Last updated on: 6/17/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

New York State United Teachers Biography

Position:
Pro to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"
Reasoning:

“Unions don’t grant tenure – administrators do. Too many school boards and superintendents attack tenure rather than hold their own managers accountable for hiring and supervising teachers and, if necessary, removing those who don’t make the grade. Tenure is granted by the board of education on recommendation of the superintendent -but many schools do a poor job of evaluating and supporting teachers…

Tenure’s not about protecting ‘bad’ teachers; it’s about protecting good teachers. What would happen to teachers without tenure? They could – and would – be fired for virtually any reason.

It’s not hard to imagine teachers being dismissed because they failed the daughter of an influential businessman or because the school board president’s nephew needed a job.

In these fiscally troubled times, what would stop a school board from replacing a veteran teacher at the top of the pay scale with a first-year teacher – simply to save money?Tenure is the first line of defense against attacks on academic freedom. Teachers can engage their students in a free exchange of ideas only if they are protected from arbitrary dismissal for doing so. Tenure prevents school boards from arbitrarily dismissing teachers for holding political, religious or social views with which they disagree.

It protects academic freedom the way the First Amendment protects freedom of the press.”

“Mythbusters: The Truth About Tenure,” nysut.org, Feb. 11, 2011

Description:

“NYSUT is more than 600,000 people who work in, or are retired from, New York’s schools, colleges, and healthcare facilities. We are classroom teachers, college and university faculty and professional staff, school bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants and aides, nurses and healthcare technicians.

NYSUT is a federation of more than 1,200 local unions, each representing its own members. We are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). We are also part of organized labor – the AFL-CIO – and of Education International, with more than 20 million members world wide.

We range in size from tiny locals of fewer than 10 members to the United Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 140,000 teachers and other school employees in New York City.

We are dedicated to improving not only our working conditions, but also our professions. We’re united in a common commitment to improve the quality of education and healthcare for the people of New York.

NYSUT is a grassroots organization. We elect the people who lead our local unions and or state and national affiliates. We elect delegates to a state convention – the Representative Assembly – who discuss issues and set policy that determines the programs and services that NYSUT provides us.

Our NYSUT officers, elected by the Representative Assembly, oversee a staff of more than 450 that carries out the union’s business. The convention delegates also elect a Board Of Directors, which determines policy between conventions.”

“About NYSUT,” nysut.org (accessed June 3, 2011)

Mission:

“Through a representative democratic structure, New York State United Teachers improves the professional, economic and personal lives of our members and their families, strengthens the institutions in which they work, and furthers the cause of social justice through the trade union movement.”

“Mission Statement,” nysut.org (accessed June 3, 2011)

Other:
Federation of 1,200 unions
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Teachers Get Tenure?