Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crushing Unions by Any Means Necessary

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has threatened to strip public employees of their union protections and force them to go to work at gunpoint, a superior court judge in Los Angeles has ordered Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to disregard its contractual obligation to use seniority rules when laying off teachers. LAUSD has announced that they plan to send pink slips to over 4,500 teachers and 500 other school employees. For the first time ever they will not be bound by their contract with United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) which had protected seniority rights until the recent court ruling.

Teachers at 45 of LAUSD’s 750 schools will be shielded from the layoffs, regardless of their experience or years of service. Because these are all low-income schools the court ruling virtually ensures that they will continue to have a disproportionate number of inexperienced teachers, unless those who aren’t fired have the stamina to stay in the profession. Attrition is high in the teaching profession, particularly among young teachers, with large numbers quitting within their first three years.

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