The announcement is coming soon, but I wanted to make a few points of prediction.
NBC reports the following:
- A teacher will only be able to be removed from a classroom for 60 days. If by then the teacher has not been charged, he or she can return to the classroom unless there are serious accusations involved.
- The deal gives the city greater ability to suspend teachers without pay in more severe cases, and saves taxpayers from spending $30 million a year to pay teachers to essentially do nothing.
- The hearing process will be expedited in part by hiring more hearing officers to adjudicate. In less serious cases, there will be an expedited hearing process in which the case will be resolved in three hearings over a period of two weeks.
The key is who doesn't get paid in the more "severe" cases. Look for these to be expanded to a wide level - like anything having to do with a child. I'm not talking things like sexual charges (which is already a reason to not get paid - and teachers have been exonerated based on false charges). I'm thinking things like ANY physical confrontation. Who knows what else? Will there be enough ambiguity to give the DOE wide latitude not to pay people?
And what are "serious" accusations? Does anyone trust the UFT to assure bullet proof protections? Will they tell you to file a useless grievance?
See the report on the ICE blog: The Rubber Room Deal: Breakthrough or Missed Opportunity
After building up public sentiment against teachers who 'sit doing nothing on the taxpayers dime", after repeating over and over in the press that it is the 'teachers' who delay the due process process", after making sure that voices contradicting this lie- the DOE has total control over how long a person sits in a Reassignment Center-are never aired in the media, after watching the UFT abandon teachers and others' within the schools, now the DOE and UFT have once again entered into an agreement that will turn teachers into ATRs more quickly, does not address the arbitrary and unchecked power of principals to remove UFT personnel for 'a good reason , a poor reason, or no reason at all" (employment at will), and will of course not hold arbitrators to any standard of ethics in rendering their decisions. Will these new hearings be any different than the kangaroo court that hears appeals of U ratings? (Remember, Weingarten was going to address this.) The problem is WHY teachers are being put into reassignment rooms.
ATRs- beware. See the April 13th piece in the NY times reference a bill to change how lay-offs occur.