Guest Post: In Defense of “Last-In, First-Out”

We just added “On Labor” to our WP blog reader:
❝On Labor is a blog by Benjamin Sachs and Jack Goldsmith devoted to workers, unions, and their politics. We interpret our subject broadly to include the current crisis in the traditional union movement (why union decline is happening and what it means for our society); the new and contested forms of worker organization that are filling the labor union gap; how work ought to be structured and managed; how workers ought to be represented and compensated; and the appropriate role of government – all three branches – in each of these issues.❞


Andrew Strom is Associate General Counsel of SEIU Local 32BJ.

The trial court decision in Vergara v. State of California drew headlines recently because the judge struck down several provisions of California’s laws governing tenure for public school teachers.  One of the provisions at issue was the “last-in, first-out rule,” which provides that the last hired teacher will be the first one let go in the event of layoffs.  Here’s how the judge described the rule:  “No matter how gifted the junior teacher, and no matter how grossly ineffective the senior teacher, the junior gifted one, who all parties agree is creating a positive atmosphere for his/her students, is separated from them and a senior grossly ineffective one who all parties agree is harming the students entrusted to her/him is left in place.”

When you put it that way, it seems pretty hard to defend “last in, first out.”  But, in…

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About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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