Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Has The DOE Fooled The "Hear-No-Evil" UFT Again On Implementing The "Rubber Room Agreement"? It Certainly Appears So.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the DOE is not meeting the conditions in the recently negotiated "rubber room agreement". For example, take mediation. Presently, there is no mediation going on as the DOE believes that they must agree to mediation requests before mediation is started to get rid of the backlog in existing 3020-a cases. Therefore, the only settlements being made are the DOE's take-it-or-leave-it settlement offer where the teacher must admit guilt. What has been the UFT response to the DOE's failure to uphold the agreement? Dead silence.
It appears that the UFT leadership has this "hear-no-evil" approach and refuses to take the DOE to task for their failure to live up to the "rubber room agreement". There is widespread skepticism on all sides of the 3020-a hearing process (Arbitrators, DOE lawyers, and the NYSUT attorneys) that the hearings will be fairer since the DOE refuses to settle with many teachers who are subject to SCI investigations and continue to offer outrageous settlements that are insulting to the teacher. What happened to leveling the playing field?
Many bloggers had objected to the "rubber room agreement" because the UFT leadership failed to include the reassigned teacher in crafting the agreement. While I supported the closing of the "rubber rooms" so as to stop warehousing teachers, I certainly questioned the other issues. I also believed the UFT leadership was in over their collective heads in understanding the 3020-a hearing process without input from the people most involved in it. Unfortunately, it appears that is the case here. The UFT has again allowed the DOE to ignore both the spirit and intent of the agreement and the losers are? You guessed it, the reassigned teachers.