Well, today is the day that Christine's suspension ends and she is due back on payroll. [For background links see below].Thursday, June 13, 2013A union is "supposed" to stand by their members and seek information that will help them... [My NUSYUT attorney] kept telling me the benefits of resigning. I was completely shocked. Why would a NYSUT lawyer even suggest that was an option? ... The App division affirmed the lower court decision [negating the firing] and the 2 year suspension is now over--- effective 6/14.... I make phone calls and visit UFT offices and get no response.... I went to go see Amy Arundel in the Manhattan office and she actually said.."What can we do for you? You have your own lawyer?"... I would like to know who or what can be done, so that on 6/14 I know where to go... It has been 2 years, I have lost my career, my house, my whole life, and my identity.... Christine Rubino, letter to UFT officials (excerpts from June 11 letter).
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Amy Arundell, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
I am sure you all are well aware of the fact, that my 2 year suspension is supposed to be over-effective tomorrow. I have yet to hear from anyone regarding this matter. If possible, can someone please contact Laura Brantley or Claude Hersch to find out what is going on with this issue? Maybe, Theresa Europe can be consulted?
The fundamental thing unions must do it protect their members, which it is clear the UFT leadership does not do. Christine admits she made a mistake --saying something privately on facebook to her "friends" -- one of which obviously wasn't -- that I heard so much worse in teachers rooms. Yet the UFT leadership seems to be making a value judgement on a teacher -- they don't want to be seen as defending a teacher who might make a comment they don't deem proper?
When we had breakfast with George Schmidt, in from Chicago a few weeks ago, I brought up Christine's case and George made the emphatic point: we don't get into judging people -- especially with the attacks going on against teachers -- we defend people and stand up for the role a union plays in doing that, especially in a case that has nothing to do with in school issues. This is just the Tweed lawyer gotcha squad being allowed to run rampant to justify their existence while the UFT sits by -- sort of like watching someone in the middle of the road with a truck bearing down but not bothering to holler, "Watch out!"
(MORE put out a statement of support for Christine a few weeks ago: A Call For Fair Discipline: MORE Supports Christine Rubino).
Here is the full email Christine sent to all of the above plus Randi Weingarten the other day:
My name is Christine Rubino and I was a due paying UFT member until June 2011, when I was fired for a Facebook comment. When, I first received charges, I could not believe how quickly my union abandoned me. My "crime" did not seem like an offense worthy of termination.
When, I was assigned to a my NYSUT attorney, Mr. Sean Kelley, I could not believe what I was hearing. There I was – a 14 year teacher with nothing but satisfactory ratings and wonderful write ups from my principal, being chased down for one minute of stupidity.
The first time, I met Mr. Kelley, he was hell bent on having resignation papers drawn up. He kept insisting, it was much easier to resign, than to be fired. He kept telling me the benefits of resigning. I was completely shocked. Why would a NYSUT lawyer even suggest that was an option?
Through diligent research I came to realize the whole 3020a process is completely skewed against the teacher. In fact, I came to realize, that the whole process is INDEED skewed against the teacher. I have even spoken to many other teachers who say, they were told the same thing. I kept my mouth closed, and sought outside counsel. This came in the form of a wonderful man, named Bryan Glass.
Mr. Glass, has been by my side since the beginning of this nightmare, and although we couldn't win at the hearing (of course, not...the cards are stacked against teachers) I continued to work closely with Mr. Glass. We took case to Supreme Court, we won.
NYCDOE slapped a stay on order, we asked App. Division to lift the statutory stay, and they did. This forced the NYCDOE...to negotiate a new penalty---before the App. Division would here the case. The NYCDOE needed to have a remand hearing. They chose to do this on paper, with the same arbitrator who fired me, presiding. Of course, she came back with a 2 year suspension, which would take me through the Appeal case.
The App division affirmed the lower court decision [negating the firing] and the 2 year suspension is now over--effective 6/14. The time is here, I have been a VERY PATIENT GIRL. I make phone calls and visit UFT offices and get no response. Nothing. I would like to know who or what can be done, so that on 6/14 I know where to go. I do not want to let that day come and go. I have been out of work long enough and have gotten to where I am, BECAUSE, my lawyer hard faith in the case, when my own union did absolutely nothing to help me. A union is "supposed" to stand by their members and seek information that will help them. To this day, I have not heard from anyone who has any information about returning. NOTHING.
As a matter of fact, I went to go see Amy Arundel in the Manhattan office, and she actually said.."What can we do for you? You have your own lawyer?"
My lawyer is my lawyer... he works with the law, he is not a direct pipeline to NYSUT, UFT, or the DOE. I would appreciate some answers as to my current situation, and what can be done, to get me back on the payroll.
Outrage at Christine Rubino Two Year Suspension for Facebook Transgression,It has been 2 years, I have lost my career, my house, my whole life, and my identity. I am the only person who has suffered through this, and yet people who have been accused and found guilty of far worse...have been returned to their school and are working. I look forward to hearing from someone soon, as I have many questions I would like answered. Please feel free to reach out to me...anytime...
The Arbitrator's original decision can be found here. Barbara Jaffae, ruling
The Assailed Teacher: The Human Cost of Teacher Bashing: The Christine Rubino Case, The DOE’s Long War on Christine Rubino
Perdido Street School: A Two-Tiered Justice System
NYCDOENUTS: Rubino Plans To Appeal the Two-Year Suspension
Betsy Combier: here and here and here.
Francesco Portelos: The Christine Rubino Story
Look for multiple posts today -- I feel like a July day at Kennedy airport with all the backups.