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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do The Presidents of NYSUT and the UFT Truly Respect Members?

UFT members must be, by now, aware that their rights have been bargained away by the very same people who party on their dime. Sooner or later the question of why Mike Mulgrew, currently President of the UFT, and Ema Comacho Mendez were moved from William Grady High School in Brooklyn to the UFT in 2004. Evidently no investigator ever looked into the circumstances.

If you are a UFT member and havent asked the question below, may I ask, what's the delay?

What am I paying my dues money for?

You may say, "I'm paying for the right to grieve"

Answer - most grievances are written to oppose a "U"- rating that is unfair. You win less than 1% of these, because the BOE andUFT agreed, in violation of well-founded arbitration rules, to have a Principal never appear in person and thus the Principal/AP/Dean can testify only by telephone. Call the American Arbitration Association up, and find out how valid a hearing is when only one side (BOE) wants witnesses to call in. While you're at it, could you ask how valid an oath is under these  circumstances when someone states that he/she will tell the truth through a telephone line?

In 2005, the UFT signed a contract from "down under" (and I dont mean Australia) which stated that no one could henceforth grieve a letter in his/her file, no matter how false the content was.

Alternatively, you could say "I'm paying for the services of NYSUT"  when, or if, I get taken to 3020-a (assuming you have tenure).So, you feel better knowing that sooner or later, you may need to have NYSUT represent you, so you pay for the psychic well-being that comes from knowing that you have legal help.

What if you dont? What if your legal help is not helpful? What happens when your Union does not provide the services that they promise you it will?

See below.

Betsy Combier

As budget cuts loom, state's largest teachers union has burned through millions of dollars
BY Douglas Feiden, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER, March 27th 2011, 4:00 AM

As Gov. Cuomo moves to slash $1.5 billion in school aid, the state's largest teachers union has burned through millions of dollars on junkets, feasts and parties at resorts across New York.

New York State United Teachers hosts more than 150 conferences a year at some 50 rustic retreats, lakefront lodges and oceanfront hotels - even though it has a conference center near its Albany headquarters.

That means union members and brass average three powwows a week as they wine and dine from Montauk to Niagara Falls, a Daily News review of union spending found.

Funded by its 575,000 members' dues, the teachers union dropped $3.8 million on conferences last year - plus $225,000 more for catering and $231,000 for 14 photographers who snapped pictures of the parleys, documents show.

All told, the union has shelled out nearly $17 million since 2005, with their two favorite spots being Gurney's Inn Resort & Spa in Montauk ($2.1 million) and the Otesaga Resort Hotel near the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown ($2.4 million).

For entertainment, it paid $9,500 for the Capitol Steps comedy troupe and $25,505 for the Okie Dokie Nightclub, both in Washington.

To get to upstate hot spots, union employees can take advantage of the union's $1.8 million fleet of more than 155 vehicles. Rank-and-file members can bill their locals for tolls and mileage.

Extravagant union spending has continued even as Mayor Bloomberg threatens to ax 4,700 city teachers and union lobbyists fight to salvage "last in, first out," which bases firing on seniority.

Last month The News revealed how the city's United Federation of Teachers, the state union's largest local affiliate, blew $1.4 million on a 50th anniversary gala.

"NYSUT talks about shared sacrifice, but the taxpayer makes the sacrifice and foots the bills for its frivolous spending," said Jason Brooks of the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, a charter school advocacy group and union critic.

"School taxes pay the salaries of teachers, who are required to pay union dues, which go to fund junkets at five-star resorts."

Dick Iannuzzi, NYSUT's $294,313-a-year president, declined comment, but spokesman Carl Korn insisted the trips were training sessions, not junkets.

Carl Korn

Conferences offer invaluable training on standards, testing, teacher evaluation and all aspects of the job, he said.

"It's absolutely essential," said Korn. "It provides the skills they need to advocate for members and fight for what students and schools need to succeed."

Korn said the union has 16 regional offices and each holds a summer, fall and winter conference, as well as policy and health conferences and others.

He noted that the union's conference center in upstate Latham hosts hundreds of meetings a year, but its 150-seat auditorium is too small for many workshops.

With few upstate union facilities able to handle some 300 people, NYSUT seeks venues near its members and books off-season to get big discounts, Korn said.

