Comment on post from April 23:
Jeff Kaufman Explains NYSUT/UFT/DOE Deal on Signing Away Tenure Rights
A friend of mine (whom Jeff helped a lot) was involved in one of these. Don't let yourself be bullied. The principal asked for a 30,000 fine. The arbitrator exacted a 3,000 fine -- a number designed to point out to the principal how over the top she was, I think.
In his notes, the arbitrator said that if my friend had notes for every day she was absent he might not have fined her at all. Her doctor did come to the hearing (we asked Jeff, he said to do this). His testimony was invaluable in particular because my friend's NYSUT lawyer was completely ineffective.
The doctor actually called the principal an outright liar when she claimed not to have received a note from him (which she had, in fact, complained was difficult to read. She could have called him for clarification.) So, bring anyone with you who can testify to why your absences were necessary.
All your NYSUT lawyer is going to do is to tell you to get notes for every day (which my friend made the mistake to think she didn't need since she was bringing the doctor himself.) These things are even more a done deal than the regular 3020a and the NYSUT lawyers have kind of got it down to a minimum of what they have to do to keep you alive.
THEY CAN'T FIRE YOU, though they can put a final warning into your decision that says, basically, another bad year and you're going the full 3020a. The arbitrator's notes were fair -- and he got to hear both sides because my friend brought her doctor (thanks to Jeff). The NYSUT lawyer didn't want the doctor there -- more work for him.
Fortunately, he was "allowed" to do nothing as her doctor was outraged enough and outside the system enough to speak his mind.