Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

NY may ignore seniority in layoffs

3409642414_a401c0d007.jpgHeartening news out of New York City:

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. …

“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.”

Heartening in the sense that seniority will no longer cost excellent teachers their jobs while hacks who aren’t any good but have been around forever continue to draw a check. Obviously no one likes to see someone get laid off in these difficult economic times.

Still, if budget cuts mean that some teachers have to go, doesn’t it make sense to keep teachers around who may have less experience but are better at their jobs? Not only will it be better for students, it’ll be better for the state’s bottom line: Teachers with more seniority make more money.

Photo courtesy of roger.karlsson

Categories: Center for Union FactsTeachers Unions