In a letter to the Minneapolis Parents
Forum, dated 5 Dec 2006, MFT local 59 president, Robert Panning Miller wrote
Last year, the district and the union
signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that put a one year moratorium on realignment. MFT 59 is willing to renew this MOA
right now...It is ironic that the district is looking to weaken seniority rights on the one hand, and at the same time saying
no to an MOA that does just that. Yes, realignment most strictly adheres to the concept of "last hired, first fired."
have until winter break to sign the MOA. After that, teachers will begin to surrender their additional licenses, and we would
not want to sign an MOA at that point...
[see full text at]
In my opinion,
the union should not withdraw its offer to sign the MOA on realignment. Extension of the MOA on realignment should be put
forward by the union as a union demand, rather than as a concession to a demand that the management doesn't want to put forward.
Extending the MOA on realignment is the strongest position that the union can take in response to the school board's idea
of a solution to the problems caused by realignment: The elimination of seniority and tenure rights, i.e., giving administrators
the power to fire and reassign teachers at their pleasure.
The "realignment" of teachers across licensure
areas more strictly adheres to the concept of "last hired, first fired," as the union president noted. However, the realignment
process leads to more cuts in teacher positions by weakening programs. And the realignment process involves the reassignment
of teachers who hold positions that are not being eliminated, i.e., tenure rights are sacrificed to more strictly adhere to
the concept of "last hired first fired."