Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
B.P. Molinaro to Albany: “Repeal the teacher seniority law, allow good teachers to remain in the classroom”
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.—Borough President James P. Molinaro today expressed support for Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to repeal New York State’s “teacher seniority law,” which calls for a “last hired, first fired” approach to teacher layoffs.
“Something is clearly wrong with the system when we’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on salaries for teachers in ‘rubber rooms’ across the City, while children may lose a great teacher from the classroom,” Molinaro added. “In any country with a dictatorship, this policy would cause a revolution.
“Let the teachers in the rubber rooms take their pensions and go home,” Molinaro said. “It is time for labor to understand that letting go of the good teachers and saving the bad ones solely based on seniority isn’t pro-labor, it’s pro-lazy.
“I fully support Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal, and I urge Albany to act in the best interest of the children and take the necessary steps to revise the law,” Molinaro continued. “Newer, excellent teachers should be retained over those more senior teachers who have developed apathy toward their jobs. Teachers who are making a positive difference in the lives of their students should be retained, period.
“I have been pro-labor all of my life,” Molinaro said. “The worst thing we can do in this economy is to lay off our best-performing workers. It is vital that labor comes to the table and changes this dysfunctional status quo of ‘seniority-based protection.’ Keep the good teachers in the classrooms. Retire the underperforming teachers.
“Seniority should not dictate job status,” Molinaro concluded. “The state law must be changed so that New York City schoolchildren are provided with the best teachers possible, and I hope that Albany will act swiftly to enact the Mayor’s proposal.”
February 1, 2011