The Little Red Schoolhouse
Linda Lovelace Sucks Money Out of San Francisco Schools: Ms. Lovelace was in charge of administering contracts between the school district and Bay Area Community Resources. According to her termination letter, she signed contracts on behalf of officials who had not given her authorization and submitted false claims that she had worked 12-hour days during the school year.
“Your conduct in intentionally requesting and receiving an additional four hours of compensation every single day is tantamount to stealing,” stated the dismissal notice, which was written by Roger Buschmann, the chief administrative officer. “Particularly at a time when the district faces a multimillion-dollar deficit and forced layoffs of many skilled and diligent professionals, such conduct is appalling.”
Detroit School Union Boss: “We’re Shortchanged so Let’s Attack….Students”: The president of the Detroit Public Schools teachers union wants substitute teachers to stop developing lesson plans, grading assignments and participating in parent-teacher conferences. The move is meant to send a message to Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb, who hasn’t restored pay and benefits of substitute teachers serving as a daily classroom teachers due to teacher shortages this year, said Keith Johnson, president of Detroit Federation of Teachers.
Next Target, after merit pay, abolition of tenure, mass racist layoffs, etc.—Teacher Pension Funds: Today there is an almost $500 billion shortfall for funding teacher pensions, and that gap is growing. Why should you care? Because ultimately taxpayers are on the hook for that money. But the problem doesn’t just end there. The way teacher pensions operate is badly suited to today’s teacher workforce, where 30-year careers are no longer the norm. The current setup penalizes teachers who move between states, switch to private or public-charter schools that do not participate in the pension system or leave teaching altogether. Meanwhile, it becomes financial suicide for teachers to change careers after a certain point, even if they no longer want to teach or are not good at it.
Weaker Dollar Won’t Help Workers: Another reason increased sales abroad might not translate into American jobs is that American companies have moved steadily overseas in recent decades. The number of workers employed by American companies abroad more than doubled from 1989 to 2008, to 10.5 million, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. Companies mostly wanted to open up foreign markets, and in some cases take advantage of cheaper labor, studies show, but less vulnerability to currency movements was an important fringe benefit.
Hot Damn! Cheap American Workers For Sale! GREER, S.C. —When German automaker BMW put out the call recently to hire a thousand factory workers here, the people who responded reflected the upheaval occurring in the U.S. economy. Among the applicants: a former manager of a major distribution center for Target, a consultant who oversaw construction projects in four Western states and a supervisor at a plastics-recycling firm. Some held college degrees and résumés in other fields where they made more money. But they’re all in the factory now making $15 an hour — about half of what the typical German autoworker makes.
The trade debate in the United States usually focuses on the jobs lost to factories in the developing world. But the recession has forced countless skilled workers in this country to consider jobs they would have rejected in the past. They now offer foreign manufacturers a resource that was far less common just a few years ago: cheaper wages for better talent…At GM and Chrysler, new hires make $14 an hour, or half the amount that existing workers take home. Likewise, at the BMW plant, which is not unionized, new workers earn a little more than half of what those hired earlier make. Some still seemed stunned by their change of circumstances. But they are almost uniformly grateful for the opportunity.
Read the full Rouge Forum Update here.