Skip to comments.Outrage, anxiety after Providence mayor fires almost 2,000 teachers
Posted on 02/24/2011 7:08:44 PM PST by LdSentinal
CNN) -- The firing of every teacher in the Providence public school system has set off a wave of anxiety, anger and uncertainty in the Rhode Island city, with a union leader blasting the mayor's decision as anti-union maneuvering along the lines of what's happening in the Midwest.
Mayor Angel Tavares said in a online message Wednesday that he authorized the previous day's move to dismiss almost 2,000 teachers and staff to allow for greater flexibility once the budget process is complete. Tavares also said the final number of layoffs needed to balance a multimillion budget deficit will be determined later.
Still that explanation did little to assuage those teachers in the firing line, nor did a closed-door forum Thursday with Superintendent Tom Brady on the matter.
"The mood in the meeting today was extremely grim," one such teacher, Lori Iannucci, told CNN affiliate WPRI. "Teachers felt very negative, unappreciated. No questions were answered."
Teachers said that their union wasn't notified beforehand of the termination notices. At Thursday's meeting, they said they were given general assurances that the situation could be resolved within the next month.
But Steve Smith, president of the city's teacher's union, said he believed the decision "makes no sense at all to teachers or the community." He accused Tavares of "making a political decision to take control and silence workers" -- a group that, he said, has consistently and continually worked with city leaders to implement reforms.
"It's shocking that in the midst of working in a collaborative environment ... the mayor says you're fired," Smith told reporters. "This sounds very much like what's going on in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, where lawmakers want to get rid of collective bargaining and remove the voice of workers."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
The mayor? Is he a .... Is he a Democrat? You sure as hell wouldnt know it would you.
Knowingly or not, he has taken the 1st step towards quickly raising the educational standards in that community.
This will be like a wave...you might see city after city in the state take the same action now.
the unions need to be OUT of education.
They killed our education.
Has NO place in education or law enforcement.
I originally thought the socialists will bus in some of out of state thugs in an attempt to intimidate city officials to reverse their decision but then I realized, with all the states and now municipalities taking the same approach simultaneously, there are only so many they can bus to out of state locations at the same time before they start to run out of protesters.
I bet there are a bunch of happy kids in Providence tonight!
I am thinking that if NObama can just stay focused on the Gay folks for a while longer we might just get rid of the darn unions, then hire the teachers back. After all once the Union is gone the teachers can offset the loss in wages by paying more for their benefits against keeping those union dues. Only the Union thugs will be left looking for work....YEA!
In the 30’s the union picked the bones of the economy also.
In Rhode Island you would assume so. But the office there may be non-partisan like in Chicago (perversely enough).
Don’t count on it. Unions will hire homeless people or illegal immigrants (at non-union wages and no benefits) to do the jobs that union workers will not!
Apparently he’s a new mayor, just sworn in in January. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic. The old mayor was elected to Patrick Kennedy’s congressional seat.
can you hear me now?!
The mayor of Providence hasn't fired a single teacher. He has authorized that all teachers be given notice that staff reductions could be taking place this year. All teachers were given notice rather than some as has been done in the past.
Indeed, he could fire every teacher if the circumstances required it budget-wise.....but the fact remains, he hasn't fired anyone.
But CNN and the union bosses don't want us to know that. Otherwise they couldn't get outraged and start spilling into the streets with their little signs.
Funny how teachers at catholic/private schools aren’t unionized and how most union member public school teachers that can afford it send their kids to catholic/private schools.
Yes,he is a Democrat. The teachers have not all been fired.
He said he wanted the flexiblility to lay off some of them and by law lay off notices had to be sent out by the first of March,so he sent out notices to all,to give him the greatest amount of options. They won’t all get fired.
That son of a bitch Warren in US Vs. Brown threw out the provision in Taft Hartley that required union leadership to sign affidavits that they were not communists.
As a result, union leadership is comprised of nothing but.
We are getting ready to hit the CPUSA and the American communist movement so hard that they wont have time to crawl back under the rocks they came out from.
No worker in the US should be held hostage to unions period, compulsory union dues are unconstitutional under the first and 14th amendments, and the unions need to be stripped of their ability to steal money from workers paychecks on a national level.
If the workers love unions so much they will be happy to voluntarily send them dues.
Theres nothing patently illegal about a POTUS issuing an executive order immediately ending withholding of union dues nationwide, and ordering the National Labor Relations Board to get a Federal Court Order enforcing the Presidents decision
Lets fight it out in the courts, and lets make it a campaign issue, with the promise to end compulsory withholding of union dues one of the first acts of the new GOP Administration.
Its stupid to allow the left (Communists) to use the same mechanism the IRS uses to fund themselves.
U.S. Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. BROWN, 381 U.S. 437 (1965)
381 U.S. 437
UNITED STATES v. BROWN.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.
Argued March 29, 1965.
Decided June 7, 1965.
