Pink Slips in Providence

Julia Steiny reminded us that it was the time of year when pink slips would rain down. Boy, did they ever in Providence where every teacher is slated to be “laid off”. Well, not really–not all of the teachers will be fired. It’s just a way for the Providence school district to enable the greatest amount of flexibility when it comes to budget time, as Providence School Superintendent Tom Brady explained:

We are forced to take this precautionary action by the March 1 deadline given the dire budget outline for the 2011-2012 school year in which we are projecting a near $40 million deficit for the district….Since the full extent of the potential cuts to the school budget have yet to be determined, issuing a dismissal letter to all teachers was necessary to give the mayor, the School Board and the district maximum flexibility to consider every cost savings option, including reductions in staff….To be clear about what this means…this action gives the School Board the right to dismiss teachers as necessary, but not all teachers will actually be dismissed at the end of the school year.

Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith doesn’t like it:

This is beyond insane….Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941.

Nice hyperbolic analogy, there. Further, if we’re to grant you that line of thinking, it would be more correct to say it’s as if the “State Department” (the Providence Teachers Union) called the “air strike” (pink slips) down on themselves. After all, the union collectively bargained the March 1 deadline because it benefited them and it’s a bit disingenuous to cry foul when the option is exercised. My guess is that if there were more management rights (ie; hiring/firing flexibility) within the contract, this could have been avoided.

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Russ
Russ
10 years ago

Less teachers, more test prep… what could possibly go wrong?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

I fully understand the process and why, but why 100% of the teachers if you know that not 100% will be laid off and don’t they have it in their contract that layoffs must happen on a seniority basis? So why even send a notice to the most senior teacher on the list? Why not get an idea of how many you might need to and then build in a healthy number of extra, like even 50% extra. But to send the slip to everyone? Sounds unnecessary. Unless you’re just trying to tweak the nose of the union. Which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing either.

drdave51
drdave51
10 years ago

How are you going to estimate this? What’s Providence going to get for state aid this coming year? Will be a deficit on this year’s budget? The problem is TIMING. The teachers have it written into state law that they must be notified by March 1 if they’re going to be laid off. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
This is a prudent step, within the law, to handle all budgetary eventualities.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

But drdave, in reality, is there any chance that Providence would fire 100% of their teachers? Any chance at all? Meaning they would not have a school system in September? It doesn’t matter what the funding is, they’re going to have a school system and they’re going to have teachers. So why 100%? Why not 75%?

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Think of it like TSA searches. Have to treat them all equally. Isn’t that the “fair” way according to the Leftist playbook?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Hey, like I said, if this is about tweaking the union, I’m fine with that, but it just doesn’t make practical sense. Otherwise, every school district should just give the pink slips to 100% of their teachers every year. Make a mockery of the system. I bet then the union will look for a better way to handle this in the next negotiations.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

The union got the March 1 deadline enacted as state law for precisely this purpose: So that they could engage in propaganda and threaten to fail to do their jobs for the remaining 3.5 months of the school year, holding the children hostage. Just as they have the state law force paycheck withholding of union dues, and prevent anyone from teaching without being a dues-paying union member.
Pretty darn cynical and self-serving, isn’t it? Not what you’d expect from a “professional”, is it?
But for a thug trained in the dirty business of political theater, it’s standard practice.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

These teachers kill me. When you cite the exploding costs and the crashing results, they claim the parents aren’t doing their job. If that is the case, then the pay should be commensurate with babysitters. Then they want to argue they are “professionals” so they deserve more pay. Well tell me, please, just WTF is it, because you can’t have it both ways.
It’s time to get rid of these Nazi unions, just like in Wisconsin!

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“Just as they have the state law force paycheck withholding of union dues”
That sounds ridiculous to me. Why should the state or municipality care whether the union gets their money? Why should the state have to worry about funneling that money? That’s something the union brought on to themselves. I sure hope each municipality charges a hefty sum for that service.
If the union is such a great thing, then what is their management afraid of with regard to its members paying their dues. I have some clubs and organizations where I value the service I get, so I make sure I pay my dues on time so as to not lose out on my privileges. Shouldn’t the union members feel the same way and be able to pay their dues themselves?

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941.”
Stunningly inappropriate and over-the-top hyperbole which reflects very badly on the gentleman’s cause and organization.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Unions destroy themselves absent corrupt (and unconstitutional IMO) state laws forcing all employees in a workplace to join them against their will. Here in Virginia, we have right to work legislation which guarantees the right not to be in a union. Some people choose union representation, while others, like myself, choose to represent themselves instead. How could anybody possibly argue that there is something wrong with that? Naturally, unions have become a complete non-issue in this state because whenever they overstep their bounds, their members leave. What mechanism in Rhode Island keeps Pat Crowley in check? Nothing. Teachers who disagree with his asshat representation of them are SOL and have to pay his outrageous salary anyway, which is exactly how the union-controlled state legislature wants it.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

“But drdave, in reality, is there any chance that Providence would fire 100% of their teachers?”
If we adopt School Choice, yes. We can all do what the Chafee, Obama, Whitehouse, Caprio, Roberts and ALL other powerful progressive families do-abandon the failed pedophile infested AFT and NEA schools.

glockster
glockster
10 years ago

“If we adopt School Choice, yes. We can all do what the Chafee, Obama, Whitehouse, Caprio, Roberts and ALL other powerful progressive families do-abandon the failed pedophile infested AFT and NEA schools.”
So you’ll welcome the students from the lowest performing schools when they chose your child’s school? I doubt it. When the students from Central Falls High, Shea and Tolman start attending your precious, already low performing, charter schools they’ll become what the public schools are now.

triplerichard
triplerichard
10 years ago

Tommy when referring to pedophile infested schools you must be referring to the ones where the teachers are Catholic priests.
As I have said before Tommy you are the best friend to progressives in this state. Every time you write something it is dumber than the last.

triplerichard
triplerichard
10 years ago

Tommy when referring to pedophile infested schools you must be referring to the ones where the teachers are Catholic priests.
As I have said before Tommy you are the best friend to progressives in this state. Every time you write something it is dumber than the last.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

uh, no 3 dicks I am referring to the “five million” of children molested by their leftwing NEA and AFT teachers and covered up by the national media. No Catholic priests.
Use google scumbag-Justin doesn’t permit links:
“” The mainstream media have heavily covered sex-abuse scandals in the
Catholic Church, but some say the national news media have ignored an
estimated 5 million students who have been sexually abused by their
public-school teachers.
Terri Miller, president of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and
Exploitation, suggested a cover up by school officials.
“Reports aren’t being made by administrators when these allegations
come to light,” she said. “They are allowing too many teachers to
quietly resign and move on to go molest somebody else’s children.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

3R-you must not remember the teacher at Mt.Pleasant who sexually molested a retarded 15 year old girl repeatedly and made vidoes of her.
This bastard had been allowed to quietly resign in Massachusetts after being caught molesting students there.
Thankfully,he’s in the ACI,hopefully being cornholed on a daily basis.
You really are a jerk most of the time with your inane and ignorant comments.

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