Under the shocking terms of a new contract, white teachers in Minnesota’s biggest school district can be laid off based on their race.
That’s according to a report put out Sunday by Alpha News, which said that the provision applies to instances of “excessing.”
The United Federation of Teachers’ website states that that excessing refers to “the process of reducing staff in a particular school when there is a reduction in the number of available positions in a title or license area in that school.”
Alpha News cited an article published in June by the Star Tribune which stated that the contract changes the criteria under which excessing job losses will be apportioned.
Specifically, it “upends the traditional last-in, first-out hiring policies as a way to retain ‘members of populations underrepresented among licensed teachers.'”
Edward Barlow is a band teacher at Anwatin Middle School as well as a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers’ executive board, and he praised the change.
“It can be a national model, and schools in other states are looking to emulate what we did,” Barlow was quoted by the Star as saying. “Even though it doesn’t do everything that we wanted it to do, it’s still a huge move forward for the retention of teachers of color.”
Barlow isn’t satisfied, however, adding, “There’s so much more than seniority at stake here. This is a bigger conversation about working conditions, compensation, and microagressions and macroagressions in the workplace.”
“Those are the pieces that this district also needs to reflect on and make some motions to improve,” he concluded.
Attorney says new contract is unconstitutional
However, not everyone is onboard. James Dickey serves as senior trial counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), and he says the agreement is blatantly unconstitutional.
“The [collective bargaining agreement] … openly discriminates against white teachers based only on the color of their skin, and not their seniority or merit,” Dickey told the outlet.
“Minneapolis teachers and taxpayers who oppose government-sponsored racism like this should stand up against it,” he insisted.