Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MOREista John Giambalvo: Judges in California enjoy some of the most stringent job protections of any employee in the nation

Does recall process offer more protection than tenure?
In fact, everyone who was involved in the presentation and decision of the Vergara case had some type of job protection above and beyond the “at-will” status that the rest of Californians have... John G. at MORE blog
Oh, how sharp are MOREistas like John? Did you see anyone from the UFT/Unity?AFT complex come close to making these powerful arguments? While anti-deformers railed against the Vergara decision, John looked at how the rest of the world enjoys protections, especially judges, of whom certainly the same % - if not more - are incompetent as teachers are -- and much more harmful to society. John's piece should go out far and wide.

Here's MORE from John at the MORE blog:
The Lawyers who argued the case have their protections. They are only prevented from practicing their craft if they are disbarred. California has it’s own special court, called the State Bar Court of California, just for making these decisions (here). That court boasts that attorneys who practice in California do so in “the only state in the nation with independent professional judges dedicated to ruling on attorney discipline cases”. That’s a nice protection!
The court reporter and clerk, as well as the officers who ensured the safety and security for all involved in the Vergara case, have special job protections too. They are considered “court employees” and their due process includes “a system of progressive discipline and termination “for cause” rather than “at will” employment” (here).
 John looks at Judge Treu's protections:
Treu’s conclusion, that teachers have too many workplace protections, is ironic. This is because he is not exactly an “at-will” employee himself. Judges in California enjoy some of the most stringent job protections of any employee in the nation. Superior Court Judges are elected to six year terms. Treu was elected in 2001 (here) and has been reelected twice since. Unless faced with an actual opponent, he will be automatically reelected at the end of every term without his name even appearing on a ballot (here and here). Given that the judge’s wife is a donor and former staffer of Republican Congressman Gary Miller (read his “Thank You” to her on the official Congressional Record here), I doubt that anyone will be challenging him anytime soon. And, being as only three judges in the entire state have lost reelection since the Great Depression (here),  I doubt that his chances of losing that election would ever be a concern....
You will be happy to know the judge’s job is also well protected if he ever finds himself in hot water. In the state of California, judges can only be removed through their own “tortuous” process called a recall vote (see here). If someone ever wants him fired, they must first collect vast amount of signatures from concerned citizens all across his district. They must then win a general vote.  As of 2008, no California judge had ever been recalled (here again). These protections are in full force whether the judge is highly effective or ‘grossly ineffective’.
 So can someone bring suit that ineffective judges is a civil rights issue of our time given the overwhelming prison population is non-white? Hey Moaning Mona, why don't you take this on? Oh, sorry, no millionaires out there looking to bring down judges.

John takes us on a lovely tour of the possibilities.
Of course, anywhere from 1%-3% of any professional from any profession may be ‘grossly ineffective’ at what they do. This is true for my profession as it is for his. In his decision, the judge briefly examined the damage that ‘grossly ineffective’ teachers may cause if left in the classroom. Let’s briefly examine the damage that ‘grossly ineffective’ justices from his state may cause if allowed to stay on the bench.  There are 2,287 judges in California (here), the extrapolated number of ‘grossly ineffective’ judges may range from 23 to 68. Now there are 38 million people who live in California. That’s one judge for approximately every 16,615 people. You may be surprised to learn that just 23 bad judges from California have the potential of adversely effecting the lives of 382,145 people. 68 bad judges can negatively effect the lives of 1,129,820!   If we’re only considering how bad judges may adversely effect the lives of school children, (California has 9,240,219 school aged children (here) or one judge for every 4,040 children), then  23 ‘grossly ineffective’ judges can hurt 92,920 students in that state and 68 ‘grossly ineffective’ judges can hurt a whopping 274,720! I don’t think too many people could refute an assertion that this large amount of bad judges may have, to paraphrase judge Treu, “a direct, real, appreciable, and negative impact on a significant number of California students, now and well into the future for as long as said [judges] hold their positions…”. And yet the judge continues to enjoy stringent workplace protections.
 Oh man, this is some of the best dessert, with whip cream and a cherry. Go John, Go.
In fact, everyone who was involved in the presentation and decision of the Vergara case had some type of job protection above and beyond the “at-will” status that the rest of Californians have. The Lawyers who argued the case have their protections. They are only prevented from practicing their craft if they are disbarred. California has it’s own special court, called the State Bar Court of California, just for making these decisions (here). That court boasts that attorneys who practice in California do so in “the only state in the nation with independent professional judges dedicated to ruling on attorney discipline cases”. That’s a nice protection!
The court reporter and clerk, as well as the officers who ensured the safety and security for all involved in the Vergara case, have special job protections too. They are considered “court employees” and their due process includes “a system of progressive discipline and termination “for cause” rather than “at will” employment” (here).
A progressive discipline process is something that tenured teachers in California do not have. Neither do they have their own ‘special court’ to determine whether or not they should be removed.
 Well, John did even more work at MORE. Don't miss a word.


1 comment:

  1. John Giambalvo nailed a powerful response and Norm nailed what frustrates me the most.....our union leaders (NYSUT, UFT, AFT) can't or won't respond in any powerful way. They never land a knockout punch because they never take a full swing. Giambalvo's response should be full page ads in major papers... paid for by our unions. If we had the money for Cuomo's birthday bash we have the money for this. Roseanne PS8.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).