer and risk losing some of them to other school districts or other professions. My guess he will do the latter since he loves the attention he will get by issuing layoffs only to rescind them based upon his great management style and what is best for the children.

The real question is what happens to LIFO in the future. It is highly likely that LIFO as we know it will be gone by the next Presidential election and it was disappointing how the entire Republican Senate voted for eliminating LIFO for New York City. The unions should eventually make the Republicans and those two treasonous Democrats pay for their blatant effort in destroying LIFO for New York City teachers as the first step in dismantling public worker Civil Service protections in New York State. As for the UFT and NYSUT, they should do whatever it takes to make sure that the teacher evaluation system is fair and unbiased and not just a "fig leaf" for vindictive Principals to remove teachers they don't like.

It is time that the New York State unions use their tremendous power to let politicians know there are consequences to voting against Civil Service protections and those consequences can lead to their losing the next election. To the Republicans who voted for this political travesty by Bloomberg, I will do everything in my power to see you removed from office and of course that goes for those treasonous Democrats that voted for the Emperor's favor over their constituent's needs. We need to fight Bloomberg and his political whores every step of the way to ensure we keep our Civil Service protections and "due process" rights.


Anonymous said...

He will not layoff the newbie teachers it would kill his small school initiative. But could you just see many senior teachers. atr's bumped into small school fiefdoms ruled by CEO, academy neophytes. The thought of it and the numerous grievances and upheavel would be too much for Bloomy and Black to imagine. No layoffs and he will look like the bully he is.

Anonymous said...

First, what do you consider a “newbie”? There are teachers in my school that have been teaching in the NYC system for 5 years that are in risk of losing their jobs or having to be assigned to another school. Please don’t pretend this is only affecting teachers that have been around for a few months. The youngest teacher in my school will be completing his third full year in June. He should be receiving tenure not a pink slip. I believe when you refer to “newbies” you are talking about any teacher that is younger than you that doesn’t buy into the union BS.

Second, have you read Cuomo’s and/or Bloomberg’s proposal? Cuomo’s is based of this BS rating system of highly effective, effective, developing, or ineffective. That rating system is completely up to the principal and the principals will pick their favorites. That evaluation system will lead to favoritism by the principals and tension among teachers.

Is Bloomberg’s proposal much better? It is not much better but it is better. His system includes this BS rating system but also including items such is absenteeism and lateness. This is my fourteenth year teaching and I have only been late to school 4 or 5 times and have never been sick for more than 2 or 3 days in any given school year. It drivers me crazy to see the same teachers come in late everyday. These teachers are also the same teachers than use every single sick day allowed every single year. School starts at the same time everyday, how can someone be late continuously? Things happen; traffic accidents, weather, etc but it is not acceptable for any teacher to be late to school 3 or 4 days a week every week. GET OUT OF BED EARLIER! Please also note that these are the same teachers that are walking out the door with the students. We all have these teachers in our schools; I know I have never taught in a school that does not have at least a few of these teachers. Lateness and absenteeism should be considered during evaluations and teachers that are continuously late should be the first to go.

I agree that Bloomberg has gone power crazy with these layoffs. I do believe he will layoff teachers just to make a point; he doesn’t care because this is his last term and he has a huge ego. Just be careful what you wish for. Your great and powerful DEMOCRATIC Governor is going to implement a BS rating system that is inferior to the one “Emperor Bloomberg” has proposed and we teachers are going to have to live with it.

I believe LIFO should be eliminated but my issue is that neither of these systems are the correct rating system. The Union and you Chaz can waste all your time and energy going after the republications that voted against LIFO but you are fighting against the tide. LIFO is something the public wants to see removed and in my opinion should be removed. The Union and it’s supports are much better off focusing their energy on working with the Mayor and Governor to come up with a fair system to replace LIFO.

