My Republican State Senator wrote me a letter on why he supported reforming the seniority-based "last in, first out" (LIFO). He brought up three issues. First, he claimed that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted the right to eliminate "poor performers". Second, he falsely claimed the bill S3501-B would include union input and third, would not destroy "collective bargaining". Of course, my Republican State Senator did not realize that I am no fool and here is the letter I sent to him in response.
Mr. Republican state Senator: I have been living in my community, which you represent, for the last 27 years and was proud to send my children to the wonderful schools. However, you can't imagine my disgust in your vote allowing New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his teacher bashing bill to eliminate "great senior teachers' . I am a proud union member who is appaled that Senate Republicans, like you, voted for a blantantly anti-teacher and union bill that targets senior New York City teachers. Your claim in the letter sent to me that your vote was not an attack on "collective bargaining" is far from the truth. Nayor Bloomberg's Bill to end "last in, first out" (LIFO) is simply an end run around the union's contract and the "collective bargaining agreement".
How can you seriously claim that you voted for a comprehensive teacher evaluation system to support the end of LIFO which included union input? When in fact, you voted for the Bloomberg Bill that "provides a temporary default layoff mechanism" which includes no union input and therefore, violates the very "collective bargaining agreements" that you claim to support.
As for teachers who are "poor performers"? Who makes the decision that a teacher is a "poor performer"? Presently, there is no objective mechanism in place that adequately measure a teacher's performance. Consequently, seniority-based layoffs (LIFO) is the only objective criteria to use. The Bloomberg Bill is the Mayor's misguided attempt to get rid of experienced senior teachers in his "education on the cheap" policy, nothing more.
Presently, the City of New York can get rid of "poorly performing" teachers by not granting tenure or if tenured, go through the State 3020-a Law for teachers accused of incompetence or misconduct. The State 3020-a is the proper mechanism for terminating teachers. Finally, the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) was entirely a creation of the DOE who wanted the right for principals to hire new and less expensive teachers instead of excessed teachers. The agreement with the union (another collective bargaining issue) was that the DOE will not impose an ATR time limit without it being negotiated with the union.
I can only conclude from your actions you are either ignorant of the facts or deliberately attempting to start a "slippery slope" to eliminate union due process protections and rights in New York State.