Sunday, February 6, 2011

The failed logic of seniority based lay-offs.

A union cannot also be a professional organization so long as it defends seniority rules.   What type of organization protects more experienced workers over less experienced ones irregardless of quality?   Not one concerned about professional reputatoin of its workforce, that is for sure.  Here's a great editorial from the New York Post.   Richard Whitmire explains the problem associated with seniority based decision-making.

National teacher union leaders seem to sense their vulnerability on this issue. Rather than defend seniority-based layoffs, they insist the real issue is avoiding layoffs at all. Or, they answer indirectly. “In no other profession is experience deemed a liability rather than an asset,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union. “Teaching is a complex profession, and experience matters.”

Yes, but nobody is arguing that teachers get worse with experience, only that the best teachers aren’t always the most experienced.

We haven’t heard any good defense from union officials of last-hired-first-fired — perhaps because there aren’t any. If you want to the best teachers on the job, you find a different way to allocate layoffs. For political protection against what Rhee experienced in Washington, districts should announce the grounds for layoffs well in advance.

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