“Can you imagine Socrates not answering Plato’s questions because it isn’t in the contract?”
So says Robert Flanders,chairman of the state Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. Prison guard (and union member) James Petrella essentially agrees:
James Petrella, a prison guard, has a few things in common with his son’s teachers.
He is in a union, and he knows what it’s like to work without a contract because he did it once for six years.
But the 45-year-old correctional officer said local teachers are using schoolchildren, including his own, as tools in their battle to get a new labor contract….Petrella said he first realized work to rule was in play last fall when his son’s teachers stayed away from the Winsor Hill School open house for parents.
When his son’s report card arrived with all A’s and B’s, except in music for which he got the equivalent of a C, Petrella called the school to ask about the low mark. The teacher said his son had been disruptive in class, shouting out answers.
Petrella asked why someone hadn’t called to tell him about the problem as another teacher had done in the previous school year. He said the teacher said he was under no contractual obligation to phone a parent.
Petrella persisted, asking why the teacher didn’t at least write a comment on the child’s report card to explain the C. The teacher, he said, responded that the contract doesn’t require him to do that.
On another occasion, he said, his wife asked a different teacher for some homework exercises that would help her son address a slight slip in the boy’s math scores. He said the teacher advised his wife to go to a store in Cranston and pay for a tutorial system called “Up With Learning.”
Kathleen P. Kandzierski, president of the teachers’ union, an affiliate of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, says the union has not ordered any work-to-rule or contract-compliance tactics.
Ah yes, they have not formally”ordered” it so it’s all just one big ko-ink-ee-dink.