A glimpse of teachers union power in New York City: Teachers can't be fired if it can't be proven they will not improve

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    Feb 02, 2012 5:27 AM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204573704577187233613007626.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    They have trouble with spelling, grammar and showing up to class on time—and we're not talking about the students.

    The city tried to expel 26 teachers from the classroom last year for gross incompetence—such as English teachers who couldn't write or speak the language properly.

    But officials maintain that stringent union rules prohibited them from succeeding in just half those cases—even when hearing officers actually agreed with the principals' assessments.

    That's because the city has to prove not only that the teachers can't do their jobs but also that they have no shot of ever improving.

    "What happens is every single thing is litigated or grieved or had a fuss made about it," said Mayor Bloomberg, who, along with Gov. Cuomo, has demanded statewide adoption of new teacher evaluations.
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    Feb 02, 2012 5:30 AM GMT
    "That's because the city has to prove not only that the teachers can't do their jobs but also that they have no shot of ever improving."


    Interesting, because that's the same criteria the companies I worked for used in the PRIVATE SECTOR with employees.

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    Feb 02, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    meninlove said "That's because the city has to prove not only that the teachers can't do their jobs but also that they have no shot of ever improving."


    Interesting, because that's the same criteria the companies I worked for used in the PRIVATE SECTOR with employees.



    That's no private firm that I've ever heard of - and you just need to do write ups when people aren't doing their jobs. There is no obligation to prove that they can't improve simply that they aren't performing their jobs.
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    Feb 02, 2012 5:38 AM GMT
    Doing write-ups IS documenting someone's ability or inability to do their jobs.


    And no you're quite wrong. There is a standard that many companies follow, especially good ones that do very well. The city you mention is doing just as those firms do.
    There are also legal ramifications for firing someone without just documented cause. Unless of course, you have manufacturing operations in a third world country where such rights as termination with just cause are absent.

    You can fire them if you don't like their hair-do.
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    Feb 02, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    meninlove said Doing write-ups IS documenting someone's ability or inability to do their jobs.


    And no you're quite wrong. There is a standard that many companies follow, especially good ones that do very well. The city you mention is doing just as those firms do.
    There are also legal ramifications for firing someone without just documented cause. Unless of course, you have manufacturing operations in a third world country where such rights as termination with just cause are absent.

    You can fire them if you don't like their hair-do.


    No one is talking about firing them without cause - this is firing them without the PROOF that they can improve - which is a far higher standard.
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    Feb 02, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Oh - and I tend to ramble...
    We know.
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    Feb 02, 2012 5:55 AM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    riddler78 said
    Oh - and I tend to ramble...
    We know.


    Don't *you* also have kids to yell at to get off your lawn? icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 02, 2012 6:07 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    TropicalMark said
    riddler78 said
    Oh - and I tend to ramble...
    We know.


    Don't *you* also have kids to yell at to get off your lawn? icon_wink.gif
    Nope.. thats what the gardener does.icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 02, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.
    Riddler doesnt understand that part of history.. we wasnt born with his silver spoon yet.
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    Feb 02, 2012 6:12 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidOf course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    I hope that includes their Internet toadies, who come online to deceive people about their true goals & intentions.
  • KissTheSky

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    Feb 02, 2012 6:31 AM GMT
    What percentage of Canadians do you suppose are irate about the minutiae of public school teacher evaluations in the U.S.? icon_rolleyes.gif
    I'm guessing very, very few.
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    Feb 02, 2012 12:21 PM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.


    Exactly. You're already beginning to see the response to this in Indiana and Wisconsin where people are rising up against pro-corporate overreach.
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    Feb 02, 2012 1:40 PM GMT
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    Simplistic and painting in very broad brush strokes.

    1) Doesn't the fact that the rules do exist today, largely influenced by the unions, indicate that in this particular regard their work is done?

    2) Would you agree that unions can become too powerful, bullying companies into unprofitability?

    3) How do you explain workers in southeastern states working for auto companies have resisted unionization?

