Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Drastic Bill Would Allow Teacher Layoffs Without Seniority

Bill Would Allow Layoffs of Teachers With Seniority  
By JENNIFER MEDINA
Published: April 12, 2010

When the Bloomberg administration raised the prospect of teacher layoffs this year, administration officials complained that they would be forced to get rid of the youngest newest teachers, and called on legislators to rewrite the seniority rules.

That wish may be one step closer. Two Democratic state lawmakers have sponsored a bill that would give principals in New York City the power to choose who should lose their jobs if the city needs to lay off teachers because of budget cuts.

The bill is certain to raise the ire of teachers’ unions, which remain a powerful force in Albany. It could provoke also a new round of battles between the United Federation of Teachers and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who have had an icy relationship for months and are fighting over a new teachers’ contract.

Mr. Bloomberg has said that as many 8,500 teachers would face layoffs, as the city’s Education Department faces a budget cut of $600 million to $1.2 billion. Under the current law, teachers who have been in the system for the shortest amount of time would be the first to lose their jobs — a policy commonly known as last in, first out.

Last month, the schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, released numbers showing that the layoffs would be concentrated in the one of the wealthiest and one of the poorest districts in the city: in a worst-case situation, District 7 in the South Bronx would lose 21 percent of its teachers and District 2 on the Upper East Side would lose 19 percent, according to the city analysis. Some of those teachers would be replaced by more-senior teachers from elsewhere in the system.

“Experience matters, but it cannot be the sole or even principal factor considered in layoff decisions,” Mr. Klein said in a statement. “We must be able to take into account each individual’s track record of success.”

Jonathan Bing, a Democratic assemblyman from the Upper East Side, said lobbyists from the city had approached him about sponsoring the bill soon after the city released those numbers.

“There needs to be some better way to go about doing this than to simply get rid of every teacher we have hired in the last few years,” Mr. Bing said. “This has to be, on some level, about merit.”

Mr. Bing said he had “great respect for teachers,” noted that the union had donated to several of his political campaigns and acknowledged that the bill would almost certainly anger it.

“We are in an educational and economic crisis like no other,” he added.

Under the bill, each school would form a committee of parents, teachers and administrators to determine who should be laid off.

Seniority protection is dear to labor unions, who say that without it, employers would use layoffs to eliminate workers who make the most money.

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, said that in other cities that had eliminated seniority, like Washington, the rate of teacher turnover had increased, making the system less stable.

“I would like to see something more fruitful to figure out how to avoid the catastrophic cuts,” Mr. Mulgrew said Monday.

The city appealed to State Senator Rubén Díaz of the Bronx to sponsor the bill in the Senate, although just last year Mr. Díaz said that Mr. Klein should be fired.

“I used to be angry at the way they were treating parents,” Mr. Díaz said. “Now this would allow parents to have a role. If a school needs to get rid of teachers, they should be able to decide their own special needs.”



http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A10482%09%09&Summary=Y&Text=Y
 
3. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF  LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY,
   11  WHENEVER  THE  CITY  SCHOOL  DISTRICT  ABOLISHES TEACHING OR SUPERVISORY
   12  POSITIONS CITYWIDE AS A RESULT OF A CITYWIDE BUDGET REDUCTION IN ACCORD-
   13  ANCE WITH PARAGRAPH B  OF  SUBDIVISION  FIVE-A  OF  SECTION  TWENTY-FIVE
   14  HUNDRED  SEVENTY-SIX  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  AND  THE  MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT
   15  REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK.
 
   16    (I) DECISIONS CONCERNING WHICH POSITIONS WITHIN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS ARE
   17  TO BE ABOLISHED, AND WHICH PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS  ARE  TO  BE
   18  ABOLISHED,  AND  WHICH  PERSONS  OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS ARE TO BE LAID
   19  OFF, SHALL BE MADE BY THE PRINCIPAL, CONSISTENT WITH GUIDANCE PROMULGAT-
   20  ED BY THE CHANCELLOR PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. THE PRINCIPAL SHALL  MAKE
   21  THE  DECISION  AFTER  CONSIDERING  THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF A SCHOOL-BASED
   22  COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS. THE FOLLOW-
   23  ING FACTORS SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHICH POSITIONS SHALL  BE
   24  ABOLISHED AND WHICH PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS ARE TO BE LAID OFF:
 
2
 
    1  (A)  SCHOOL  NEEDS  FOR PARTICULAR LICENSE AREAS; AND (B) WHEN MORE THAN
    2  ONE PERSON HOLDS A POSITION WITHIN THE SAME LICENSE AREA:    SIGNIFICANT
    3  RELEVANT  CONTRIBUTIONS,  ACCOMPLISHMENTS,  OR  PERFORMANCE OF EACH SUCH
    4  PERSON;  RELEVANT  SUPPLEMENTAL  PROFESSIONAL  EXPERIENCES  OF EACH SUCH
    5  PERSON AS DEMONSTRATED ON THE JOB; OFFICE OR  SCHOOL  NEEDS,  INCLUDING:
    6  CURRICULUM  SPECIALIZED  EDUCATION, DEGREES, LICENSES OR AREAS OF EXPER-
    7  TISE; AND LENGTH OF SATISFACTORY SERVICE BY EACH SUCH PERSON.
 
