The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them

Posted by iusbvision on February 28, 2010

Via Business Insider:

A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system.   

Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring.  The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.

The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000.  This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits).

The school superintendent has responded to the union’s stubbornness by firing every teacher and administrator at the school.

A sign of things to come?

Mish Shedlock has the details at Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis:

Central Falls Rhode Island Fires Every High School Teacher

Here is an interesting email from “Jason” regarding high schools in Central Falls Rhode Island. Jason writes:

Hi Mish,

As I’m sure you’re aware, Rhode Island has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.

Central Falls is one of the poorest towns in the state. It looks like the pictures everyone’s seen of Detroit or Flint. There are lots of boarded up windows, abandoned buildings, decrepit factories with broken windows, etc. It’s an absolutely depressed community. According to Wikipedia, the median income in the town is $22k.

Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-78k. Apparently 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes, and the graduation rate is also under 50%. In an effort to turn the school around, the superintendent requested some changes be made whereby the school day would be slightly extended, teachers would perform some extra tutoring, etc.

The union balked and refused the terms, so now she is firing the entire teaching staff of the high school and replacing them. This is yet another example of unions digging their own graves by refusing to negotiate or accept reasonable terms. Sentiment is on the side of the superintendent, at least among the folks I have discussed the issue with.


With that backdrop, please consider Central Falls to fire every high school teacher.

The teachers didn’t blink.

Under threat of losing their jobs if they didn’t go along with extra work for not a lot of extra pay, the Central Falls Teachers’ Union refused Friday morning to accept a reform plan for one of the worst-performing high schools in the state.

The superintendent didn’t blink either.

After learning of the union’s position, School Supt. Frances Gallo notified the state that she was switching to an alternative she was hoping to avoid: firing the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.

Gallo blamed the union’s “callous disregard” for the situation, saying union leaders “knew full well what would happen” if they rejected the six conditions Gallo said were crucial to improving the school. The conditions are adding 25 minutes to the school day, providing tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer.

2 Responses to “Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them”

  1. Paul Geer said

    Personally, I think its’ time to dump Federal funding of state schools. If I remember correctly, Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate The Department of Education because of the failures then. Progressives/Liberals however thought throwing more money at the problem would “fix” the schools but have only made the largest union the U.S. even larger. 50% students failing to graduate should be unheard of in this country, and it is in home schooling, private schools and religious schools such as Catholic. I lay the blame squarely at the feet Department of Education and NEA with their backward ideas.

  2. These Union Leaders and Teachers need to go on a Short-Term Mission Trip with me for just 8-Days! When they come back, they will see the Greedy and Selfish error of their ways and will THANK GOD for being American and be more Gracious and Grateful for what they ALREADY HAVE. We Middle-Class Americans live like KINGS & QUEENS compared to the Economy of most other Nations!

    Just one trip! I dare you! I challenge all you spoiled rotten and bratty, Lazy Takers of the Teachers Union!

    Missionary James

    [I wish you well in your mission. As the American people lose their faith and fall into spiritual crisis, they lose their culture, their wisdom and their judgment. – Editor]

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