I believe the Union will never work with Cuomo or Bloomberg to develop a system to replace LIFO and that Cuomo’s system will go into law for the 2011-2012 school year. Chaz, I hope you are friends with your principal because if you are not you might be rated ineffective and be the first one out the door in June of 2012. I look forward to your goodbye post in June of 2012 thanking your DEMOCRATIC Governor.

WTF said...

Anon 2:51 - Please tell me why you must mention the teachers who leave with the students. Do you think they should stay later if they are not involved with an after school program? My first few years I came to work at 6:30 AM and stayed until 5 PM. I use to be dedicated and loyal to my principal. Those days are gone. I do not need to hang around any longer to listen to the lies and deceitful undertakings of an administration unwilling to back their own teachers. Yes, I agree that teachers who are constantly late should be reprimanded with a file letter after a counseling memo. Contractually, we have ten sick days. It is one's choice to use them or not. You also come across as extremely frustrated with the system, yet choose to opt out of what the majority is fighting for. You need not chastise Chaz for his opinions...keep that for teachers' cafeteria gossip. Not many have survived what Chaz has, let alone his willingness to tell it as it is. Pick yourself up from your bootstraps, regain some of that courage you my have lost, and fight the good fight. I think you really might have some good things to share.

Anonymous said...

I mention the teachers who leave with the students because almost always they are the teachers that come in with the students or later than the students. I work in an elementary school and any elementary teacher knows that classrooms get messy and disorganized very quickly. I have an unbelievable class who are all extremely intelligent, well behaved and eager to learn but even they make the classroom a little messy by the end of the day. I take pride in my job and in my classroom. If you come in with the students and leave with the students you have no opportunity to keep your classroom looking good and to keep your bulletin boards fresh and up to date. You are correct, when I was you and I can in extra early and left extra late. I now try to come in 30 minutes before I have to go down stairs to get my class and I am normally in my classroom for 15-20 minutes after I walk them out. Every few weeks I stay late to update my bulletin boards and give the room a good straightening. Many teachers do not take pride in their classroom or in their teaching profession. This is my biggest issue not Bloomberg. If you don’t take pride in what you do go do something else, students only deserve the best.

I apologize but I have never bought into any of the Union stuff. If they wanted to take away tenure and LIFO, I say good please have it. I am a very good teacher who truly enjoys what I do. If I am not appreciated in the school I am currently in, I would prefer to go to a school that will appreciate me. Am I best friends with my principal or administrators? No. I am cordial with them and I do not think they are planning stuff behind my back, I am not paranoid. My principal knows I work hard and I produce good results. I am not a brown noser but I am also not an administration basher like many teachers are. They have a job to do and so do I.

What does “fight the good fight” mean? I see the Union stuff and I truly believe it is all about the teachers not the students. Is Bloomberg doing what is best for the students? No, he is doing what is best for Bloomberg. Is the Union doing what is best for the students? No, it is doing what is best for the Union. I would just like both Bloomberg and the Union to stop pretending that everything is being done for the students. I don’t have to align myself with the Union to be pro-teacher. Teachers needs better and more resources for their students and better support from administration. If the Union started fighting that fight I would be the first one at each rally. But the Union is too busy fighting for LIFO and bashing Bloomberg and the Republicans to pay any attention to what is really important. I think you should rethink what is really important.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of your anti-un- ion bashing, but I think many of us are coming from a place that says-even YOU, a GREAT teacher will get canned ANYWAY, because you have 14 or 15 years. I may be wrong, but how else do you explain that in my building they have not hired 1, yes that's right ONE experienced teacher. They are ALL newbies. And by "newbies, I mean untenured teachers. You're a great teacher, but STILL may get canned. And because of THAT fact, that possibility which should not exist, we are angry and bitter and feel like there is a war going on against us. People who are chronically late should be fired after several warnings. Regarding taking sick days, when I started, the high schools I worked in were soooooo bad, soooo stressful, and the job soooo thankless, that I took my days as a matter of survival. There were days when I was physically roughed up, or students had major confrontations with me, and I would take the next day off. That was ADVISED from my APs! I worked in the worst schools in the city, and I needed those days to survive. When summer came, if I didn't have another job, I literally couldn't get out of bed for a week from sheer exhaustion. It was a war. HOWEVER, at that time, if the city, or supervisors told me that I would be given some type of "black mark" and frowned upon by taking too many days, I would NOT have taken them, or nearly as many. Over recent years I have a better attendance record because my working conditions are better because I stuck it out. HOWEVER, over 50% of beginning teachers back then flew the coop. HOWEVER don't come to me NOW, DOE, with these contrived, retroactive punishments from YEARS ago...that's BS. That's like changing a law today to convict me of something that was legal 15 years ago....what are we in...The Gulag? ALSO, for a LONG time now, most individual admins. enforce a stricter attendance code, and the staff adheres to it. Back then, it wasn't as big a consideration in "Fort Apache"...

