"It should be recalled that nurse
migration to the
Importing Educators Causes and Consequences of International Teacher Recruitment, p.5, American Federation for Teachers, 2009 [pdf.]
Will the teaching profession be debauched by H-1B "temporary" workers as the nursing profession has been?
The above statement by the AFT might seem to suggest that the notoriously powerful teacher unions are aware of the danger. Here`s another from the rival union, the National Education Association, in its 2003 paper REPORT TO THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ON TRENDS IN FOREIGN TEACHER RECRUITMENT, by Randy Barber (it`s vanished from the NEA website, but it`s still available on the Waybackmachine):
"In at least one egregious situation, a "bodyshop"—the Teachers Placement Group—that was both the sponsor and employer of nonimmigrant teachers illegally withheld significant amounts of teachers` pay, an action that led to large Labor Department fines and back-pay awards."
But American teacher displacement is happening anyway. And the teacher unions` response has been distinctly suspicious.
For example: on October 1, the national AFT and its state affiliate, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT), filed complaints to the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Louisiana Attorney General against the contract agency Universal Placement International (UPI). The complaints allege that UPI engaged in illegal practices in order to defraud Filipino teachers who contracted to work for the Recovery School District (RSD). (This was created by the Louisiana Department of Education in 2003 to reform "low performing" schools.)
But what the complaints fail to
mention is that the Recovery School District used those
to replace their senior American teaching staff—and the unions did
nothing to intervene.
Universal Placement International is a contract agency that specializes in importing guest workers on H-1B visas from the Philippines to work as K-12 teachers. Businesses of this kind are called "bodyshops".
The president and owner of UPI is
"In the earlier case, Shams and Navarro were convicted on felony counts of Medi-Cal fraud, grand theft, money laundering, and identity theft for using the names of legitimate physicians without permission and filing thousands of false claims with the state for medical tests never performed. The Attorney General`s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse seized approximately $1.1 million in uncashed warrants, which were returned to the Medi-Cal program.
"Clinic owner Navarro was sentenced to five years in prison upon
entering her guilty plea and ordered to pay $200,000 in
restitution by the end of the year. Navarro also was
required to surrender her license as a clinical
laboratory scientist and prohibited from owning or
working in any health care business.
"Navarro`s partner Shams remains in custody pending sentencing in
October after pleading guilty to charges of Medi-Cal
fraud. A third laboratory owner, Zubair Younis, 42, of
UPI is almost certainly a Minority and "Woman-Owned" Business Enterprise (I say "almost certainly" because I haven`t been able to confirm that UPI is registered in a state as such—and that may be because it is being delisted). Affirmative action rules give these companies a huge competitive advantage when seeking government contracts. The rationale is that minority owned companies add to the "diversity" of the workforce—look at this picture to see the face of diversity at UPI.
Here`s a timeline of events in
This is my summary of what
happened: School officials took an all-expenses- paid
There is nothing unusual about the strategy used by the school district. In my study of the ongoing H-1B racket, I`ve seen it many times.
The script goes like this: First employers decide to replace their American workers with H-1Bs. So they announce there`s a shortage. Then, shortly after the first wave of H-1Bs report to work, they start firing Americans.
You would think that, nearly 20
years after the start of the H-1B program, newspapers and
unions would figure the script out. But they never do.
They are usually dumbfounded when somebody like myself
tries to explain it to them. If any of you find a
newspaper article that actually explains that American
teachers were replaced by H-1Bs in
Sometimes you can detect it by reading between the lines:
"Recovery District Superintendent Paul Vallas called any implication that the district favored hiring new, young teachers false, and said hiring authority lies with principals." (Recovery School District to lay off dozens of teachers today, by Sarah Carr, New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 3, 2009)
When politicians say something
ain`t so, then the first thing you know is that it is
so! Of course
the district favored hiring young teachers—that`s why
they fired their older Americans and hired young females
As I have explained many times, H-1B doesn`t cause age discrimination—but it makes it a lot easier for employers to practice it. H-1B is an age discrimination enabler because the program provides a huge pool of fresh, inexpensive and indentured young blood to exploit. From an employer`s point of view the rest of the world has an infinite labor pool that can be used to churn older, more experienced employees out, and younger ones in.
To understand how churning works in Louisiana schools, examine this RSD Rookie table:
(Source: Recovery School District to lay off dozens of teachers today, by Sara Carr, New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 3, 2009).
This table shows that almost all of the teachers in the Recovery School District have less that 5 years teaching experience. Comparing the Rookie Chart with the data from the recovery school district salary chart reveals some interesting results.