    4) Why do unions fear workers having a secret ballot to decide on unionization?
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    Feb 02, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    Simplistic and painting in very broad brush strokes.

    1) Doesn't the fact that the rules do exist today, largely influenced by the unions, indicate that in this particular regard their work is done?

    2) Would you agree that unions can become too powerful, bullying companies into unprofitability?

    3) How do you explain workers in southeastern states working for auto companies have resisted unionization?

    4) Why do unions fear workers having a secret ballot to decide on unionization?


    Sorry, those questions are far too inconvenient for hardcore unions to answer because they require pointing out obvious hypocrisies, and anti-democratic values that these people hold dear in an ends justify means mentality.
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    Feb 02, 2012 4:25 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    Simplistic and painting in very broad brush strokes.

    1) Doesn't the fact that the rules do exist today, largely influenced by the unions, indicate that in this particular regard their work is done?

    2) Would you agree that unions can become too powerful, bullying companies into unprofitability?

    3) How do you explain workers in southeastern states working for auto companies have resisted unionization?

    4) Why do unions fear workers having a secret ballot to decide on unionization?


    1) As Wisconsin and Indiana prove, gains made by unions can be erased without vigilance. Regulations can be done away with (and have been/are being). As companies grow larger and more powerful and the government is increasingly captured by corporate interests, people power (via unions and other associations) are more critical than ever. That's why they're under attack.

    2) No. No company has ever gone under because of unreasonable demands from unions.

    3) These are largely economically depressed regions where people are desperate for jobs and the workers have been told that they can keep their jobs if they keep the unions out.

    4) Unions don't fear a secret ballot. That's a myth. In fact, even if card check because law, the NLRA would still require a secret ballot before approval.
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    Feb 02, 2012 4:36 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness said
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    Simplistic and painting in very broad brush strokes.

    1) Doesn't the fact that the rules do exist today, largely influenced by the unions, indicate that in this particular regard their work is done?

    2) Would you agree that unions can become too powerful, bullying companies into unprofitability?

    3) How do you explain workers in southeastern states working for auto companies have resisted unionization?

    4) Why do unions fear workers having a secret ballot to decide on unionization?


    1) As Wisconsin and Indiana prove, gains made by unions can be erased without vigilance. Regulations can be done away with (and have been/are being). As companies grow larger and more powerful and the government is increasingly captured by corporate interests, people power (via unions and other associations) are more critical than ever. That's why they're under attack.

    2) No. No company has ever gone under because of unreasonable demands from unions.

    3) These are largely economically depressed regions where people are desperate for jobs and the workers have been told that they can keep their jobs if they keep the unions out.

    4) Unions don't fear a secret ballot. That's a myth. In fact, even if card check because law, the NLRA would still require a secret ballot before approval.


    I call bullshit. I can only imagine you're hiding behind a rather legalistic and marginal interpretation to arrive at these answers but

    1. This has nothing to do with big unions but the very fact that workers want the choice of whether or not to be in a union - how is this so difficult for you to understand? Unions depend on coercion and a monopoly on a company's work force. Smaller companies are least able to cope - and businesses are not getting larger - they're getting smaller - particularly in areas of manufacturing where unions are against greater automation and productivity.

    2. Ah then those companies must have gone under because of reasonable demands icon_rolleyes.gif GM comes immediately to mind.

    3. No - they're getting new jobs because they've kept the unions out because this allows them to pay based on things like merit and individual contribution. Believe it or not, the world isn't driven by automakers anymore.

    4. Yeah so why bother with cardcheck in the first place to coerce people into voting for the union as a collective? Not a myth - the reality is that because people are so unwilling to choose to be part of a union they require the ability to single out holdouts and intimidate them until they submit.
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    Feb 03, 2012 12:55 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness said
    jpBITCHva saidOne of the things people who think unions are old and outdated don't realize is that every one of those 'work rules' that you all hate so much arose to counteract a specific and widespread type of abuse by employers against their employees. Union leaders didn't sit up all night in some cafeteria and just think these things up. And the abandonment of these rules---like the abandonment of Glass-Steagall in 1999---will lead to a return to the horrors that gave rise to union power to begin with.

