CONTRACT WITH DISASTER: HELP KIDS AND TEACHERS
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THE ISSUE:What City Hall should seek in negotiations over the teachers contract.
Winters shamelessly espouses the opinions of The New Teacher Project and ignores its vested interest in having new teachers hired through the Teach for America or the Teaching Fellows programs.
In yet another example of the Bloomberg administration's rush to privatize public education, The New Teacher Project gets paid to recruit and provide training for the inexperienced teachers hired through these entities.
Winters states that teachers hired through these programs are "younger and more energetic than teachers in the ATR." Has he personally met them?
Most of the certified teachers in the absent teacher reserve pool have received "satisfactory" ratings and were placed in the pool through no fault of their own. They were sent there because their schools were closed down or reorganized by the city.
What Winters espouses amounts to privatization and age discrimination. It is precisely why we have labor unions to defend the rights of all workers.
Scott E. Bayou
Winters suggests that the city should hold its line on salary increases, while no longer paying the salaries of teachers in the ATR.
Under the terms of the Taylor Law, an old contract remains in effect until the teachers agree to a new one. In other words, the city cannot force teachers to accept a worse contract than they have now.
The city has already paid out some $200 million over the last two years to satisfactory teachers who aren't teaching, but this is due to a colossal blunder by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
The teachers union is not going to accept a loss of job protection for satisfactory, tenured teachers, and the city cannot and should not ask them to.
Paul S. Cohen