CEO’s Layoff Letter is ‘New Low,’ Says Baltimore Teachers’ Union Prez

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Baltimore City Schools HQ
Baltimore City Schools HQ

Baltimore public schools are planning layoffs after Memorial Day. The teachers’ union president said they didn’t give enough notice.

According to WBAL-TV, Acting Schools CEO Tracy Turner sent a letter to teachers Thursday announcing layoffs. She didn’t say how many jobs would be cut, but said they would happen on May 31, which is the day after Memorial Day.

The city’s teachers’ union is fighting back. That might not sound particularly surprising, but in this case the union leadership says it’s how the school leadership went about the announcement, rather than the fact they are happening at all.

In a letter, Union President Marietta English writes that the short notice violates the collective bargaining agreement. She writes that the union has to have a chance to bargain over the layoffs with the administration. Even though there have been layoffs in the past, English writes that the union and administration have always had an “open line of communication.”

The move “represents a new low in union-management relations in the Baltimore City Public School System.”

Not only was the move on short notice before a holiday weekend, but it was also undertaken by a caretaker administration on North Ave. Following Gregory Thornton’s firing earlier this spring, Turner is only filling the CEO role until Sonja Santelises takes over on July 1.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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