"Our financial operations are transparent - and our members get every penny's worth in the representation they receive from NYSUT," he said

About $86,000 worth of those pennies paid for a "summer leadership conference" at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos, which offers archery and lawn bowling. The conference featured workshops on benefits, bargaining - and investment tips.

Union dissidents also provided The News with some locals' newsletters openly boasting of the perks at conferences:

"The accommodations were top shelf," wrote Al Cotoia, vice president of NYSUT Local 15-175, after a $268,732 conference at the Wyndham Princeton Forrestal Hotel in New Jersey. "There was unlimited access to refreshments and food."

Until it closed in 2009, the storied Rainbow Room was a union hangout and scene of a $118,875 party held after a "presidents conference" at the New York Hilton.

NYSUT Local 3882, which represents staffers at NYU, recounted a postconference party like this: "After a day packed with workshops, local presidents were treated to an evening of dining and dancing at New York's legendary Rainbow Room. Your president had a wonderful time."

NYSUT's reports to the U.S. Labor Department also show the parent union splurging at:

* Otesaga Resort Hotel, with its private tours of the Baseball Hall of Fame and 700 feet of Lake Otsego shorefront. Tab for conferences in 2010: $488,110.

* Gurney's Inn, which features karaoke, stand-up comedy and a seawater spa. Regional workshop tab: $235,602.

* Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, where 4,200 slot machines await. Regional conference cost: $69,643.
And then there's the age discrimination lawsuit that was filed at the EEOC, but went nowhere, and I can vouch for the fact that most of the teachers thrown into the "rubber room" were over 40-50 years of age:
EEOC to the Rescue
Forty years ago, I was able to get the EEOC to investigate the patterns and practices of discrimination against women in the Tampa Police Department. I also filed charges with the Justice Department to take away the sheriff's government grants because he would not employ women as deputies.

My charging party was a young black woman supporting two children on a nurse's aide salary. She had applied several times to the city of Tampa for a police job. Marshall Jessee, the employment thug, kept "losing" her application. Thelma needed the job to care for her two children.The police job paid a generous salary in comparison the the aide job. I have forgotten Thelma's last name.

I had convened Tampa NOW at that time, and Thelma read in the paper that we helped women who were discriminated against. She got in touch with us, and I took her case because I was the employment discrimination chair.

Don't assume the EEOC will run to the rescue with one appeal. You have to keep at it and nag the agency until it investigates your charge to shut you up. I also moved things along by asking my congressman and the two Florida senators to check the status of my charge from time to time and to inform me of its status. This is what elected officials' staff is paid to do: constituent services. Inquiries from congresspeople or senators have a big impact on such government agencies as the EEOC.

The EEOC finally threw in the towel and investigated the case. It found the expected patterns and practices of discrimination against women and required the police depart to open up to women. Thelma was one of the first women hired. My husband and I went to her graduation from the Police Academy. The sheriff opened up to women when the Justice Department threatened to lift its grants. Sheriff Beard hates me so much to this day that he will not stay in a room if I enter it. I call that power.

When I see women police officers and sheriff's deputies on the streets, I feel proud; I feel like they are my children. I gave them the boost they needed to break down a door of prejudice.

The New York Teachers' Union is a strong outfit. CTA looks like a mouse beside it. I have good feelings about the NY union's being able to stop this horrific treatment of older teachers. I am betting on it.

No matter how bad things look locally, there are good things happening in other places.

I am revving up to file child-abuse charges against five administrators from the situation of abuse revealed in Goader's manufactured charge of child abuse. lee


I, RANDI WEINGARTEN, being duly sworn, declare under penalty of perjury the following:

• I am the President of the United Federation of Teachers, a position I have held since 1998. The United Federation of Teachers (“the UFT”) is the sole collective bargaining representative for teachers and other non-supervisory employees of the New York City Department of Education. Of the UFT's more than 140,000 members, approximately 91,000 are teachers or other tenured or tenurable staff members (school secretaries, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, etc.). The UFT's and my principal place of business is 52 Broadway, New York, New York 10004.

• The New York City Board of Education (“the Board”) is the governing body of the public school system in New York City, and has as its principal place of business the Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers Street, New York, New York 10007. The Board possesses the powers and responsibilities as delineated in the Education Law, including the power to employ, supervise, discipline, and terminate employees. The Board employs more than five hundred (500) people.

