Monday, October 11, 2010

Volunteers as a competitive threat

The teachers’ union in Bridgewater and Raynham [Massachusetts] has filed a labor grievance that could block volunteers from keeping the school district’s libraries open. And as word of the work action spreads, it is stirring up outrage in the two towns.

Librarian positions were cut from the middle schools in both towns this year and their salaries channeled into hiring teachers to address bulging class sizes. Volunteer organizations stepped in to pick up the slack — only to be surprised and disappointed by threats of a labor complaint. ...

“You’re putting unqualified people into the library who are not certified,’’ [union president Anita] Newman said, calling it the basis of the grievance. ...

“The volunteers check books in and out and shelve books,’’ [superintendent Jacqueline] Forbes said. “These tasks don’t require you to be certified.’’
--Christine Legere, Boston Globe, on volunteers as scabs. See also the previous installment in this series.

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