Monday, November 23, 2009
Principals Are Being Informed That They Do Not Have To Approve Payment For A Teacher Who Sees Their Union Lawyer After Tweed Files 3020-a Charges.
The DOE has found yet another way to make life a living hell for reassigned teachers by not approving the teacher a paid official business day to see their union-appointed NYSUT lawyers even when the reason was caused by the DOE filing 3020-a charges against the teacher in the first place. Until this school year it has been common practice for principals to give approval to a teacher who is meeting with his NYSUT lawyer as a paid official business day. However, last year a vindictive elementary school Principal decided that any absence from the "rubber room" by the reassigned teacher was considered leave without pay. The union rather than pro-actively going after the Principal, quietly tried to negotiate with the DOE and was only partially successful in making the Principal accept that she must approve the days the teacher actually attended her 3020-a hearing.
Left out of the agreement were the days when the reassigned teacher was required to meet with the NYSUT attorney as they needed to prepare the teacher's defense against the 3020-a charges by the DOE. In fact, the Principal refused to take the teacher's three "personal days" when meeting with the NYSUT attorney and was marked as leave without pay. It seems that since Joel Klein has given the principals complete control over the school's budget and staffing, The Principal has the right not to approve a reassigned teacher's right to see their NYSUT attorney simply by controlling their CAR. It doesn't matter that the teacher is no longer on the school's payroll and it doesn't cost the Principal a dime. It is not about what is right, it is about their control.
In this school year more and more reassigned teachers are complaining that the principals in their old school is requiring them to use up their three personal days to see their NYSUT lawyers and in some cases are required to take the day as leave without pay. What has the union done about this? Nothing, nothing at all. President Michael Mulgrew has been informed of this issue and so far silence. What kind of union representation do we have when Tweed changes the rules and costs teachers money as they allow vindictive principals to get away with not paying teachers for seeing their union-appointed lawyer based on 3020-a charges that is usually instigated by the same Principal.
It is bad enough that Tweed allows principals to remove teachers to the "rubber room" on false and/or frivolous charges. Now they are allowing (encouraging) these principals to ignore common practice and force reassigned teachers to meet their NYSUT attorney on their own time. Shame on Tweed who assumes teachers are guilty, shame on the principals who show their vindictiveness, and shame on our union that refuses to fight this outrage to already targeted teachers.