Jewish School said...

This is a nice, intelligent debate. Just keep in mind that regardless of how anyone feels about unions, etc., do not lose sight that teachers are an important part of society and deserve respect for what they do.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:42 – I understand your point but like I said; I would rather not be at a school that did not appreciate me. I have 14 years of teaching experience and they fire me that is fine because obviously the did not believe I was doing a good job. Do I want to be laid off? No, but I also do not want to stay in a work place that does not appreciate my efforts and dedication to the job. I have to much respect for myself to allow myself to work in a poor working environment.

You also must understand that unless it is in time of downsizing like we are currently in, you can’t just fire a teacher, tenure or not. I worked in a private organization in the human resources department for almost 5 years after I graduated from college. During my time with this company I organized an event with a local school and after spending a single day in a classroom working with children I knew that I was meant to be a teacher. Within a month of my classroom experience I had quit my job and went back to school for teaching and have been teaching ever since. Anyways, while working for the human resources department I learned it is very difficult to fire someone unless you are eliminating their position, which rarely occurs in schools (you can’t just eliminate 2nd grade teaching positions). If you want to fire someone you had to document all issues and warnings that have been given. After a period of time of continues documentation and warnings you can then fire someone. If you did not follow this protocol you can leave yourself open to large lawsuits for wrongful termination. So even without tenure, a principal can not just walk in a fire teachers because they feel like it.

I understand from my comments above you would have to give a teacher numerous warnings about tardiness or you would leave yourself open to a lawsuit but why should you have to do this. All teachers are adults and they know what time school starts. Why should a principal have to babysit? Get to work on time or you are fired. I am not talking about a person who is late once in a while or a person that has a string of bad luck and is late 3 or 4 days in a row for a single week. I am talking about the people who are late 3 or 4 days a week every week. Each of us have these type of teachers in our school and they need to be fired. These people know they are chronically late and they are being completely disrespectful to the school and the students by refusing to show up on time.

Anonymous said...

What type of “respect” are you looking for? Teachers deserve no more or no less respect anyone else. They deserve nothing more and nothing less than a lawyer, a mayor, a janitor, a pan handler or anyone else. I do not expect people to kiss my ass just because I am a teacher. Some of my colleagues act as if as teachers they are making some great sacrifice for the betterment of society. It is not a sacrifice to teacher, it is a privilege.

Everything is not always perfect for teachers but what job is perfect. Try spending a few years as a doctor, an accountant, a human resources specialist, a principle, an elected official, a janitor, etc and than come complain. What you will realize is that there are dreadful things about all jobs. Before becoming a teacher I spent 5 years working as a human resources specialist and I hated it. I truly believed I was overworked and underpaid. What I came to realize when I became a teacher 14 years ago, was that I felt overworked and underpaid because I hated my job. If you love what you do it is pretty easy to overlook the downsides. I have good weeks and bad weeks like everyone else but overall I love teaching and I can pretty easily look the negatives.