• The UFT brings the instant charge –that the Board has violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act– on behalf of its members over 40 years of age, who have been harmed by the Board's discriminatory use of the disciplinary system, through the initiation of disciplinary charges under Education Law §3020-a and the issuance of Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings to such teachers, as well as the Board's discriminatory pattern and practice of coercing, threatening, and harassing teachers over 40 years of age to “encourage” those teachers to leave their assigned schools.


• Tenured personnel of school districts may only be disciplined pursuant to Education Law §§2590-j(7)(a), 3020 and 3020-a. Education Law §3020 provides that “No person enjoying the benefits of tenure shall be disciplined ... during a term of employment except for just cause ....” A Board of Education may not prefer charges against a tenured employee unless it has found that there is probable cause to do so. See Education Law §3020-a(2)(a).

• Pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (8 NYCRR §§89, 100), New York City Board of Education's Chancellor's Regulations (Special Circular No. 45), and the collective bargaining agreement between the UFT and the Board, all professional personnel must be provided with annual performance ratings. Those ratings must characterize the employee's work as either Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or, in certain cases, Doubtful. In still other cases where employees are reassigned outside of their regular assignment for disciplinary reasons, the Board must give them an annual performance rating of “NA” (not applicable). The By-Laws of the Panel for Education Policy of the Department of Education of the City School District of the City of New York provide for an appeal from any rating other than a Satisfactory. (See By-Law 4.3) .


• Of the UFT's 91,000 pedagogues who are eligible for tenure, approximately 41,000 or 63.4% are tenured teachers who are over the age of 40. This statistic is relevant in analyzing whether the Board is discriminating against older teachers in preferring disciplinary charges pursuant to §3020-a.

• Upon information and belief, based upon my review of the records maintained by the UFT, as set forth more fully in the following paragraphs, for the past three years, the Board has revealed its discriminatory intent in the rate of its preferral of disciplinary charges against teachers who are 40 years old.

• During the 2002-2003 school year, I am aware that the Board preferred §3020-a charges against at least 126 tenured pedagogues. Of those charged pedagogues, 114 or 90.5% were over the age of 40.

• During that same period, the Board formally threatened to prefer –but did not actually prefer– §3020-a charges against 24 pedagogues. Of those threatened pedagogues, 23 or 95.8% were over the age of 40.

• In sum, during the 2002-2003 school year, 137 of the 150 employees threatened with or served with §3020-a charges were over 40 years old. That is, 91.33% of those threatened or served with charges were over the age of 40.

• During the 2003-2004 school year, the Board served 147 pedagogues with disciplinary charges pursuant to §3020-a. Of those charged, 132 pedagogues were over the age of 40. That is, 90% of those charged were over the age of 40.

• During that same period, the Board formally threatened to prefer –but did not actually prefer– §3020-a charges against 21 pedagogues. Of those threatened pedagogues, 16 were over the age of 40. That is, 76.2% of those threatened with charges were over the age of 40.

• In sum, during the 2003-2004 school year, 146 of the 168 employees threatened with or served with §3020-a charges were over 40 years old. That is, 87% of those threatened or served with charges were over the age of 40.

• Similarly, during the 2004-2005 school year, the Board preferred §3020-a charges against at least 143 pedagogues. Of those 143 pedagogues, 122 were over the age of 40. That is 85.3% of all teachers disciplined pursuant to §3020-a during that school year were over the age of 40.

• I am also aware that, during each of the cited school years, there are pedagogues, over the age of 40, who were not formally threatened with charges, but were apprised that, if they did not retire, would be so charged. Those pedagogues did, in fact, retire or resign from their positions. As yet, I do not have the empirical data regarding those cases.

• The Board has similarly utilized the annual performance rating process to discriminate against older tenured members of the UFT.

• For example, of the 729 tenured UFT members who received Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings for the 2004-2005 school year, 571 or 78 % are over the age of 40. This statistic is relevant in analyzing whether the Board is discriminating against older teachers in the annual performance review process.

• During the 2002-2003 school year, 549 pedagogues throughout the New York City public school system were issued Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings (U-ratings). Of those pedagogues, 348 were over the age of 40. That is, 63% of all U-rated pedagogues in the 2002-2003 school year were over the age of 40.

• For example, in Manhattan alone, the average age of U-rated pedagogues during the 2002-2003 school year was 47.79. The borough of Manhattan was divided into ten School Districts (Districts 1 through 6, District 71, District 75, District 79, and District 81) at that time, and in every single one of those school districts, the average age of a U-rated pedagogue was well over 40; District 4 had the lowest average age, 44.6 years old, of U-rated pedagogues.

