The NY Post has a story yeterday that reported on the 1500 UFT members who are being paid not to teach as part of a negotiated union-release program: "In the city's funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two. The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities -- and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom. It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung -- at full pay -- to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers."
In a time of fiscal austerity, some folks think that the practice should end: "With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it's time to halt the extravagant benefit. "In these tight fiscal times, it defies common sense to pay two different people to do one job," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog. "It's a waste of money."