Tuesday, May 12, 2009
For Reassigned Teachers The Union Wants Them To Remain Clueless And Quiet
It is very traumatic when a teacher is reassigned from his or her school for frivolous or minor incidents. What is worse is that our union representatives, rather than being supportive and pushing for a fair investigation of the charges, just tells the poor teacher to "sit tight and don't tell anybody why you were reassigned". Why do they not want the teacher to talk to other teachers about their case? It is quite simple, knowledge is power. The less the teacher knows, the more dependent the teacher is on the union. Many of the union representatives go as far as saying things like. "Maybe the person you talk to will end up as a witness against you" or that "you will be getting bad advice from those teachers". How disingenuous of the union to scare already frightened teachers about not trusting the very people who knows best what is in store for these newly reassigned teachers.
For all practical purposes the union has abandoned the reassigned teachers to their fate. The union does not conduct their own independent investigation nor do they challenge the often biased and unfair OSI or SCI investigations. Rarely, if ever, does the union question the DOE's removal of a teacher or go after lying Administrators or investigators. The union's support is confined to providing a NYSUT lawyer in the eventual 3020-a hearing process, which has seen the union negotiate the erosion of teachers' due process rights since 2000. Even when the teacher is charged under section 3020-a of the State Education Law, the union provides no guidance to the teacher about the process, the Arbitrators and the NYSUT lawyers. According to the union their responsibility is to provide a NYSUT lawyer and the NYSUT lawyer will guide the teacher through the process. How about the union's responsibility to conduct an independent investigation with the Chapter Leaders and District Representatives to find out if the teacher removal was proper? What about the union's responsibility in providing the NYSUT lawyer ammunition to help the targeted teacher in his or her defense? How about the union determining the collateral damage to the teacher's students? I could go on but you get the message.
It is very unfortunate that the union position about the reassigned teacher is to abandon them and keep them clueless and quiet as they languish for years in the "rubber room" awaiting their fate. Shame on the union and their leaders that have looked the other way as the "rubber rooms" fill up with over 50 year old teachers whose only fault is that they are old and make too much money. I will end this post with one of my quotes.
"A union that allows it's members to be disrespected, is a union that no longer deserves the respect of it's members".