In an amazing admission our UFT president was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article yesterday that a critical issue, the definition of "problematic behavior" will be left to arbitrators to discern. Illusory promises and predictions for our precious health benefits, the future of the proposed"no-contract" PROSE schools, merit pay for a new class of teachers and the impact of inflation on 9 years of earned pay all demonstrate that this proposal must be defeated.
Mulgrew told the Wall Street Journal, "[that] a panel of hearing officers would "solidify the definition" of problematic behavior. "If someone says a teacher is screaming in the hallway, that's a problem," he said. "If you do that once, you should be written up. If you do that again you should go through an expedited hearing process."
This quote clearly shows how disconnected the proposers are.
First, the statement assumes the truth of the allegations. A fundamental part of due process and 3020-a hearings is that charged teachers have the absolute right to cross-examine witnesses against them and present a defense if they wish. Our due process system has, until now, withstood the test of time and while some ed deformers might argue it does not work the bottom line is that based on the number of teachers charged and teachers returned to teaching and the settlements entered into by all sides it is clear that this right is taken seriously and mere allegations must be clearly proven before they become the basis for disciplinary action.
Secondly, the example used by our anti-tenure president, even if true, would probably not lead to disciplinary action for teachers working and maintaining personal relationships with their supervisors. If the teacher displayed psychotic behavior (I assume Mulgrew did not mean the teacher was trying to stop a fight or call attention to serious problem) we would hope that the teacher would be referred for proper medical attention. Instead Mulgrew further maintains and supports the ed deformer myth that ATRs are mentally ill people who should be terminated.
Progressive discipline is the hallmark to good labor relations. With 80,000 teachers we would expect some problems (including whatever "problematic behavior" turns out to be) but to strip away some of our most basic protections is outrageous and must be stopped.
Send these alleged negotiators back to the table to get a real contract without give-backs or illusory promises!