    Of course, this is what the rightist wants, the ability to run roughshod over a frightened and submissive workforce. This is why the rightist needs to not only be stopped, but actually captured and placed in the stocks in a public square where all decent people can hurl rotten vegetables at them.

    Simplistic and painting in very broad brush strokes.

    1) Doesn't the fact that the rules do exist today, largely influenced by the unions, indicate that in this particular regard their work is done?

    2) Would you agree that unions can become too powerful, bullying companies into unprofitability?

    3) How do you explain workers in southeastern states working for auto companies have resisted unionization?

    4) Why do unions fear workers having a secret ballot to decide on unionization?


    1) As Wisconsin and Indiana prove, gains made by unions can be erased without vigilance. Regulations can be done away with (and have been/are being). As companies grow larger and more powerful and the government is increasingly captured by corporate interests, people power (via unions and other associations) are more critical than ever. That's why they're under attack.

    2) No. No company has ever gone under because of unreasonable demands from unions.

    3) These are largely economically depressed regions where people are desperate for jobs and the workers have been told that they can keep their jobs if they keep the unions out.

    4) Unions don't fear a secret ballot. That's a myth. In fact, even if card check because law, the NLRA would still require a secret ballot before approval.


    I call bullshit. I can only imagine you're hiding behind a rather legalistic and marginal interpretation to arrive at these answers but

    1. This has nothing to do with big unions but the very fact that workers want the choice of whether or not to be in a union - how is this so difficult for you to understand? Unions depend on coercion and a monopoly on a company's work force. Smaller companies are least able to cope - and businesses are not getting larger - they're getting smaller - particularly in areas of manufacturing where unions are against greater automation and productivity.

    2. Ah then those companies must have gone under because of reasonable demands icon_rolleyes.gif GM comes immediately to mind.

    3. No - they're getting new jobs because they've kept the unions out because this allows them to pay based on things like merit and individual contribution. Believe it or not, the world isn't driven by automakers anymore.

    4. Yeah so why bother with cardcheck in the first place to coerce people into voting for the union as a collective? Not a myth - the reality is that because people are so unwilling to choose to be part of a union they require the ability to single out holdouts and intimidate them until they submit.


    1. People who don't want to be in a union have a choice of going to work in a non-union shop. Unions do not "depend on coercion" and generally only include front line workers - not management. Smaller companies are almost never the target of union activities, so you're either uninformed or purposefully deceitful (as usual) and as with government workers there are ways to eliminate staff either for cause or restructuring, you just can't do it willy-nilly, so your monopoly argument is horseshit.

    2. GM did not go bankrupt because of labor costs. There were larger systemic issues and, of course, the recession which hurt all car companies. In fact, the unions were much more willing to negotiate than other stakeholders during restructuring.

    3. This is just silly. Union contracts can be structured in any number of ways, including to reward efficiency, innovation, etc.

    4. Card check has been proposed because of corporations going to extremes to prevent a majority of workers from unionizing when they want to, including lock outs, illegal harassment and intimidation, violence and a range of other tactics.
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    Feb 03, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    1. People who don't want to be in a union have a choice of going to work in a non-union shop.

    And in an increasing number of states they also have the choice of working where they want and not being forced into a union and having their union dues collected by the state.
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    Feb 03, 2012 1:26 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 said
    1. People who don't want to be in a union have a choice of going to work in a non-union shop.

    And in an increasing number of states they also have the choice of working where they want and not being forced into a union and having their union dues collected by the state.


    Is the state collecting union dues for private company employees? I doubt it. icon_rolleyes.gif

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    Feb 03, 2012 4:28 PM GMT
    very thorough, christian.

    you as much as dropped a house on him.
    icon_lol.gif