Saturday, March 07, 2015
Why Has The UFT Leadership Failed To Take The DOE To PERB On The Problem Code Issue?
Back in 2012, the DOE decided that any teacher who was subject to a DOE investigation (SCI, OSI, OEO) and found to be substantiated will have a "problem code" attached to their file. It mattered little that if the teacher decided to go through with their 3020-a hearing and the independent arbitrator found that the DOE investigation was flawed and found no serious misconduct, the DOE still kept the "problem code" on the teacher's file. At the time the UFT leadership objected and claimed they will take it to PERB. However, the UFT leadership failed to pursue the PERB complaint. The question is why did they quietly drop their promise to file a PERB complaint, or did they ever really intend to fire one in the first place?
The union's failure to protect their members shows up yet again, be it the second class status of the ATRs, reassigned teachers put on ice in a different borough, or the labeling of the unfair "problem codes". Our union's failure to remove the "Scarlet Letter" from their member files is a disgrace and must be corrected.
As a member with one of those "problem codes" on my file. I will be more than happy to be the test case, if the union leadership wants to challenge the unfair DOE designation that has damaged many member chances from obtaining a position. However, I doubt that the disconnected leadership will do the right thing and file their long promised PERB complaint.
There is no direct way to know if you have a problem code on your file, unless the Principal or payroll Secretary is kind enough to show it to you on their computer screen. However, you can go to the DOE's payroll portal that a member can access. Go to Salary History and you will see just below your 2013-14 rating the word "problem". If that appears on your Salary History and something is listed next to it, you probably have been "problem coded" on your file. Remember, this goes back to at least 2002 so an incident that happened more than a decade ago is deemed as current under the DOE.