Our entire system of labor relations in the public sector continues to unravel big time. Just this past week President Obama signed his $26 billion bailout bill for states that cannot afford to keep teachers and other municipal employees on their payrolls.
The week before, the embattled Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) sued the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in federal district court to reverse the layoffs of close to 1,000 teachers and assorted other academic personnel. In a delicious fit of irony, CTU complaint insisted, here but nowhere else, that the teachers contacts were protected property interests that could be terminated for unsatisfactory performance only with an individualized hearing that would drag on long past the start of the next school year. Otherwise, the CTU insists on the enjoining job cuts "outside" seniority. The highest paid teachers are the last to go.