Saturday, May 08, 2010

Will Bloomberg Finally Give In And Offer A Buyout To Senior Teachers? He Will Need To As Long As The Union Does Not Give Ground On Seniority.

Now that the Bloomberg doomsday budget is out and up to 6,400 teaching positions will be eliminated from the system (I believe it will be much less), the shrill calls from Mayor Mike & Chancellor Joel to change the "last in, first out" seniority requirement are increasing. However, as long as the union stays firm, the Mayor will have to capitulate and to save the "newbie teachers" he needs to continue his "education on the cheap" policy. Therefore, what can Bloomberg do? The answer is really quite simple. He needs to offer "buyouts" to the senior teachers to save the jobs of the inexpensive and not vested "newbie teachers".

When will the City admit defeat and propose a "buyout"? Probably at the end of the school year once the State finances are better known. Depending on how much funding needs to be cut, look for the "buyout" to be a either a month for every year worked. for example a teacher who worked 24 years would get 2 years of pension credit. Or possibly a $25,000 lump sum payment. While the Bloomberg Administration is denying that any such "buyout" is in the offering. I don't believe for a second that Mayor Mike & Chancellor Joel will allow the "newbie teachers" to be laid off. Just see how Tweed, while laying off 4,000 teachers is quietly trying to allocate up to five million dollars for the teaching fellows program. Unbelievable! Furthermore, take a look at Joel Klein's whining e-mail to the principals telling them how he wants to eliminate the seniority provision so they can get rid of any teacher they please. You can find it at Betsy Combier's blog here.

As long as the union stands their ground and let the politicians know the consequences to any attempt to reduce teacher "due process rights", the City will have no choice but offer "buyouts" to save their "education on the cheap" program.


Anonymous said...

Chaz -- Good post. I read the letter that Klein send to the principals about FIRING TEACHERS. He is suggesting ....
"...Instead, these tough decisions should be based on existing ratings from evaluations. The 1,800 teachers who received U-ratings last year should be among the first to be laid off. I also believe that teachers in the ATR pool should be let go before teachers who are currently in the classroom. Additionally, when making layoff decisions, we should consider principal observations, absentee rates, impact on student learning, and contribution to school community. If we are indeed in the unfortunate position of having to let go of teachers, I am confident that we could work together to carry out the layoffs in a manner that would be better for our schools, rather than relying on seniority alone".
What does the Union think about this suggestion?.

Anonymous said...

I have heard and read Mulgrew's words in many situations and contexts since he was elected and he has been absolutely and perfectly consistent in his defense of seniority and its traditional applications. There is no reason to doubt the legitimacy and sincerity of his/the union's commitment.

Anonymous said...

Teachers’ Contract

“Article 17F. Voluntary Severance for Personnel Excessed For More than One Year
The BOE may offer excessed personnel who have not secured a regular assignment
after at least one year of being excessed, a voluntary severance program in an amount to
be negotiated by the parties. If the parties are unable to reach agreement on the amount
of the severance payment, the dispute will be submitted to arbitration pursuant to the
contractual grievance and arbitration procedure. Such a severance program, if offered,
will be offered to all personnel who have been in excess for more than one year.
In exchange for receipt of such severance, an excessed person shall submit an
irrevocable resignation or notice of retirement.”

What if the ATRs tried diligently applied to all the openings and yet were not hired or never called for an interview because of the incentive for prinicpals to hire rookie teachers, less salary and untenured, would it be fair and justifiable to invoke this article?

Chaz said...

My understanding of 17F it is up to the ATR to accept the package. The DOE cannot just fire the ATR because the ATR refused the package. Therefore, the DOE has not even bothered to offer a package.

The key clause here is "Voluntary Severance".

Anonymous said...

I agree, there will be a buyout and probably after June 15th. That is the day people who will be excessed must be notified. Also principals should know the budget numbers by then. I hope that they offer the time for additional pension credit which will save them more in the short term. My only hesitation is Bloomberg and his desire to be president. That may cause him to hold to a no pension increase position. But I still guess they will offer a buyout.

Anonymous said...

The recent Greece crisis does not help the possible buyout situation for DOE teachers as pension and benefits become dirty words for politicians. On the top of everything else, Bloomberg has been criticized for gneral pension giveaways by the media.
Hope a buyout is being offered very soon.

Anonymous said...

A question-- If we respect the contract of SENIORITY for the budget cuts "last hired, first fired" --

veteranteacher said...

Chaz--Thanks for your great posts. Just wondering what you think of senior teachers holding off on retiring (i.e wait until September to put papers in) as a way to hold Bloomkleins feet to the fire? If I don't get an incentive (I have 6 months left) I intend to keep working just to make the money and ruin the budget!

Michael Fiorillo said...

There are powerful crosscurrents at work here.

From the perspective of transforming the schools in their image, of which the push for new teachers is a major part, there is much to be said for offering a buyout.

Arguing against a buyout is the fact that we are in the beginning stages of an intense global assault on pensions, whether government or employer- based. Defined benefit pensions are fast becoming extinct in the private sector, and public employees are the last significant group with them. What's happening in Greece is the opening of that front in the acute class antagonism that the economic crisis is driving.

Bloomberg's decision will say a great deal about which objective he values more.

Chaz said...

I would not retire unless it met my objectives. However, you need to take into account the "buyout" before you mke such a decision.

The ATRs are included in the seniority layoff lists, as are the reassigned teachers.

MF: I do agree with you. That is the only reason that Bloomberg will hesitate. However, he will have little choice to offer the buyouts to save the cheap teachers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again to Chaz for his blog. This and reality Based, and NYC educator keep me informed in these trying times.

Whatever the anti-pension trends we live in, Bloomy will offer buyouts to save his pet teacher project. He can always paint it to the public as a cost saving measure. The public is anti pension, but that negativity is just beginning . . . it'll get a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get a good lawyer to sue both the Dept of Education and my principal personally, key word, on a contingency basis? Upon a consultation I am told I have a preety good case. A consultation with a lawyer would determine that. It might also set a precedence. I have substantial proof for my claims. At the same time I have substantial proof that I was misrepresented in a 3220 Supreme Court hearing. Second wuestion. I was informed after the heraing I was supposed to have both a Union lawyer and a DOE lawyer. The person who asked me their names insisted she had not seen a case where there was only one. Is this true Chaz?