Thursday, March 11, 2010
It Appears That Principals Must Pay Teachers Who See Their NYSUT Attorney Based On A PERB Judge's Decision - Hear That Michael Mulgrew?
In a March 1, 2010 decision by a PERB Administrative Law Judge, Elema Cacivas, ruled that a "long standing past practice" cannot be changed unless it is through collective bargaining and not through the actions of a government agency. The reason this is important is that the UFT and NYSUT can now go to PERB and demand that all teachers who must respond to their 3020-a charges should be given the time off as "official business". This has been the "long standing past practice" until recently when many of the principals, probably with the the urging of Tweed either stopped paying teachers for seeing their lawyers or making the teacher take a pre-approved "personal day" that is subject to the Principal's approval. However, with the March 1, 2010 PERB ruling the UFT and NYSUT should file similar PERB complaints against Tweed for changing the "long standing past practices" without union approval.
In 2008 the Town Of Islip decided to take away government cars for non-emergency personnel for commuting purposes without negotiating with the union. The town employees union, Local 237 challenged the move and appealed to PERB. Since this practice was going on for 20 years, the PERB Administrative Law Judge said it meets the legal threshold of a "long standing past practice" and can only be removed through collective bargaining. This legal threshold should apply to all State and Local government contracts with their unions, including our contract.
Consequently, the UFT and their NYSUT lawyers have no excuse but to file a PERB complaint and show that it has been a "long standing past practice" to have teachers check "official business" as a paid day without using days out of their CAR. I previously wrote an article that detailed how the principals were informed by Tweed that they did not have to pay teachers to meet with their NYSUT lawyers despite the "long standing past practice" to do so. No longer will the UFT or NYSUT offer excuses that it is the Principal's discretion and they cannot do anything about it.. PERB has spoken and our union must file a similar PERB complaint against the DOE for every teacher who was denied the "official business" checkoff by their Principal.. I'm waiting to see if the UFT takes some real action and file the PERB complaint they need to do or is it just more empty rhetoric by our union. Michael Mulgrew I am waiting for your response.