Wednesday, September 08, 2010
The DOE Imposes A "Divide & Conquer" Policy For Reassigned Teachers As They Violate The "Rubber Room Agreement" And Make Mini "Rubber Rooms" .
Well our wonderful union leaders have done it again. They negotiate an agreement with Tweed only to find that the DOE violates the agreement. Is it any surprise that the DOE has failed to live up to their responsibilities in the "rubber room agreement". The agreement was to close down the "rubber rooms" and to clean out the 650 reassigned teachers. Many of these teachers would be sent to schools to do circular 6 duties. Well, well, it turns out that no reassigned teachers are to be sent to the schools. Instead the reassigned teachers will be sent to the different DOE offices which appears to have been designated based upon the accusations charged against the teacher. For example all incompetence charged teachers go to one site while all teachers who had SCI investigations that were subject to "probable cause" go to another site and so on and so on. In other words the DOE has taken a page out of history were narrow-minded and bigited authorities would mark people with a scarlet letter such as adulterer or in Nazi regimes a Star of David It does not matter whether the charges are true or not, to the DOE it is all about the charges against the teachers that determine where they will be assigned.
The question is did the union know that the DOE changed the rules? I suspect they did know, dispute their protests to the contrary. How could the union not know that the DOE had no intention of sending reassigned teachers to schools? What was even worse was the chaos at Long Island City where not only did the 650 reassigned teachers report to to get their DOE office locations but also showing up were teachers who either had their cases settled or went through their 3020-a hearings but were not cleared by the inept DOE staff to be ATRs. What did these people at 65 Court Street do all summer? The DOE personnel who were at Long Island City seemed to be at a loss to answer questions and were scrambling to tell these teachers which Children First Networks they needed to go to. As for the UFT representatives on hand, they were more interested in handing out union leaflets then advocating for the teachers in the chaotic conditions at Long Island City.
The result is that the DOE appears to have succeeded in their "divide and conquer" effort by eliminating the hotbed of information and advocacy that was used to better prepare reassigned teachers on what's ahead for them in the reassignment process. The result is that these teachers will be at the mercy of the UFT special representative who serves the interests of the union and not the reassigned teacher.
Whatever the union was a willing partner in what the DOE has done by making mini "rubber rooms" and keeping the reassigned teachers in the dark about their placement until the last minute, thereby resulting in the chaos at Long Island City is anybody's guess. It remains to be seen if the union will ever stand up for their reassigned members or is this just another example of the DOE fooling the UFT yet again.