Monday, June 4, 2012

Why seniority matters

I've written before about the dangers of hiring systems that are not transparent or fair, but recently our very own School District, Greater Victoria, has become the subject of apparent nepotism.

The District hired both the son, and also the daughter's boyfriend of Dave Scott, a manager of the International Program. It is not clear what Scott's involvement was and the District would neither confirm nor deny if any conflict of interest was disclosed at any point during the process. The hiring was reported in the Times Colonist by Lindsay Kines here: link

I wrote to education blogger Janet Steffenhagen with my comments and she wrote about it today: link. My full comments were as follows:

It is interesting to see a case of what appears to be nepotism exposed just as the provincial government, through Bill 22 and its employer's agent BCPSEA, is trying to eliminate many of the hiring practices for teachers that guarantee transparency and fairness.

Currently, all teacher positions are posted and the list of successful applicants is available to the union and other teachers. This provides the transparency needed to ensure proper processes are followed. In addition, once employed by a District, teachers are awarded positions through a combination of qualifications and seniority. This ensures that hiring is not based on favouritism.

BCPSEA (and by extension the provincial government and School Districts) want to eliminate these provisions. They want to eliminate all postings for mid-year positions and they want to give the School Principal the discretion to hire based on her/his assessment of "suitability".

Understandably, teachers are concerned that when a single individual has the power to hire based on a subjective assessment of "suitable", the system will be open to abuse. In particular, it is hiring systems like these that become rife with nepotism and cronyism.

No comments:

Post a Comment