Monday, January 25, 2010
Can A Teacher Really File 3020-a Charges Against An Abusive & Vindictive Principal? The Answer Is No.
While reading my good buddy's blog, South Bronx School, I ran into a claim from the crack (or is that cracked) SBSB staff that any individual can file 3020-a charges against a tenured teacher or administrator. Boy, was I excited. I would demand that the union file 3020-a charges against the PINI principals that they identify in the New York Teacher and watch as Tweed complains loudly that the principals would be afraid to go after staff and be unable to do their job. Gone would be the unfair removal of staff without the Principal being investigated to determine if he or she should be subject to 3020-a charges by the union However, after talking to people in the know, inside and outside the union I found out New York State Education Law 3020-a allows only the superintendent of a school district or their appointed representatives who can file 3020-a charges.
Unfortunately, in New York City the Chancellor has appointed the ATU (misconduct) and TPU incompetence) legal staffs as the proper units to file 3020-a charges against teachers. These groups are only too eager to file "just cause" charges by believing all the hearsay statements given to them by the Principal and the corrupt investigators. The truth? This is not about the truth it is to get the teacher.
We teachers really do need a level playing field and the only reasons we are not terminated by DOE's Office of Legal Services is that under New York State Law we have "due process rights" and the DOE's flimsy evidence and hearsay statements must be brought in front of an Arbitrator who hears from both sides. However, many Arbitrators accept stand alone hearsay and it puts the teacher and her lawyer on the defensive and assumes that the Administrator or child has more credibility than the accused teacher. This is unfair and must be changed by giving all parties equal credibility and to dismiss hearsay, unless supported by actual evidence. Therefore, the union must remove Arbitrators who depend on the use of unsupported hearsay as a basis for their decision. This will help level the playing field for all teachers subject to 3020-a charges.