Teachers Union vs. Boston: Who's Right?
Both sides agree to new rules that weaken seniority, but the union wants a better notification system for underperforming teachers. The city says the union wants to keep failing teachers in the system. Who's right?
The long, hard negotiation between the Boston teachers Union and city just got uglier, with the union filing an unfair labor practice complaint against the city and the city appealing to the state to break the impasse at the bargaining table.
At issue are the details surrounding a controversial new measure that eases the role seniority plays in personnel decisions. Both sides agreed to the new rules, which diminish seniority in favor of performance standards. But the union believes the rules must come with some system to help struggling teachers.
“The school department wants to have a simplified process, without giving people notification when they are not doing as well as they should. What we are looking for is timely and constructive feedback, time to improve and notification of the rating evaluation cycle,” said Union President Richard Stutman, according to WBUR.
Boston officials balk at that plan, saying the union simply wants to delay the school system from firing bad teachers.
What do you think? Is the union stonewalling to protect its long-time members, or does the city owe veteran teachers more time to improve before they're fired? Tell us in the comments below.
[Editor's Note: This story is posted on all Boston Patch sites.]