Respondent was convicted under 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which makes it a crime for one who belongs to the Communist Party or who has been a member thereof during the preceding five years wilfully to serve as a member of the executive board of a labor organization. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding 504 violative of the First and Fifth Amendments. Held: Section 504 constitutes a bill of attainder and is therefore unconstitutional. Pp. 441-462.
(a) The Bill of Attainder Clause, Art. I, 9, cl. 3, was intended to implement the separation of powers among the three branches of the Government by guarding against the legislative exercise of judicial power. Pp. 441-446.
(b) The Bill of Attainder Clause is to be liberally construed in the light of its purpose to prevent legislative punishment of designated persons or groups. Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 . Pp. 447-449.
(c) In designating Communist Party members as those persons who cannot hold union office, Congress has exceeded its Commerce Clause power to enact generally applicable legislation disqualifying from positions affecting interstate commerce persons who may use such positions to cause political strikes. Pp. 449-452.
(d) Section 504 is distinguishable from such conflict-of-interest statutes as 32 of the Banking Act, where Congress was legislating with respect to general characteristics rather than with respect to the members of a specific group. Pp. 453-455.
(e) The designation of Communist Party membership cannot be justified as an alternative, shorthand expression for the characteristics which render men likely to incite political strikes. Pp. 455-456.
(f) A statute which inflicts its deprivation upon named or described persons or groups constitutes a bill of attainder whether its aim is retributive, punishing past acts, or preventive, discouraging future conduct. In American Communications Assn. v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382 , where the Court upheld 9 (h) of the National [381 U.S. 437, 438] Labor Relations Act, the predecessor of 504, the Court erroneously assumed that only a law visiting retribution for past acts could constitute a bill of attainder, and misread the statute involved in United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 , which it sought to distinguish from 9 (h), as being in that category. Pp. 456-460.
(g) The legislative specification of those to whom the enacted sanction is to apply invalidates a provision as a bill of attainder whether the individuals are designated by name as in Lovett or by description as here. Pp. 461-462.
334 F.2d 488, affirmed.
Solicitor General Cox argued the cause for the United States. With him on the brief were Assistant Attorney General Yeagley, Nathan Lewin, Kevin T. Maroney and George B. Searls.
Richard Gladstein argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Norman Leonard.
Briefs of amici curiae, urging affirmance, were filed by Melvin L. Wulf for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California et al., and by Victor Rabinowitz and Leonard B. Boudin for the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
In this case we review for the first time a conviction under 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which makes it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to serve as an officer or (except in clerical or custodial positions) as an employee of a labor union. 1 Section 504, the purpose of which is to protect [381 U.S. 437, 439] the national economy by minimizing the danger of political strikes, 2 was enacted to replace 9 (h) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended by the Taft-Hartley Act, which conditioned a unions access to the National Labor Relations Board upon the filing of affidavits by all of the unions officers attesting that they were not members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. 3 [381 U.S. 437, 440]
Respondent has been a working longshoreman on the San Francisco docks, and an open and avowed Communist, for more than a quarter of a century. He was elected to the Executive Board of Local 10 of the International Longshoremens and Warehousemens Union for consecutive one-year terms in 1959, 1960, and 1961. On May 24, 1961, respondent was charged in a one-count indictment returned in the Northern District of California with knowingly and wilfully serv[ing] as a member of an executive board of a labor organization . . . while a member of the Communist Party, in wilful violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 504. It was neither charged nor proven that respondent at any time advocated or suggested illegal activity by the union, or proposed a political strike. 4 The jury found respondent guilty, and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed and remanded with instructions to set aside the conviction and dismiss the indictment, holding that 504 violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. 334 F.2d 488. We granted certiorari, 379 U.S. 899 .
Respondent urges - in addition to the grounds relied on by the court below - that the statute under which he was convicted is a bill of attainder, and therefore violates Art. I, 9, of the Constitution. 5 We agree that 504 is void as a bill of attainder and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals on that basis. We therefore find it unnecessary to consider the First and Fifth Amendment arguments. [381 U.S. 437, 441]
So Scott Walker is getting lambasted for trying to prevent teacher layoffs while the Dem Tavares just fired a bunch of his. Will the Unions flock to protest in RI? Highly doubt it.
The mayor and supt are doing what the law says they must do... a law that was most likely passed because of union demands.
Actually the industrial unions killed themselves by overeaching and destroying whole industries and millions of jobs (Airlines, Steel, Automobiles, Textiles, Merchant Marine, Railroads, etc.) The public service unions are even worse and are working on destroying themselves right now!!! It really is a shame that most Americans do not realize how destructive labor unions have been to losing jobs and industries to countries like the PRC (China), India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. And...you can blame the Democrat Party and POTUS Obama. If the unions win this battle, you can kiss the USA economy and nation goodbye!!!
screw the union
That’s funny! Lol!!
Hell they would have replacements in 2 days.
Good for him. Better for the children.
Sounds like the union wrote the story for CNN “reporter” and the “reporter” never fact checked it with the Mayor’s office. I bet the “reporter” never saw one of the notices that was sent out. Great journalism at CNN.
