10/16/12 Five Strikes and You’re Out


How many second-chances would your boss give you if came to work drunk?  Or high on drugs?  Thought so. 

You’€™d be unemployed.  Most businesses today have a zero tolerance policy. 

They’re a bit more lenient on public school teachers in Bay City, Michigan.  A teacher under the influence of alcohol gets a second chance.  And a third.  In fact, in accordance with the Bay City Education Association’€™s collective bargaining agreement, a teacher has to be caught five times before they can be fired.

[The discipline section of the collective bargaining agreement is here and the entire collective bargaining agreement is here.]

You heard me right.  Five times.

The rules are stricter for drug use.  Just barely.  Teachers must be caught a third time in the unlawful use or possession of illegal drugs before they can be discharged.

Even teachers caught dealing drugs in the classroom can’t be fired for the first offense.

In contrast, students get suspended for a first offense involving booze or drugs.

A 2011 law has rendered these rules unenforceable against teachers.  But they remain in effect for all other school employees.

Don’€™t criticize the teachers’€™ union. They’€™ll get away with as much as they can.  Blame rests with city officials who agreed to these rules. 

Voters should remember this on Election Day.