20 August 2009

Mr. Bobb Hammers Detroit Public School Teachers

Bob “the Strong Man” Bobb has lowered the boom on Detroit Public School teachers. Here’s his proposal for the new contract. Oh, since teacher’s can’t strike in Michigan (without each striking teacher risking a $7,500 fine), this is what teachers will be forced to take.

(Disclosure: I am one of the 1,200 or so laid off teachers.)

This information comes from the DFT.

Mr. Bobb wants (and I expect will get):

1) a 5 year contract

2) 10% wage cut

3) 20% employee contribution to health plans (fair enough, but tough when wages are being cut and frozen for 5 years.)

4) 10% employee contribution to dental plans (ditto)

5) elimination of step raises (paving the way for merit pay)

6) elimination of sick bank pay-out upon retirement (expect lots of sick days from those nearing retirement.)

7) elimination of the longevity bonus (A small bonus, I think $250, at the end of the year for teachers with 15 years or more with DPS. - I agree that this stupidity should be done away with.)

8) elimination of oversize class compensation (A small bonus at the end of the year if you are stuck with more students that agreed upon in the contract. - The bonus is a dumb idea and should be tossed. But small class size is crucial for learning, and this move by Bobb, along with the huge numbers of teacher layoffs, makes classrooms bursting at the seams likely.)

9) elimination of lost prep period compensation. (Teachers get paid at their hourly rate at the end of the year for all the preps they lost that were not made up. - Getting paid isn’t the answer, getting the preps is. I went a month and half without a prep period this year. That means you work with 25-35 kids from first bell to the last bell with only a 40 minute lunch break. No bathroom break, no coffee break, no time to call parents, review the day’s progress, evaluate kids, deal with behavior problems, … you get the idea. If the district doesn’t have to pay for the time, expect more missed preps and more stressed teachers.)

10) elimination of maternity leave beyond FMLA coverage ( I’m not up to speed on this topic.)

11) elimination of sick bank to retain gross earnings when out on workman’s comp. (I’m not sure what to say about this either.)

12) No use of sick bank for you own wedding. (OK Bobb, you’re right about this one.)

13) Elementary school teachers lose two prep periods a week. (I am/was an elementary school teacher and I speak for all of us on this, I’m sure. Bobb is so focused on high school, he has made it clear that he thinks we at the elementary level are morons who do little more than babysit.)

14) Limiting job protection to teachers called away to armed service to 1 year. (Reservists called up should have their jobs protected wherever they work.)

15) reduce layoff notice from 60 days to 14 days. (Surprise! In two weeks you’re out of a job!)

16) require principal’s signature during Open Transfer period. (Right now, you have a window of time when you can request a transfer without your principal’s approval. This allows you to escape from the hordes of pathetically incompetent and abusive principals that seem to float to the top in DPS administration. Bobb wants those idiots to have the say over whether or not you can leave the Hellhole they created.)

Well, that’s all folks! And you wondered why the smart kids have not interest in being teachers.

12 August 2009

GM's Volt will get 230 mph in city, GM announces

And they're going to build it right after they complete the Icarus, GM's flying car project.