    8    (II) IN THE CASE OF TEACHERS OR SUPERVISORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO  POSI-
    9  TIONS  THAT  ARE  NOT WITHIN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS, OR WHO HAVE BEEN DISCI-
   10  PLINED PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS  CHAPTER  AND
   11  ARE NOT ASSIGNED TO A FULL-TIME POSITION, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE
   12  WHETHER  THE PERSON WILL BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY
   13  THE CHANCELLOR.
 
   14    (B) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY,  WHEN-
   15  EVER  THE  CITY  SCHOOL DISTRICT ABOLISHES TEACHING OR SUPERVISORY POSI-
   16  TIONS AT INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS IN ORDER TO  MEET  SCHOOL  BUDGETARY  NEEDS,
   17  REORGANIZE  FUNCTIONS,  OR  FOR  OTHER  COMPELLING REASONS, OUTSIDE OF A
   18  CITYWIDE REDUCTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION,
   19  DECISIONS CONCERNING WHICH POSITIONS ARE TO BE ABOLISHED SHALL  BE  MADE
   20  BY THE PRINCIPAL, CONSISTENT WITH GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCELLOR
   21  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SECTION. THE PRINCIPAL SHALL MAKE THE DECISION AFTER
   22  CONSIDERING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF A SCHOOL-BASED COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF
   23  TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS. THE  FOLLOWING  FACTORS  SHALL  BE
   24  CONSIDERED  IN  DETERMINING WHICH POSITIONS SHALL BE ABOLISHED AND WHICH
   25  PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS ARE TO BE LAID OFF:  (I)  SCHOOL  NEEDS
   26  FOR PARTICULAR LICENSE AREAS; AND (II) WHEN MORE THAN ONE PERSON HOLDS A
   27  POSITION  WITHIN  THE  SAME  LICENSE AREA: SIGNIFICANT RELEVANT CONTRIB-
   28  UTIONS, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR PERFORMANCE OF EACH  SUCH  PERSON;  RELEVANT
   29  SUPPLEMENTAL  PROFESSIONAL  EXPERIENCES  OF  EACH  SUCH PERSON AS DEMON-
   30  STRATED ON THE  JOB;  OFFICE  OR  SCHOOL  NEEDS,  INCLUDING:  CURRICULUM
   31  SPECIALIZED  EDUCATION,  DEGREES,  LICENSES  OR  AREAS OF EXPERTISE; AND
   32  LENGTH OF SATISFACTORY SERVICE BY EACH SUCH PERSON. 
 
A TEACHER OR  SUPER-
   33  VISOR WHOSE POSITION IS ABOLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE
   34  ELIGIBLE TO REMAIN EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT WITH NO DIMINUTION IN SALARY
   35  OR  BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE UPON WHICH THE PERSON'S POSITION
   36  WAS ABOLISHED, PROVIDED THAT (A) IF THE PERSON IS A NON-TENURED  EMPLOY-
   37  EE, THE PERSON'S PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN SATISFACTORY; (B) IF THE PERSON IS
   38  A  TENURED  EMPLOYEE,  THE  PERSON HAS NOT BEEN SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY OR
   39  RECEIVED A PENALTY OF TERMINATION IN  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION
   40  THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS CHAPTER; AND (C) SHOULD CITYWIDE LAYOFFS
   41  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  PARAGRAPH  (A)  OF THIS SUBDIVISION BE CARRIED OUT
   42  DURING THIS ONE-YEAR PERIOD, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER  THE
   43  PERSON WILL BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCEL-
   44  LOR.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY OTHER LAWS TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUDING BUT NOT
   45  LIMITED TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWENTY AND THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A  OF
   46  THIS  CHAPTER, AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF ONE YEAR, A TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR
   47  WHO REMAINS EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL
   48  BE TERMINATED AUTOMATICALLY UNLESS THE TEACHER OR  SUPERVISOR  HAS  BEEN
   49  REGULARLY APPOINTED TO A NON-SUBSTITUTE POSITION IN THE DISTRICT.
 
