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Beware: NewTLA is Attacking Seniority Protections

May 20, 2011

I guess I should have known when Yolie approved of NewTLA that they weren’t what they said they would be.  Claiming to represent hitherto unheard members of UTLA they have challenged the dinosaur elements within UTLA but appear to have a more sinister motive and that is to eliminate seniority rights in layoffs.   This of course would turn teachers against each other and be the beginning of the end of teaching as a profession.  They appear to be a progressive organzation but look at #1  under “priorities” in the About page and you will get a shock.

UPDATE7/ 17  It appears as if NewTLA has removed the section about using factors other than srniority in teacher retention decisions. Perhaps it is due  to wanting a broader agenda or to not scare off veteran teachers.  Hopefully, after they saw what Yolie did to HPHS they have had a change of heart. Or maybe they discovered that the teacher of the year was not rehired during the reconstituion of Muir Middle School- that would have a sobering affect on any teacher organization. Obviously, the district doesn’t care about quality of teaching in their retention decisions. 

  Be warned if approached by NewTLA to get involved. They appear to be progressive and inclusive but they are anything but.    Our union is already changing thanks to the election of Warren Fletcher as President and the apparent election of Bennet Kayser in the 5th district school board race.

There is nothing “new” about NewTLA.  They are the same tired voices who want to attack the protections that keep cronyism and nepotism at bay in teacher retention decisions.  They are playing right into the hands of the Koch brothers and the Scott Walkers of the world. Unfortunately, they are made up of many young, earnest teachers who buy into the “bad teacher” mythology and have little knowledge of the history of attacks on teachers.   As my sister in law who teaches in an upper class  public school district once said to me,”We could trade places for a whole year and the test scores of each group of students would still be the same.”  AMEN. 

Interestingly, the state of California has billions for more prisons and prison guard salaries so why isn’t NewTLA questioning why there are teachers layoffs at all?  Instead, they are obscuring the real issues by encouraging teachers to turn on each other.  And while they do, more prisons will be built.

In addition, seniority is used by other public workers’ unions to decide layoffs but for some reason, it’s only the teachers who have to give up their seniority rights. Even private industry uses a “last hired, first fired” policy in many cases.  NewTLA  ignores the larger forces at work to deprofessionlize teaching and corporatize the knowledge that our students receive.  I urge everyone to contact their Area Rep and find out how to run for the House of Reps in their area.  We need to fight the wolves that appear in sheeps clothing who have shown up at UTLA’ s doorstep.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 8:43 am

    Elimnation of seniority will have a chilling effect on

    teacher activism even for those in their late 50s as

    it is hard to live on an “early retirement” pension.

    You know they will fire anyone who sticks their head up.

  2. May 20, 2011 2:46 pm

    Last in/first out is also commonly used in private industry & no one is talking about it. One of my first jobs in the late 80’s, I was laid off because I was hired last. My employer told me that he would have laid off someone else, but they felt the fairest way to do it (& to avoid any potential lawsuits), was to let me go. They rehired me a couple of months later when work picked up again.

    My husband manages a small autobody shop & they also usually lay off the person last hired. I believe that many in private industry do this because they recognize the value of the time & experience that they have already invested in the employee.

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