We all know how terrible the October 2005 contract was to the classroom teacher. However, from my point of view the worst part of the 2005 contract was the UFT agreement of the "probable cause" section for teachers subject to the 3020-a process. To refresh your memory the "probable cause" section of the 2005 contract allows the DOE to suspend teachers without pay or health benefits for up to three months simply on hearsay testimony. Hearsay testimony is as simple as one student accusing the teacher of misconduct and getting his/her friend to agree it happened without the friend being there. that is all it takes for a teacher to spend the next three months without pay or health benefits. Do you think this is fair? I don't.
Randi Weingarten told the delegate assembly that the only teachers subject to the "probable cause" provision of the contract are ones that are arrested and subject to felony charges. Her stooge Leo Casey has commented on Edwize that the union agreed to the "probable cause" section because the union does not protect perverts and pedophiles. I fully agree with Leo Casey that there is no room in any union for perverts and pedophiles. However, how about the teacher unjustly accused by vindictive students and his/her friends of misconduct that did not rise to even a police investigation? According to Randi Weingarten & Leo Casey those teachers will not be subject to the "probable cause" section and it's associated unpaid suspension and no health benefits. Were they telling the truth? Or was it that the DOE expanded the definition to include incidents that did not result in criminal action? As much as I want to blame the DOE on expanding the alleged misconduct subject to the "probable cause" section, there is a smoking gun that shows that the UFT was a willing participant in what misconduct is subject to "probable cause". Listed below is "Appendix H" that explains all.
PROCEDURES FOR PROBABLE CAUSE HEARINGS
On October 2, 2005 the following understanding was reached regarding probable cause hearings:
"The UFT will conduct a meeting of lawyers who represent UFT members in 3020-a proceedings to inform them about the new procedures regarding offenses involving sexual misconduct with a student or minor not a student. During that meeting there will be a discussion of what would constitute probable cause including that we agree that in a probable cause hearing the hearing officer may accept hearsay as evidence of probable cause, and that a criminal complaint and corroborating affidavit of the SCI report is sufficient evidence to create a rebuttable presumption of probable cause".
The key statement from the above paragraph is " We agree that that in a probable cause hearing the hearing officer may accept hearsay as evidence of probable cause". What happened to Randi's statement to the delegate assembly that only teachers subject to criminal felony action would fall under the "probable cause" section? Did she lie to the delegate assembly or was she deceived by her flunkies? Regardless, she misinformed the delegate assembly to push through a very unpopular contract that has put the teachers in a very dangerous position in and outside the classroom.
Yes, there are many disagreeable givebacks in the 2005 contract but nothing affects a teacher as much as the UFT agreement with the DOE in the unreasonably low burden of proof to remove a teacher under the "probable cause" section of the contract.
Shame on both the UFT and DOE for allowing the use of hearsay testimony to affect the livelihood of innocent teachers.
P.S. By the way Leo how come in your October 23, 2005 (3:25 pm) comment on Edwize about sexual misconduct, you chose to overlook discussing Appendix H? I could only assume you knew that simple hearsay can get a teacher a 90 day unpaid suspension without health benefits. Shame on you most of all for deceiving the members by omitting that hearsay is evidence enough under the "probable cause" section.