A budget plan that Governor Don Carcieri submitted this month to close a massive deficit includes a provision making it illegal for teachers to protest during contract negotiations by performing strictly to the terms of their contracts, for example, by refusing to host after-school clubs or chaperone school dances.
It raises a legal question: Can people be fined for strictly doing their jobs? Carcieri's administration believes the answer is yes.
Besides prohibiting teachers from striking, Carcieri's proposal would ban teachers from conducting deliberate work slowdowns or doing the bare minimum required under their contracts, commonly called working to rule. Violators would be fined two days' pay.</p>
First, how can you punish an employee for "just" doing their job?
This reminds me of the "flair" Joanna is supposed to wear for her job in the movie Office Space... The work requirement was 15... but the boss passive-aggressively advised her that she was less of an employee because she only wore the "bare minimum"... ("You know what, Stan, if you want me to wear 37 pieces of flair, like your pretty boy over there, Brian, why don't you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?")
Second, I think teachers are already over-worked, under-paid and under-appreciated. I can't think of many teachers who are doin' it for the money. In my experience teachers are there for the kids...
Rhode Islanders - What do you think? You can let Carcieri know - here.