Friday, May 10, 2013

Drama Today, 9AM: Portelos Challenges "No Recording" Policies at DOE Despite Ermina Claudio Threats

"Didn't let me record. Meeting didn't happen." - F.P. {See follow-up: Portelos: 9:30 AM Update - I recorded and didn't hide the fact - Meeting Cancelled by DOE - Security Rampant
I do not trust Ms. Claudio and I believe I have every right not to trust her. I am exercising my right to audio record. Ms. Claudio also falsely claimed I cannot record as per the CBA. what article was that again?  ... You have stated that I "have no right under the collective bargaining agreement to record a disciplinary conference." I searched the entire CBA and found no mention of audio recording. Neither for or against it. As I stated during our previous conference on May 3, 2013, I am exercising my right under New York State Law. More specifically NY Wiretapping Law Penal Code Law 250.00...... Francesco Portelos
This morning at 9AM should be P-day as Francesco Portelos directly challenges the attempts to keep disciplinary hearings in the dark. Have you ever asked a UFT official why they don't insist in the right to record given there is no rule stated anywhere that you can't? Sorry I asked.
Should you prevent the conference from going forward for a second time, we will take whatever actions we deem appropriate.
Erminia Claudio
Community Superintendent, District 31
What are they hiding? The above was in response to this email from Francesco Portelos.
Ms Claudio and UFT Leaders,
       
        The information I received, from Ms. Claudio, states that I cannot record and also falsely states that I "refused to meet without recording". It's less than 24 hours before this disciplinary hearing and I am telling all parties that the second I get out of my car, at Petrides, I will flip on the record button on one, or more, devices. I will not turn it off until I get back in my car. There is no hiding it. I do not trust Ms. Claudio and I believe I have every right not to trust her. I am exercising my right to audio record. Ms. Claudio also falsely claimed I cannot record as per the CBA. what article was that again? 

I'm awaiting a response from anyone showing me in writing and referencing a regulation, policy or law stating I cannot record. Actually there seems to be a growing number of people waiting to see the outcome. 


Also I hope Ms. Claudio has more information about the allegations and any substantiated claims than what is in that extremely vague report.

Thank you.

Francesco Portelos
Here is the full email from Erminia. Ask her and Walcott if they REALLY want quality teachers. Feel free to send her an email or better, call her office.
May 10, 2013 Disciplinary Hearing

From: "Claudio Erminia" <eclaudi@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: May 9, 2013 1:44 PM
Subject: RE: May 10, 2013 Disciplinary Hearing
To: "Francesco Portelos" <fportelos@gmail.com>
Cc:

Dear Mr. Portelos,

As we discussed, you are not permitted to record the disciplinary conference.  I expect to see you tomorrow at 9:00am in my office without any recording devices.  Should you prevent the conference from going forward for a second time, we will take whatever actions we deem appropriate.

E. Claudio

Erminia Claudio
Community Superintendent, District 31
715  Ocean Terrace, Building A
Staten Island, New York 10301
Telephone #: 718 420-5667 
Fax #:  718 420-5677
eclaudi@schools.nyc.gov
More from Francesco Portelos:
See my post about audio recording disciplinary hearing. My superintendent and DOE lawyers are having a fit. This can be huge for staff under attack if they can't stop audio recordings. http://wp.me/p31ecs-vO
 And the older correspondence:
Ms. Claudio
    Perhaps it's best an attorney from the Department of Education is present as this situation is not only delicate, high profile and in litigation, but also that with new information provided, you may be added as a defendant in an amended complaint of Federal case 12 CV 3141. I'm simply saying this would be best for both of us considering that what both of us say will probably come up in a court hearing.

-Francesco Portelos

From: Francesco Portelos [mailto:fportelos@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 1:21 PM
To: Claudio Erminia
Cc: Greenfield Robin; Singer Robin F.; Vazquez Marisol; Weiner David; Jackson-Chase Courtenaye; Rodi Katherine G.; Fox Thomas; Zaharakis Despina
Subject: May 10, 2013 Disciplinary Hearing

Ms. Claudio,

   I am in receipt of your letter dated May 7, 2013 (attached). You have stated that I "have no right under the collective bargaining agreement to record a disciplinary conference." I searched the entire CBA and found no mention of audio recording. Neither for or against it. As I stated during our previous conference on May 3, 2013, I am exercising my right under New York State Law. More specifically NY Wiretapping Law Penal Code Law 250.00. Am I supposed to understand that if it is not  mentioned in the UFT/DOE CBA I cannot do it? Just to throw in a small analogy; If I was to not fully stop at a stop sign and speed past 15 mph in the Petrides Complex can I reference the CBA if I am pulled over? 

   Speaking of the CBA, I came across something interesting in Article Twenty-One Section C:
 
"C. Summons
1. A teacher summoned by the principal to a conference which may lead to
disciplinary action for reasons of misconduct may be accompanied, at his/her option, by the chapter leader or his/her designated alternate.

2. Teachers summoned to the office of a community or high school superintendent or to the Division of Human Resources shall be given two days notice and a statement of the reason for the summons, except where an emergency is present or where considerations of confidentiality are involved.
Whenever an employee is summoned for an interview for the record which may lead to disciplinary action, he/she shall be entitled to be accompanied by a representative who is employed by the city school system, or by an employee of the Union who is not a lawyer, and he/she shall be informed of this right. However, where the community or high school superintendent or the Division of Human Resources permits an attorney who is not a member of the city school system to represent any participant in the interview, the employee shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney."

Pursuant to this section, I am requesting to be accompanied by my attorney for this disciplinary hearing.
--------
Interesting addition that there was an email from a MORE chapter leader on the MORE Chapter Leader listserve:
My principal informed staff a couple of days ago via e-mail that he would be doing informal pop in observations (ok, fine) AND that he would be filming portions of them to use later for reflections (not fine).
In the world of the DOE they can do anything they want.

3 comments:

  1. The issue of recording meetings is touchy. If we insist on taping, cant they insist on taping our classes? The example you cite is cautionary. It points out their hypocricy, but if they cant have it both ways, then neither can we. My hope is that there is no taping on either side.

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    Replies
    1. I think apples and oranges since the teacher is a participant in a meeting they certainly have a right to have a record. Not the same as the classroom though ...

      Actually I figure taping lessons is a protection of sorts. We hear cases where the admins totally distort what the teacher was doing on the lesson. I have advised teaches under attack to tape their lessons as a protection. I know of cases where they were told by the admin they couldn't which to me means the admins had an agenda that taping would subvert.

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  2. Genereally speaking, if the person you are having a conference or meeting with is crooked, hostile, nasty, arrogant, incompetent, or some combination thereof, then, by all means, record it. Covert recording is better than overt recording since the person who called the conference or meeting will be guarded during overt recording, or, as happened in Francesco's situation, may try to prohibit recording with no legal basis to do so.

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