   50    (C)  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, WHEN-
   51  EVER THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ABOLISHES TEACHING POSITIONS  DUE  TO  THE
   52  CLOSURE OR PHASE-OUT OF A SCHOOL, A TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR WHOSE POSITION
   53  IS  ABOLISHED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  PARAGRAPH SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO REMAIN
   54  EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT WITH NO DIMINUTION IN SALARY  OR  BENEFITS  FOR
   55  ONE  YEAR FROM THE DATE UPON WHICH THE TEACHER'S POSITION WAS ABOLISHED,
   56  PROVIDED THAT (I) IF THE PERSON IS A NON-TENURED EMPLOYEE, THE  PERSON'S
       A. 10482--A                         3
 
    1  PERFORMANCE  HAS  BEEN  SATISFACTORY;  (II)  IF  THE PERSON IS A TENURED
    2  EMPLOYEE, THE PERSON HAS NOT BEEN SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY  OR  RECEIVED  A
    3  PENALTY OF TERMINATION IN PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND
    4  TWENTY-A  OF  THIS CHAPTER; AND (III) SHOULD CITYWIDE LAYOFFS IN ACCORD-
    5  ANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION BE CARRIED OUT  DURING  THIS
    6  ONE-YEAR  PERIOD, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE PERSON WILL
    7  BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCELLOR. NOTWITH-
    8  STANDING ANY OTHER LAWS TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUDING BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO
    9  SECTION  THREE THOUSAND TWENTY AND THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS CHAP-
   10  TER, AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF ONE  YEAR,  A  TEACHER  OR  SUPERVISOR  WHO
   11  REMAINS  EMPLOYED  BY  THE  DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE
   12  TERMINATED AUTOMATICALLY UNLESS THE TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR HAS BEEN REGU-
   13  LARLY APPOINTED TO A NON-SUBSTITUTE POSITION IN THE DISTRICT.
   14    S 4. Subdivision 4 of section 2588 of the education  law  is  REPEALED
   15  and a new subdivision 4 is added to read as follows:
 
   16    4.  WHENEVER  A TEACHING POSITION IS ABOLISHED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION
   17  THREE OF THIS SECTION, SHOULD A VACANCY OCCUR IN THE  SAME  POSITION  AT
   18  THE  SAME  SCHOOL  OR  ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE DATE
   19  WHEN THE POSITION WAS ABOLISHED, THE PRINCIPAL,  OR  THE  CHANCELLOR  OR
   20  DESIGNEE,  SHALL  OFFER THE POSITION TO THE PERSON WHO HELD THE POSITION
   21  BEFORE IT WAS ABOLISHED. IF THE PERSON REJECTS THE OFFER,  OR  FAILS  TO
   22  RESPOND TO THE OFFER WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, THE PERSON SHALL NO LONGER HAVE
   23  A  RIGHT  TO RETURN TO THE POSITION. IF MORE THAN ONE POSITION WAS ABOL-
   24  ISHED IN THE SAME LICENSE AREA AT  THE  SAME  SCHOOL  OR  ADMINISTRATIVE
   25  OFFICE,  AND  THERE  ARE  FEWER  VACANCIES IN THE SAME LICENSE AREA THAN
   26  PERSONS WHOSE POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED, THE PRINCIPAL, THE CHANCELLOR OR
   27  DESIGNEE, SHALL HAVE DISCRETION TO  DETERMINE  WHICH  PERSON  SHOULD  BE
   28  OFFERED THE POSITION FIRST.

3 comments:

evision said...

i've gone through this blog. i found it really interesting. nowadays im working and also studying in reputed college.

online business

Anonymous said...

There is a group on Facebook- NYC Teachers: Experience Matters, that is organizing support against this bill. The UFT has disappointed me thus far, unless they think it's likely to fail.

Anonymous said...

Norm,
Sometimes I wonder if Randi planned this to happen.

Think about it. She convinces the members to vote to eliminate the Seniority Transfer in the 2005 contract and to create the open-market transfer where very few senior teachers are hired, but plenty of new teachers (TFA, TFs) would be hired especially principals who can control them.

Fast forward to 2010. In 5 years, the closing of so many schools created the extremely, blotted ATR pool, which is made up of mostly senior teachers. Many of the schools, especially in low-income, social-economically strapped neighborhoods, have a large percentage of the teaching force with less than 6 years in the system.

Now let's look at the new schools with less than 5 years in existence; these schools have almost 80% of the teaching force with less than 4 years in the system. If you look at this well-planned, devious, underhanded, strategy of getting rid of the seniority rule, I truly feel that Randi helped in devising this machiavellian approach to destroying our rights in seniority rule with respect to lay offs. I truly feel that Randi strategically timed it where the issue of seniority rule would be questioned and challenged by politicians during these rough economical times and when she's no longer president of the UFT.

I feel jaded, and all the pieces are falling into place. And these pieces are all pointing to Randi.

What's your thought on this?