Monday, November 3, 2014

Report of the Invisible (to UFT Until Today) Discontinued Meeting at UFT

Ed Notes took up the case of the Discontinued (untenured summarily fired and blacklisted) many years ago when I first heard about the situation.

Recent articles on ed notes:
  1.  Speech on DOE Discontinue Black List at ...
  2. Readers of Ed Notes know about the horrendous Discontinue, where any principal is given the power to terminate the career of any non-tenured teacher, even if another principal wants to hire them - as was the case for Lydia.
  3. How the UFT Sits By and Watches Discontinued Teachers ...
  4. I often get calls from the Discontinued - non-tenured who have been let go by their principals resulting in a lifting of their teaching license and a blackball from the system pretty much forever (if they have another license they ...
  5. Ed Notes Online: Time to put an end to The Discontinued ...
  6. Mar 26, 2014
  7. Ed Notes has been covering the story of the Dreaded D - Discontinue - since teachers who have been blackballed by the vicious act of principals who were handed a loaded gun by the DOE without a peep from the UFT.

Over the years people have told me their stories and it makes you want to punch a wall. Or maybe a union leader in the face. Actually wouldn't it be great to have a union leader who would threaten to punch someone at Tweed in the face (instead of punching someone opposed to the common core) for despicable acts that the union has ignored for years.

But this past summer, some higher profile Discontinue cases started to roil the waters in public and behind the scenes, and some people at the UFT began to wake up - you know, the prospect of bad pub always shakes the tree.

What do I think? Watch what they do, not what they say. Show me the money - otherwise it just more masturbation to deflect militiancy. As the report below indicates, some of the D teachers are not going to sit by passively.
I attended the meeting for discontinued teachers today at 52 Broadway tonight.

Most of the very brief meeting was a typical and predictable UFT rep meeting, giving a little bit of nothing and acting like they want to help their members.

The reps who were conducting the meeting were Emil Pietromonaco and Leroy Barr.\

Approximately 15 -20 members showed up for the meeting  (Norm, I know you will like this part, since the discontinuance cases has been one of your pet causes).
Pietromonaco did most of the leading and Barr stayed silent and watched as everyone else talked.
Pietromonaco  did say that the UFT can not make any promises they will try to see what they can do. They are not going to ask to 'undo' anything (or at least as of yet).  He also mentioned that the superintendent has the right to discontinue anyone who is probation for any reason (thanks but  we already knew that, we want our cases to be re-evaluated).  He also mentioned that since the superintendent has the right to discontinue, they will be looking and reviewing cases again, to take to court.
It was also discussed on what we know about the infamous blacklist for discontinued teachers. If a principal wants to hire someone a discontinued teacher who is qualified, the principals are swayed by HR  to a) not hire them  or b) convinced not to because it is a pain in the ass to go through the process.  This process needs to be tossed out too because it is not right. I can tell you first hand, that I have gone on interviews which lasted for over an hour because the administration or school leadership team were impressed with me and my capabilities in early childhood education. As soon as they called HR, I became a distant memory and tossed out of the candidate pool.
Pietromonaco  and Barr collected a list of all of the teachers and SBST who attended the meeting, asked for their name, school, email address and when they were discontinued. They will be contacting everyone on their list tomorrow asking to give a summary as to why they were discontinued.  They said they will update everyone on their list with a reply by an email on Thursday evening.
One other point which was mentioned, Pietromonaco mentioned they would like to realistically go back 3 years for anyone who was discontinued but they are willing to overlook some cases.
A second point that I would like to mention. Francesco P was waiting for everyone outside of Shanker Hall after the meeting. For anyone who is unaware, he was the one who helped get the UFT to re-evaluate  certain cases again.  A bunch of us debriefed on what occurred at the meeting.  
The main concerns which most of us had were 'how they would go about to clear a discontinued teacher and not be blacklisted to work in the entire city". The second concern, the UFT were kind of talking out of both ears. Before the meeting began, it was sounding like the discontinued cases would go to the chancellor's office to be re-evaluated. Now the UFT is making it sound like they will take 'select' cases and take them to  court on behalf of those teachers and SBST. 
I personally do not think that is good enough. Who knows how long that will take in court? Most people who are 100% eligible to work, want to get back to working right away and not have anything drawn out anymore.
There was even talk about a possible class action lawsuit in regards to the discontinuance and blacklist issue (this was still after the meeting outside of Shanker Hall.
** Norm, I think you would be interested in that issue,  a class action lawsuit on behalf of those teachers.
Here are some more ed notes articles:
Nov 07, 2011
On ICE-mail there was a question asked about the U vs Blacklist though it is not clear whether the writer understands the impact of the Dreaded D which is a real blacklist. Given Jeff's response below I want to point out that D's ...
Mar 18, 2010
Now on to the UFT. If you find you are blacklisted by the dreaded D and ask the UFT for help you will get 12 different answers. The most common is: Don't worry, that is only for your district. You can be hired by another district.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like every dealing I've had with the UFT regarding my discontinuance. The people at D10 basically passed it off as a joke, saying "oh, you're a shortage area, just go out and get a job in another district". Meanwhile I've had two instances of a principal wanting to offer, but then mysteriously backing out after talking to HR. Eventually I gave up and moved on.

    I think the real issue at hand here is collusion between the UFT and the DOE. I know in my building (x80) 9/40 teachers were terminated in the first year, to a first year principal who has a laundry list of complaints against him for finding creative ways to ignore our contract. The union essentially sat by and did nothing about it. Most of the teachers weren't even replaced by people in the same license area, but by special education ATRs. I have nothing against those people getting new positions, but if you are removing someone from the building and not replacing them, shouldn't they at least be excessed? Seems to me that most of us were getting fired so that the principal could clear his name for having two special education teachers serve 300+ students...


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