It's Time for Clawback Against Teacher Unions

I find it pathetic that the East Providencer teachers union is pushing ahead with a lawsuit challenging the school department's abolishment of seniority in placing teachers in the city's classrooms. (This is the same union that was recently fighting having its members pay anything for their healthcare.)

Getting rid of the union's practice of bumping teachers to make sure that senior teachers stay in the classroom, regardless of their suitability to the subject or teaching performance, is an important clawback of managerial rights that school committees around the state relinquished to the unions decades ago. Now it's high time for seniority to go, replaced by professional decision-making centering on placing the best teachers in the classrooms for the benefits of....yes, students.

We've certainly seen what happens when you give teacher unions too much power: student performance declines and graduation rates go down. That's because the unions' emphasis is on coddling, protecting and feathering teachers' nests, not on instructing young minds.

Teacher unions will fight back on any challenge to their power. Issues like seniority and performance measurement are anathema to them. So they go to court filing grievance after grievance, which costs cities and towns dearly in legal costs and lost time.

Virtually every RI city and town needs to go on the offensive against the teacher unions. The municipalities have the support of not only the new RI Education Commissioner, Deborah Gist, but also the U.S. Department of Education in Washington.

It's time to clawback the managerial rights that never should have been conceded to the unions in the first place. This is a battle that needs to be won for the sake of our kids.


  1. you have no idea what you are talking about

  2. Then why don't you explain what he's talking about, Anonymous? You seem to have the answers.

  3. Mr. White seems to think that everything public employee unions do is bad. Shame on him!

  4. ok...very simple.

    East Providence and Providence are 2 different cities.

    The Providence teachers are suing to stop the illegal power grab by the Commissionner, not the EP teachers.

    The East Providence were not fighting having to pay anything for health insurance. They offered to pay for h/i but the school committee wanted more, so they broke the law to get it.

    if these simple facts are too complicated to hazen white then one has to really question his judgement.

  5. Let me clear one thing up: I am not opposed to rank and file public employee unions members. What I am opposed to is public employee union management that acts as a barrier to the success of our children. Union management thinks about one thing only, and that is the continuance of union power and privilege. This may serve them well but it sure doesn't serve the needs of students. And yes, I do know something about education policy in this state, having served on the board of the Education Partnership.

    We will disagree on this subject, and that's fine. This blog is a place to debate these and other issues. I always welcome your comments.

  6. I couldn't agree more with Mr. White when it comes to teacher unions in this state. They are hurting our cities and towns financially,and hurting all of us taxpayers with sky high property taxes. The unions have gotten too much power. And what do they deliver: poorly educated, unprepared students! The shame lies with them!!

    Leo P.


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