Friday, April 13, 2012

Hundreds of teachers forced to switch schools through seniority-based process unless union agrees to major reforms quickly

This article from Boston shows the insanity of the seniority-driven union hiring model:

Hundreds of teachers forced to switch schools through seniority-based process unless union agrees to major reforms quickly

Dispute over amount of salary increases continues to block needed reforms

Contact Information: 

BPS Communications Office

March 20, 2012

BOSTON – A report out this morning from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau (BRMB) finds that unless reforms to the Boston Public Schools (BPS) hiring process are put in place by early April, up to 244 current teachers will have to move out of their classrooms and into new schools this fall through a seniority-driven process that includes little or no input from the school principal or, in many cases, even the teachers themselves.

Last year, this process placed at least one new teacher in every Boston Public School.

"The teachers' contract forces us to put teachers in classrooms through an antiquated system designed to protect seniority and nothing else," said Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. "It means high school teachers might move to elementary schools even though we have a great elementary teacher who would have been a perfect fit. Our failure to reach an agreement on the contract means we are about to be blocked – again -- from matching the right teachers to the right classrooms."

The BMRB report indicates the Boston Teachers Union has tentatively agreed to the Superintendent's proposal, which would end the use of seniority as the primary driver for the annual hiring process.

However, union leaders have repeatedly refused to allow BPS to implement the needed change until the district agrees to a $116 million salary increase – which would trigger a 10.3 percent pay raise to take full effect just before Labor Day weekend.

The district has proposed a $32.6 million raise for teachers through FY14. The current average BPS teacher salary is $81,633.

Superintendent Johnson is calling on the BTU to immediately agree to implement to major reforms in the teacher transfer process, which begins in less than a month for the next school year.

"It's critical that we be allowed to implement these needed changes right away, and not at a price that threatens all the other progress we are making," Johnson said. "We cannot let our students go another year under a system that moves teachers to different classrooms in this bureaucratic way. The BTU's demand for more money without needed reforms continues to stand in the way."

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