Thursday, April 22, 2010

Landmark agreement will close "rubber rooms"

UFT Mike Mulgrew's email to his members on the agreement to close the rubber rooms:

Landmark agreement will close "rubber rooms"

Dear Colleagues,

The UFT and the DOE today announced an agreement that will permanently close the Temporary Reassignment Centers at the end of the school year and provide a fairer and faster process for members who are accused of wrongdoing. The threat and the fear of "being sent to the rubber room" will be eliminated.

The rubber rooms are a symptom of a disciplinary system that has not worked for anyone – not the kids, not the schools and not the educators. The new agreement ensures that the outrageous delays in charging people and adjudicating their cases will be a thing of the past.

Under the terms of the agreement, all the Temporary Reassignment Centers will close on the final day of school in June. Starting on Sept. 1, most UFT members who have been accused of misconduct will be reassigned to administrative work in a DOE office or in their schools for no more than 60 days while their cases are being investigated; those not charged within that time will be returned to their classrooms. The DOE will have only 10 days to file incompetence charges against a teacher removed from the classroom. Furthermore, once charges have been filed, in most cases hearings must be completed within 60 days and a decision rendered within 30 days. To accomplish this, the agreement calls for the UFT and the DOE to significantly increase the number of hearing officers. Some members accused of less serious, non-termination offenses may have their cases resolved through an expedited process. 

The full agreement will be posted on the UFT Web site.

The bottom line is we have worked hard to reach an agreement that eliminates the rubber rooms, clears the cases in the backlog, ensures a quicker and fairer process for any member accused of wrongdoing, and removes a fear tactic used by management against our members.


Michael Mulgrew

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