It’s understandable that teachers are feeling anxious and afraid in Providence. But let Mayor Taveras reassure you — he is not out to bust the unions, so that solves that question. Whew, glad the Mayor is still the moral, union-supporting person that I thought he was. Still, a lot of other unanswered questions linger about the changes that teachers in Providence face due to the termination notices they received.
The biggest unanswered question in my mind is whether every teacher will need to go through the hiring process in order to have a job. Along with this being a tremendous insult to people who have poured their lives into their jobs, it will also be extremely expensive to carry out all of those interviews. Note to Mayor’s office — Think: interviews = expensive, like money that could be spent to keep teachers. But perhaps we don’t have to worry about that, as according to a Business Week article published today, teachers will not have to reapply and be rehired. From the article:
There are echoes in this week’s move of last year’s decision in nearby Central Falls, where every teacher at the high school was fired. Those firings, however, were the result of the school’s poor performance, not because of money. And unlike Central Falls, where a compromise was struck and all the teachers were rehired, teachers in Providence won’t have to reapply to keep their jobs. [bold mine]
And yet, in today’s Projo,
But David V. Abbott, the state’s deputy education commissioner, said the difference between layoffs and dismissals is this: When a teacher is laid off under state statute, he or she is put on a recall list. Although that teacher is no longer working and no longer paid, that person exists in an employment “limbo.” The teacher hasn’t been actually dismissed.
If a job becomes available for which that teacher is qualified, that person must be rehired based on seniority.
“If you are laid off, you have the right of recall,” Abbott said Friday. “You still have one stick in your bundle. If I’m dismissed, I’m out of work and I need to be rehired.”
In effect, every teacher who is terminated has to re-apply for his or her job as would any new teacher entering the system.
So which is it? You’ll forgive me if I’m still a little confused, and feeling some angst for the teachers in Providence. Yet, perhaps it’s not worth worrying about because it’s just a power play in a political game that is going to take months to play out. As the Business Week article put it, “The decision to send the notices was seen by some as another signal to public sector workers that government officials are ready to play rough to win changes to labor contracts.”