Superintendent Proposes Labor Reforms; Union Scoffs

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The interim superintendent of the Minneapolis school district has proposed a radical shift in the way that the teachers are hired in the city's schools. The change would mean that teachers in Minneapolis public schools would no longer work for the school district but instead would work for the union itself. When a school needed a teacher, it would submit its request directly to the union's "hiring hall." The hiring hall would be responsible for sending the school a qualified, licensed teacher. In essence, the union would take over the HR function for the district. Principals, in turn, would have greater discretion in selecting and developing their teaching team and an easier time making periodic changes to the team.

Even though the system was proposed by union activists Charles Kerchner, Julia Koppich, and Joseph Weeres, in a book entitled United Mind Workers, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers opposes the plan. Representatives of the union complained that the new system would eliminate seniority in teacher assignments.