Saturday, April 29, 2017
Educators Served With 3020-a Termination Charges Remain High During The De Blasio Years.
When Mayor Bill de Blasio took over there was hope that the confrontational actions at the DOE would change to collaboration. However, once he selected Carmen Farina as Chancellor with her anti-veteran teacher attitude and her deep ties to the Bloomberg years as a Deputy Chancellor, most educators knew deep down that nothing will change and the "gotcha system" would continue. Under the new Chancellor, she retained 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers at the DOE and instead of reducing the amount of lawyers at the Office of Legal Services and the data mining Accountability Managers, they actually increased. In fact under Mayor Bill de Blasio there has been a doubling of high-salaried bureaucrats at the DOE while school budgets are tight and essentially remained flat.
When it came to teacher discipline, the change in the Mayor's Office hardly affected the punitive process from the Bloomberg years. Every year there are over 350 educators who are served with 3020-a termination charges. In fact the number of educators served with 3020-a termination charges under the de Blasio/Farina tenure are as follows:
Interestingly during the Bloomberg years, from 2002 to 2013, the average was 271 educators charged under 3020-a and that includes the 2006-7 years when it averaged 636. Historically, before the Bloomberg years 3020-a charges were served on educators averaged 90 yearly. However, just like during the Bloomberg administration years, not all educators went through their 3020-a hearings. Quite a few, the majority in fact, took settlements ranging from a fine and exile into the ATR pool to irrevocable resignation or retirement. Anecdotal evidence suggests that three out of every four settlements result in the educator irrevocably resigning or forced into retirement.
In 2016, independent State arbitrators issued 93 decisions or approximately 24% of all educators served with 3020-a charges. Of the 93 cases the arbitrators ruled on, 23 resulted in the educator's termination (25%) and 9 were found innocent (9%). It should be noted that educators found innocent was only 2.5% of all charged educators. The remainder resulted in either fines or suspensions (67%).
If we take the last year of data, 2016, there was 381 educators charged under 3020-a but only 93 resulted in an arbitrator ruling. Meaning that 288 educators took settlements and since 75% of these settlements resulted in the educator irrevocably resigning or retiring. The DOE was able to remove 239 educators from the DOE payroll or 63% of the 381 educators served with their 3020-a charges. This is slightly higher than the 55% figure in the last two years of the Bloomberg administration.
A major reason for the higher numbers is that many veteran teachers took the settlement to irrevocably retire rather than fight the 3020-a charges was the language in the 2014 UFT contract that allows the City to eliminate the educator's retro and lump sum payment if the arbitrator recommends termination. Therefore, to protect their up to $50,000 payments owed, they elected to take the settlement rather than risk losing the money.
When you combine the ingredients of the anti-veteran Chancellor with the 2014 UFT contract and add a pinch of the "gotcha system", you have a recipe for continued attacks on veteran teachers as the 3020-a numbers readily show.