In Mexico, teachers who don’t show up to teach can’t be fired. A teacher’s job may be passed down to the teacher’s children or sold to the highest bidder. Local union leaders sometimes “take a cut when they sell a teacher’s job.” The Washington Post reports:
Josefa Hernandez, an energetic college graduate in the southern Mexican state of Puebla, said she had been unable for four years to land a teaching job through applications to state education officials. Finally, she said, a local school supervisor who belongs to the union told her he knew a teacher who had died, and offered to “work it out with the husband.”
By long-standing custom in Mexico, a deceased teacher’s children have first right of refusal for the job. If they don’t want it, the surviving spouse often sells the position for thousands of dollars. Though the practice is illegal, it is common and often arranged by union leaders, according to two dozen interviews with teachers and education officials.
Hernandez said she paid $5,000 to the man, who initially demanded $8,000 for his late wife’s job.
The teachers’ union also is killing a plan to update the 80-year-old middle school curriculum.