You’re Fired!

Reblogged from EDUSHYSTER

Teachers at Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies voted to form a union—then a whole bunch of them got fired…

urban prep mainIt’s back to school season, reader. Which means that all over the land teachers are returning to their classrooms, armed with the $513 worth of school supplies they purchased with their own money. Well, not all over the land. Sixteen Chicago-land teachers at Urban Prep Academies won’t be returning to the charter network this fall because they weresuddenly let go at the end of the school year :( Note: the firings had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that almost all of the no-longer-working-at-Urban-Prep-teachers were involved in a successful effort to form a union.

Picture yourself…looking for a new job
Regular readers will recall that we first encountered the teachers-turned-union organizers at Urban Prep last spring. As they explained hereand here, the teachers decided to form a union to redress what they saw as a serious problem: Urban Prep administrators’ lack of accountability to, well, anyone. So on June 3rd, a majority of teachers voted *yes* to having a union in a secret-ballot election. But instead of our story ending here, this is the point at which we stumble onto the treacherous shoals of labor law. You see, it took the Labor Board weeks to certify the results of the election due to large number of ballots that school administrators were contesting. And during this *grey area* period when the new union wasn’t yet officially official, Urban Prep fired sixteen teachers. Hows come? Well, because they could. Administrators are arguing that until the exact moment that the union becomes official, they are allowed to do whatever it is they feel like doing. Which would seem to be an example of exactly the kind of asshole-ish behavior that prompted teachers at the charter network to form a union in the first place.

You’re fired! And so are you…
So who were the teachers who were shown the door on the very last day of urban prep rallyschool? Well, almost all of them can be found on pro-union flier above. Several were among the most senior teachers at Urban Prep; 80% were African American, in a network where teachers are overwhelmingly white. Some teachers were given no reason for their sudden termination. Then there is Mathias Muschal, chair of the English Department, who helped to found Urban Prep’s newest campus in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. He was fired for holding a pizza party for the track and field team he coaches. *The official reason was insubordination. I was told that the party was indicative of my disdain for leadership and an act of aggression because I failed to notify the administration about it ahead of time,* Read more>>