Involuntary attrition of .03% is not high performing
Posted by Meg Bear on March 20, 2009
I’m no Norma Rae, but I do have a general appreciation for unions. I think unions are an excellent way to promote rights for workers. Rights to safe work environment, fair pay, benefits, etc. I do not, however, think that unions should be in the business of protecting workers who do not perform.
Why? Simple, if you cannot fire non-performers you are hurting the rest of the employees. Frankly, the poor performer, if not cut loose, will drag the whole group down.
This is my first year participating in the California public school system (well since I left it myself), and so far my experience has been great. Of course, I am fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood that is very committed to the schools and puts an overwhelming amount of time and energy into their success. My daughter is also lucky to have an excellent teacher.
So, you can imagine that I was blown away to learn that once given tenure (after 2 years of service) teachers cannot be fired. At least those that are merely incompetent cannot, I guess you could fire the Humbert Humbert types.
In 2003, one Los Angeles union representative said: “If I’m representing them, it’s impossible to get them out. It’s impossible. Unless they commit a lewd act.”
This sounds to me, like the tenure system is a racket. Look at the stats for Los Angeles for 1995-2005
Between 1995 and 2005, only 112 Los Angeles tenured teachers faced termination — eleven per year — out of 43,000. And that’s in a school district whose 2003 graduation rate was just 51 percent.
Wow! What can that possibly be doing for the engagement levels of the awesome teachers ? Where are the non-fired bad teachers going? I’m guessing there are more than a few employee hot potato situations.
I’m all for paying teachers more, a lot more, but I cannot see how we get better schools for everyone, until we start requiring performance for that pay. In my experience, numbers like these do not reflect reality.
I’m not suggesting we need to go Jack Welch, but I do think that some level of workforce trimming is necessary for a healthy organization to grow.
Hit me with your comments readers, tell me what is being done to fix this? How do I get involved?