The Joke of 3020a

As you know, I have been promoting a public 3020a hearing that began today. The principal will most likely testify today, so I encourage you all to show up to 49-51 Chambers Street at 10am if you can. Ask for the hearing being conducted by Joshua Javits.

My role as a potential witness precludes me from discussing the specifics of the case. I will just say that 3020a is a rotten process that is heavily biased against the teacher. Here is a brief video of former union lawyer Brain Glass on the 3020a process.

Betsy Combier of the New York City Rubber Room Reporter site has been saying this for years. I met Betsy for the first time yesterday. If you have not seen her website, take a look at the 3020a horror stories she describes. This is what “tenure” and “due process” has become in New York state. Imagine what it is like in these “right to work” states.

The process has become so biased that real courts of law are overturning more 3020a decisions than ever before. It happened in the case of Christine Rubino, whose case Betsy describes in her latest post:

Christine Rubino taught for 15 years and was, according to the Principal of her school, an “excellent” teacher. On June 23, 2010 Christine posted on her Facebook page to her 120 friends early in the morning that she felt terrible about a young girl drowning while on a trip with her class the previous day, as reported in the newspapers. Later that afternoon, she posted a comment that her kids were the “devil’s spawn”, which she took down a few days later, not thinking that anyone outside of her small circle of adult friends had seen it, and knowing that she did not treat her students abusively and that her comment was not reflective of her work, herself, or her feelings about her students.

A single arbitrator on the UFT-NYCDOE 3020-a Arbitration Panel, Randi Lowitt, terminated Ms. Rubino under what seems to be a “zero tolerance” mandate in NYC for tenured teachers, no matter how well or badly the tenured employee does in any classroom. Am I saying that arbitrators in NYC on the 3020-a panel chosen by, supposedly, NYSUT, the UFT and the DOE, are not “neutral” as required by statute and the rules of the American Arbitration Association?

Yes, I am.

Traditionally, courts of law are hesitant to overturn the decisions of independent labor arbitrators. They only do so when the decision of the arbitrator is “shocking to the conscience” of the court. What does it say about the process when so many cases are being overturned?

I can only hope my friend is able to get out of this process with her career. She has been through enough as it is and certainly does not deserve to lose her career over a joke. It would be “shocking to the conscience” if the worst were to happen.

7 responses to “The Joke of 3020a

  1. It doesn’t surprise me it is a kangaroo hearing. I went through one of those in Nevada. The rules that apply in regular court proceedings do NOT apply in these rigged tribunals.

    Teachers make the mistake of thinking they have rights that they really do not have.

    Administrative law is widely flouted by school districts. And school districts are in the forefront to get rid of tenure simply because they don’t want to pay for these rigged hearings.

  2. 3020-a in New York City is not the same as 3020-a anywhere else in New York State. Outside of the City School District of the City of New York there are three arbitrators at each 3020-a, one selected by the employee charged, and the specifications must be viewed by and voted on by the school board before being handed over to the victim/respondent. New York City has no Board of Education, so there is no vote on the charges by any independent party, and thus the Big Problem: under the current procedure the Superintendent of any district may “delegate” the authority to anyone who can then charge an employee with anything. Then, the charging agent can “investigate” the charge(s) and then “sustain” the charges as well as testify under oath at 3020-a that the alleged charges he/she claimed as occurring indeed did happen, and this is “just cause for termination”.
    No, it’s not.
    And there is not only no protection from this railroading but no consequences for anyone who lies under oath. Everyone does it. There is a silent approval throughout the system that allows Principals and “legal” to dictate as follows: “false charges are facts because I say so”.
    This being said, I do not advocate for the resignation or settlement out of a hearing for anyone innocent of the charges claimed. The effect of settlement or resignation is that you are guilty of whatever “they” are claiming you did, and you can try to get off the Ineligible/Inquiry List later on (you must file an Article 78), but it isnt easy.
    Keep the faith that if you keep fighting, and expose the false claims for what they are, sooner or later, you will win back your good name. We are looking at a House of Cards, not sustainable in the long-term. Nope, its not.

    • You can say there are differences, but those are cosmetic. Administrative law is so watered down nationwide districts can commit criminal acts with impunity. I know of where I speak because I was wrongfully fired and my hearing was subjected to perjury, witness tampering, outdated documents being passed off as current, bribery of witnesses, destruction of evidence, and suborning of perjury. I was not allowed witnesses by my union “lawyer,” who, under his breath, muttered “don’t do that” when I challenged the accuracy of my teaching license that was submitted as evidence by the school district. It was outdated, and I had a newer one that HR knew about because they had made a copy of it when I submitted it in person one week after I was fired. I am the one who was financially destroyed while these jerkwads were still allowed jobs in my old district despite the fact they screwed up. The worst that happened to them was a reassignment of the principal who broke the law, and the ultimate demotion of the human resources chief officer some three years later. They are still pulling down a paycheck at WCSD. I am living on just 300 a month in a pension and am unable to secure ANY kind of full-time, regular employment.

      Principals have so much power and held to utterly NO accountability that anybody who would even consider teaching as a career should have his or her head examined.

  3. This is definitely WHITE CHALK CRIME.

  4. Good morning

    Thank you for your outspoken effort.
    I may be facing such NYSUT effort under the 30-20a and can only hope positive changes have been made to more fairly determine a teachers future.
    It is unfortunate people of influence can determine people’s lives based on half truths, false reporting and without knowing what the actual circumstances are or without any personal knowledge of the accused. Nothing but profiled interpretation regardless of the truth or reality of a teachers professional or personal demeanor.

    I have been teaching for over a decade with no disciplinary queries ever. In fact my most recent end of year evaluatuon had my professional stature and effort as commendable, the highest score, in every category.

    Certainly I am available to communicate with you on this issue generally and or personally.


    Jay Condrill

  5. Pingback: Does New Jersey Stand? | assailedteacher

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