RSD teacher salaries rise slowly with years of experience. For example, an entry level teacher with a Bachelor`s degree earns $43,294 per year and goes up about $500 a year. Thus it costs the school district $11,400 less to employ a new teacher instead of a 30 year veteran. But, by an amazing coincidence, the majority of RSD teachers are young and therefore tend to earn the lower entry-level salaries.
The situation can be far worse than the RSD salary table suggests. The 2003 NEA report did a good job explaining what would actually happen at the RSD years later:
"There is at least anecdotal evidence that, absent a collective bargaining agreement or law or policy, some school districts pay their nonimmigrant employees as new teachers, regardless of their experience and qualifications."
H-1Bs are regularly paid less than
entry level salaries—no matter what college degree they
hold! Thus, in the
That $6,394 differential in pay makes it very difficult for Americans to compete for these jobs. Americans will be required to earn the salary from the RSD table, and the difference in starting salary will increase if they have an advanced degree. The H-1B must accept "prevailing salary", which in this case is less than what a comparable American can be paid. H-1B visa holders and Americans are beholden to two different rule books.
In simple terms, first year teachers get first year salaries and benefits. So every time the school hires a fresh wave of Filipinos or new college graduates, they can fire older employees and save lots of cash. A policy of churning employees is made immensely easier and more profitable when immigration programs such as H-1B provide an essentially unlimited pool of young foreign workers.
University of California at Davis` Professor Norman Matloff explained in detail in his University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform the savings that employers such as the RSD can realize by hiring H-1B teachers. He defines two different kinds of savings that are applicable – Type 1 when an H-1B is paid a lower salary because the "prevailing salary" rule allows it, and Type 2 savings which are attributed more to age discrimination. Both types of savings were enjoyed by the RSD. [On The Need For Reform Of The H-1B Non-Immigrant Work Visa InComputer-Related Occupations, Fall 2003, (PDF)]
Politicians and the media never
seem to tire of the romantic notion that
unemployed engineers and
go back to school to get math and science
teaching certificates, so that they can fill slots
that are supposedly in short supply. It`s a trap even
many unemployed techies fall into—because they don`t
understand that the age factor will severely harm their
odds of finding a teaching job. Schools will usually
choose a young college graduate with no experience
versus an older professional with a new teaching
certificate. And they will choose an H-1B over an
American college graduate. The dynamics of age
discrimination and H-1B are lost on almost every labor
expert and economist in the
The NEA report shows how widespread the H-1B teacher phenomenon is:
There were about
15,000 K-12 teachers working under nonimmigrant visas in
Since the NEA report, there have been many stories from schools all across the U.S. that use H-1B teachers. Many of them, including this incredible story from New York have already been described on VDARE.COM
Needless to say, the teacher unions should be commended for filing these complaints. Unscrupulous employers shouldn`t be allowed to get away with the kind of exploitation and abuse that UPI is alleged to have perpetrated on their Filipino workforce. But the union complaints don`t go far enough. American teachers who lost their jobs to the Filipinos are still without redress.
Arguably, enforcing regulations will help to insure equity in the labor force, and reduce the incentive for employers to favor exploitable foreign workers. But, as explained earlier though, even if the rules are followed, American teachers will still be at a competitive disadvantage. Enforcing regulations will not save significant numbers of American jobs.
During the 20 or so years of the H-1B program, teachers` unions have failed to file complaints or lawsuits on behalf of American teachers who have been displaced by foreign labor. In contrast, there have been many investigations on behalf of foreign guest workers that were initiated by various government agencies, and as a result of lawsuits. It appears that the priority of the teacher`s unions is to make sure foreigners don`t get ripped off by their employers even while Americans are getting ripped off of their jobs.
The trend is getting worse. Be sure to read New Report Shows Schools Increasingly Hiring Foreign Teachers Over Americans. [FAIR Legislative Update September 21, 2009]
Why are the unions so eager to help foreign workers who are imported to work in the U.S., while at the same time they are so averse to stopping the displacement of American teachers?
My opinion—speaking as one who has been repeatedly rebuffed when seeking to explore the issue with union officials—is that this is one of those cases where the teacher unions put their own perceived interests first.
Union officials don`t want to challenge the liberal consensus that immigration is a Good Thing. As long as the imported teachers join the union, they are willing to sacrifice their American members.
Rob Sanchez (email him) is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization and author of the "Job Destruction Newsletter" (sign up for it here) at www.JobDestruction.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to Rob Sanchez, click here.