The “journalists” are union members too.
Just a thought... If you're working "consistently and continually" on something, that tells me you're not really making any progress on it. I guess he finally got fed up with all that consistent and continual work on reforms and just decided to start over. Good.
News from the Commonwealth of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation.
Does that make Providence a “Free fire” zone?
Didn’t someone say this is normal? Something about this happens every year.
Another thing to thank Jimmuh Carter for ... his thank you gift to the teachers unions was the Dept of Ed, and their power/influence skyrocketd. 30+ years later, we’re still paying.
One big happy family.
And the teacher responds at the end of the article,
“How do we motivate our students to continue to value (us) as educators when our power has been taken away from us?” said Iannucci. “We’ll do our best. Really, what can we do?”
There is so much wrong with this....don’t even get me started......
I loved Reagan, worked on his 1976 campaign in Calif., and then the 80 and ‘84 back here. He was one of our greatest.
But I was deeply disappointed in one campaign promise he didn't keep: to dismantle the Dept of Ed.
I have a friend who was a Reagan appointee to the Dept of Ed - she was very aware of what evil was afoot there and went down with high hopes. After a couple years, she realized it wasn't going to happen and came back home to continue the fight - deeply disappointed.
RI is a hard core Dem state. They can let the cops check illegals on police stops and other stops but the media never mentions that. I doubt anyone will get fired but the money and time is running out.
**Funny how teachers at catholic/private schools arent unionized and how most union member public school teachers that can afford it send their kids to catholic/private schools.**
And the children get an excellent education while not feeding at the public union trough.
**Funny how teachers at catholic/private schools arent unionized and how most union member public school teachers that can afford it send their kids to catholic/private schools.**
And the children get an excellent education from teachers who are not feeding at the public union trough.
This is the kind of non-thinking drivel that passes for a political argument with the teachers? Just fire them all, everywhere. Big, marxist government out of the schools.
Teachers are paid by tax money; part of their pay (tax money, remember) goes to pay union dues; the union dues (tax money, remember) goes to elect democrats. NONE goes to elect any Republicans. No teacher has any say in where the money goes, either.
Sweet deal, the democrats have, getting ALL the taxpayers to subsidize their socialist candidates, especially the ones who despise them and would never vote for them in a million years.
The city could use this opportunity to rid themselves of incompetent teachers by hiring back only the best teachers thereby avoiding the hassle of lengthy proceedings to fire individual teachers. On the other hand, the mayor could attempt to employ the opportunity to bring more skilled Democrat propagandists.
Now, now. We don’t use that language here. Just call them bastids; that gets by the censors. ;-)
Seriously, you’re 100% right.
You are right on target here. This is standard practice in many districts if there is a possibility a budget won’t be passed or a contract negotiation may be delayed. Either all the pink slips will be rescinded or enough of the less senior teachers will be riffed to meet the budget or contract costs.
The story looks more like a setup piece for a sequel where teachers triumph over the evil politicians trying to destroy the union or schools. Sort of a false victory where there was no possibility of defeat in the first place.
If our newly-minted Tea Party Conservative Congressmen really wanted to make a meaning full statement about cutting costs and reducing government, they would propose eliminating the Dept. of Ed. as a first step. Then each year eliminate another unnecessary and unconstitutional government agency.
Their long-term, continuing goal should be to ‘defund the left.’ They have a LOT on their plate. I’m willing to see them defund NPB/NPR, and Planned Parenthood. They can all go the PRIVATE fund raising route, IMO.
Then, Congress can look at the agencies and depts that do nothing but suck up and spent taxpayers’ dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it.
Remember Jimmuh’s Dept of Energy that’s spend how many gazillions of dollars but has nada result 30+ years later? We are facing $5/gallon gas thanks to the unrest in the ME and, more importantly, the environmentalists and Obama’s Administrations continuing to prevent drilling. (despite a court order overturning their ban!)
I agree and would recommend patience. It’s also good strategy and tactics to not telegraph planned actions to an enemy and be prepared with overwhelming force to make the public case and demolish their arguments. That takes careful thought, planning and time. We should give them that benefit of the doubt but maintain our vigilance.
He was endorsed by SEIU.
I am not sure what the Dept. of Education was supposed to accomplish but the stated reason for the Dept. of Energy was to make us oil independent in X number of years. Instead they are making us more dependent.
What is the mission statement for the Dept. Of Agriculture? Commerce? EPA? HUD? Etc.? None have accomplished whatever it is they set out to do. They have only grown in size and budget. They all take money from the productive private sector and dump it into make-work, victim-seeking efforts to keep the Democrats in power. These recent riots over public employee unions attest to that.
I was not expecting the Republicans to actually try to eliminate the Dept. of Education. I was saying to suggest it would be making a real statement to those who are opposing these small cuts they are now proposing. As someone said, Politics is the Art of the Possible so along that line they are doing what they can. I was suggesting the say, “If you think these small cuts are something, how about we eliminate the Dept of Education and then see who the NEA and AFT will terrorize?