One thing many teachers overlook is the extraordinary rewards we get that others people don’t. There is no better feeling in the world than when you are teaching a difficult topic and you realize your class is getting what you a teaching. There is no better feeling than when you reach a student who thought of themselves as dumb and you are able to help them achieve and begin to believe in themselves. Do you think an accountant gets this feeling when they balance the books? I doubt it. Do you think a janitor gets this feeling when the do a good job buffing the floor? I doubt it. I am not saying other people don’t enjoy their jobs and don’t get satisfaction out of it, because I know they do. I am saying that their feeling of satisfaction can’t be nearly as amazing as it feels to help a child learn and succeed.

Please do not waste your time respecting me. Spend your time respecting your children. Respect your children by bringing them to school everyday & on-time to school, make sure they have eaten breakfast, make sure they have done their homework, make sure they read something everyday and make sure they study for their exams. I would trade all the respect of every principal, every vice principal, every superintendant and every elected official has for me if they could get parents to respect their children and work with me to make sure their child achieves to their full potential.

I love being a teacher and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world.

Chaz said...

Anon 2:51

I appreciae your view. However, I believe you don't see the big picture on what Bloomberg is trying to do.

His proposal would destroy the union's collective bargaining rights and that is unacceptable. Furthermore, Bloomberg wants to break our contract with him that allowed the DOE to hire "newbie teachers" rather than fill vacancies with excessed teachers. The DOE asked for the formation of the ATR pool and agreed not to have a time limit. Now they want to renege by using the Bloomberg proposal to get rid of the ATRs and you buy into that? Finally, people like me are great teachers that made the mistake if having a vindictive Administrator go after me and I was absolved of any misconduct. Under Bloomberg's proposal I would be laid off.

I think you are naive to think Bloomberg's union-busting proposal is better than Cuomo's.

Anonymous said...

You have said all the horrible things about Bloomberg's proposal but have not told me how Cuomo's proposal is any better.

Chaz said...

Anon 4:32

You are correct. Nobody really knows what Cuomo's proposal will be but in the RttT it must include union support and approval and a vindictive Principal can't just give a teacher he does not like by giving him a "U" and get laid off or terminated as Bloomberg's does.

Anonymous said...

The teachers they should lay off first:

(1) 2,671 teachers who have been rated unsatisfactory over the past five years

(2) 882 teachers who lack a teaching license

(3) 291 whom an arbitrator found to be incompetent or guilty of malfeasance

(4) 183 with records of excessive lateness or absenteeism

Total: 4,027 teachers

Suggested Layoffs: 4600

Difference: 573

Much easier to come up with $40M than $400M.

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me than those numbers are unreasonable. Let's use logic:

(1) 2,671 teachers have been rated unsatisfactory over the past five years - this is less than 4% of all teachers. I don't beleive for a second that 96% of teachers are effective but this 4% is a good start. Chaz wants you to beleive principals are rating all teachers unsatisfactory because that a mean and nasty people. A small percentage of teachers are rated unsatisfactory. Fire them!

(2) 882 teachers who lack a teaching license - no numbers needed. Fire teachers without a license.

(3) 291 whom an arbitrator found to be incompetent or guilty of malfeasance - this is less than 0.4% of all teachers. Chaz wants you to beleive that a majority of teachers are being abused and fall into this category. The truth is a tiny percentage of all teacher fall into this category. These teachers should be fired.

(4) 183 with records of excessive lateness or absenteeism - no numbers needed. Fire teachers that can't get to school and/or can't get to school on-time.

Chaz said...

Anon 2:21

You must be part of E4E. Only those people actually believe your and Bloomberg's analysis.

Anonymous said...

Those are the actual statistics. You can play all the mind games and make up all the stories you want but statistics don't lie.

Face the truth!

Chaz said...

The DOE generated statistics do.Many senior teachers get "U" ratings or disciplinary charges because their "Leadership Academy principals" want them out.

Why was 86% of the teachers in the "rubber rooms" over 40? and averaged 18 years in the classroom? Where were the young teachers? Those statistics do not lie but the DOE does.