Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why Didn't The UFT Demand An Independent Investigation For Alleged Teacher Misconduct...

... Asks Chaz's School Daze.

Chaz writes:

The UFT spin machine is at it again as they proclaim in their propaganda rag, The New York Teacher, about how they won a great victory for the "rubber room" teachers. I have already commented on this phony UFT victory here. However, what was wanted by all teachers was a truly independent investigation procedure. Presently, all investigations are done by SCI, OSI, and the principal. In all cases the investigators either work for and are paid by the DOE. They assume that the teacher is guilty and their job is to get enough evidence to embellish, pervert, or to change the information to substantiate the alleged misconduct.

At a June 2006 Executive Board meeting, ICE EB member Jeff Kaufman asked the UFT to do exactly what Chaz asks for by hiring paralegals and investigators to look at the evidence before DOE investigators and principals with vendettas begin their machinations.

Randi Weingarten ridiculed his proposal. Imagine the costs! What would those do to the patronage mill? How would they be able to spend millions of dollars sending 1000 Unity Caucus members on junkets to NYSUT and AFT conventions? If money were spent on giving teachers charged a chance at a fair shake how would Unity be able to create enough union jobs to satisfy the desire of Unity members to get out of their schools?

This was just one event at Executive Board meetings that so grated on Unity Caucus and led to the co-endorsement of New Action so they could replace the ICE/TJC reps.

When it comes to teachers charged, UFT policy is to let sleeping dogs lie. If the member makes no noise and goes like sheep to the slaugher, so be it. That was why we started bringing rubber room people to Ex. Bd meetings to make the wheel squeak.

Jeff wrote about the issue on the ICE blog in June '06:

When I was in the rubber room last year a member told me “his story” about an allegedly forged medical note. It appeared that after the teacher spoke up about the number of special ed student in his class (he worked in District 75) he was injured by an autistic student. He went to the doctor, who according to the eventual allegations, filled out a note which the teacher changed. The teacher claimed that the note was changed by the doctor. The doctor divulged the teacher’s medical records to DOE investigators which indicated that the note had a different (later) date than the records.

I asked the teacher what contact he had with the doctor and he told me he was specifically told not to talk to him. Did the NYSUT attorney send an investigator or make any attempt to contact the doctor or in any way investigate the matter?

Recently, a NYSUT attorney amazingly told me that there are no investigators and that the attorneys are overwhelmed with cases to provide the defense that our members need.

This might explain why, at a recent 3020a hearing I attended I was not subpoenaed nor had contact with the NYSUT attorney until the night before my testimony.

The only way we, as a Union, tolerate this misrepresentation of our members is because we don’t really care about these members. Just remember, however, the next rubber room reassignment might be for you!

Jeff's full post.

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