Monday, June 15, 2009
Senior Teachers Beware, The DOE Is Trying To Terminate You
As the end of the year approaches, most teachers look forward to the summer off as they try to unwind from the stress of the school year. However, there is a select group of senior teachers that have been targeted by their Principals and are being pressured to retire. The Principals have been briefed on what to do and say by the infamous Teacher Performance Unit (TPU) whose only purpose is to terminate the targeted teachers. Previously, Betsy Combier and I wrote about the apparent primary function of the TPU and how to combat this group of DOE lawyers and retired Principals. Since that time the TPU has became more focused on the techniques available to terminate teachers and to guide Principals in completing the task. In January of this year, I posted one such method. For example, this method has the TPU give the Principals a written form and script to pressure targeted teachers to retire by using a phony "carrot and stick" approach that threatens the teacher with losing not only their City license but their State license as well. The threat of the teacher losing his or her State license is an empty threat. Only teachers who are found guilty of criminal charges have their State teaching license removed. However, this does not stop the TPU from informing the Principals to include that threat when asking the teacher to resign. Furthermore, the Principal fails to inform the targeted teacher that if they sign the resignation agreement, the stipulation is that they irrevocably resign. The word irrevocably is a code word by the DOE to never rehire the targeted teacher for any DOE job, not even as a lowly-paid school aide. Of course, the Principal does not let the targeted teacher know this and when the poor teacher looks for part-time work with the DOE, they are rejected for employment. Surprise, surprise!
What is the script that the TPU gives the Principals to say to the teacher? It goes something like this.
" If the teacher signs the resignation paper, given to the teacher at the meeting, the Principal will remove the "U" ratings and give the teacher an "S" rating for the previous two years and the current year. Further, the DOE will give a neutral recommendation to other school systems. Finally, the teacher will be reassigned out of the school and be paid for the rest of the school year. Of course what is not included, is that the irrevocable resignation paper means that the teacher cannot work for the DOE ever again. If the teacher refuses to sign the resignation paper the Principal falsely claims that the teacher will be brought up on expedited 3020-a charges and go after not only the City license but the State license as well and that the teacher will be terminated before the school year is over".
The truth is that the targeted teacher will be reassigned and spend two years in the rubber room with full pay and benefits and still make the same deal, with the exception of changing the "U" to "S". Why would any teacher take this terrible deal and be forced to retire when he or she gets a two year fully paid sabbatical and still have the same deal given to the teacher by the DOE 3020-a attorney?
I have stated previously the District Representatives must inform the Chapter Leaders that this sleazy policy by the TPU and the Principals must be stopped by any legal means possible. That means all Chapter Leaders must tell their staff not to sign any resignation papers without understanding the consequences of their actions. To date the union seems to be reluctant to tackle this problem. Let's hope their attitude changes and every teacher is well informed before making a decision that can affect their future employment in education.