It is not difficult to understand that if our front-line public servants have incentive to not actually be on the front lines, then the overall quality of those public services will suffer.
A new report from our Center, released this week – Paid for Not Working, Collective Bargaining Taxpayer Ripoff #2 : Providence Teacher Leaves of Absence – highlights the many forms of collectively-bargained “leave time” allowed for teachers.
About a quarter of all Providence teachers are being paid for missing 10% (18 days) or more of their vital class time with students. As the union contract actually allows for up to 37 days of paid-time-off per year per teacher, the teacher absentee problem could be twice as bad.
We should be thankful that more teachers are not taking full advantage of the numerous and counter-productive leave provisions that unions demand.
In a Providence Journal article on our report, Linda Borg asked Providence Teachers Union head Maribeth Calabro about our new report:
Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro acknowledged that the contract permits teachers to take as many as 37 days of paid time off a year but said it would be almost impossible for someone to do so because the allowances for paid absences include a wide variety of reasons… As for Stenhouse’s claim that teachers can get paid for 37 days a year for not being in class, Calabro said, “It’s absolutely ridiculous”.
If Calabro says it’s “ridiculous” that teachers can be paid for 37 days for not working, even though she admits the collective-bargaining contract permits it, then maybe those “ridiculous” provisions should be removed from the contract?
Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?