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Teacher reassignments & excessive layoffs
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

Subj:      [Mpls] Teacher reassignments & excessive layoffs
Date:     7/3/2004 12:16:43 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Doug Mann)

In a message dated 7/3/2004 7:05:16 AM Central Daylight Time, Dan McGuire writes:

<<     Unfortunately, for the teachers, students, and families, the current reassignment maneuver is permitted under the current contract.  This move has the added effect of making the union look bad. The contract provision protects
seniority and does not allow individual teachers to decline the reassignment if they have a license in the area to which they are being reassigned even though they may not have taught in that area at anytime...  >>

Can I get a copy of the current teachers contract?

I believe that the reassigned elementary teachers have a legitimate beef and can find some points of support in the contract, the law and in the factual situation upon which to base a grievance and take whatever steps may be
necessary to defend their rights.

The number of teachers recently fired greatly exceeds what is justified by the number of positions being cut, retirements, etc. That maneuver (excessive firings) and whatever avoidable infringements on the tenure and seniority rights of teachers accomplished by carrying it out may be challenged as illegal, in my opinion.

It is evident that the management has decided to go with a districtwide excessing and layoff scenario that I described in my last post: Firing 600 teachers on the bottom half of the districtwide seniority list, even though the budget calls for the elimination of *only* 213 regular classroom teaching positions, which leaves about 400 positions up for grabs, plus the positions that will be vacated through normal attrition (Retirements, resignations, and some firings for cause). The district administration is therefore planning to offer to hire / rehire more than 400 teachers. It is questionable whether as many as 400 teachers will want to accept an offer of reemployment with the district.

I won't be the least bit surprised if the board tries to prohibit any public comment on the subject of its excessive layoffs and related violations of seniority and tenure rights during the public board meeting on 13 July 2004.

Stay tuned for an analysis of the MPS 2004-2005 budget that will show how much money in the general operating budget is allocated for administrative costs and highly compensated employees (earning more than the top-paid teachers).

-Doug Mann, King Field
Mann for School Board web site