• Similarly, during the 2003-2004 school year, 645 pedagogues throughout the New York City public school system were issued Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings. Of those pedagogues, 381 were over the age of 40. That is, 59% were over the age of 40.

• Again, using the borough of Manhattan as an example, during the 2003-2004 school year, the average age of U-rated pedagogues in that borough was 49.3 years old. Only District 1's average that year fell below 40 years old; that year, only two teachers in District 1 were issued Unsatisfactory ratings: one was 53 years old with 30 years of service, and the other was 25 years old with 2 years of service. However, the average ages of U-rated teachers in District 2 was 54.25; in District 3 it was 55.9; in District 5, it was 58.1; and in District 6, it was 57.37.

• Based upon preliminary findings, during the 2004-2005 school year, 314 pedagogues were issued Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings. Of those pedagogues, 129 were over the age of 40. That is, 41% were over 40 years old.

• The above statistics alone establish that the Board's application of both the annual performance ratings and the preferral of disciplinary charges disparately impacts those members of the UFT who are over 40 years of age to the members' detriment, both professionally and personally.


• Upon information and belief, for at least the past three years, the Board has knowingly permitted school administrators to employ a pattern and practice of age discrimination in various schools within New York City. The discrimination has taken the form of unjust and unfounded criticisms, abuse of the observation process to intimidate and harass teachers, blatant disregard of seniority in making classroom assignments, and even making illegal offers of giving satisfactory ratings in exchange for senior teachers leaving the school. The employment of these discriminatory practices has resulted in the elimination of senior teachers from these given schools. In some cases it appears that the discrimination is motivated by administrators' budgetary agenda: that is, seeking to reduce the schools' payroll budgets or allowing the two teachers to be hired for the price of one older, more senior teacher.

P.S. 146, Region 9

• Between September 1999 and June 2004, Principal Laura Silver of P.S. 146 in Region 9 illegally drove nearly all of the senior teachers out of the school.

• Principal Silver was assigned as principal of P.S. 146 in September 1999.

• Upon information and belief, Principal Silver arrived at P.S. 146 believing that she was charged with "turning the school around," and undertook to eliminate from the school teachers who were older and/or more senior.

• Based upon a review of the organization sheets for P.S.146 for the school years 1999-2000 through 2003-2004, at the end of each school year, approximately 20 teachers did not return to P.S. 146 for the following school year.

• Upon information and belief, based upon conversations with other teachers and UFT representatives at P.S. 146, the majority of the teachers who did not return to P.S. 146 from one year to the next were over the age of 40. Most of them also had satisfactory service records within the Board of Education prior to their transfer from P.S. 146.

• Upon information and belief, many of the teachers who did not return to P.S. 146 were threatened by Ms. Silver that, if they did not make other arrangements for the following year's assignment, she would give them an Unsatisfactory rating for the year, and possibly bring them up on disciplinary charges. Faced with this Hobson's choice, most teachers left P.S. 146, beaten, but with their satisfactory ratings and records intact.

• Those teachers who opted not to yield to Ms. Silver's illegal intimidation were brought up on disciplinary charges pursuant to Education Law §3020-a, and were placed on administrative reassignment pending disposition of the charges.

• In May or June of 2002, one teacher , who is over 40 years old, had always received Satisfactory annual performance ratings, and had been assigned to P.S. 146 for more than 20 years by that time, was told by Ms. Silver, in the presence of the UFT representative, Aida Sanchez, that, if the teacher did not agree to leave the school, Ms. Silver would give her an Unsatisfactory annual performance rating for the year. The teacher refused the offer, but did take a sabbatical the following school year. Upon her return to P.S. 146 for the 2003-2004 school year, Ms. Silver inundated the teacher ' s file with letters – another 8 letters, most generated within the first two weeks of school, which formed the basis for the teacher ' s removal from the school on administrative reassignment, as well as the basis for Education Law § 3020-a charges.

Graphic Communications Arts High School, Region 9

• During the 2004-2005 school year, the Board engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against older teachers assigned to work at Graphic Communication Arts High School (“GCAHS”). GCAHS offers students academic study and teaches them vocational skills related to graphic communication careers. GCAHS is located at 439 West 49 th Street, New York, New York. The GCAHS administration discriminated against its older staff members by scrutinizing their performance in an unfair and inequitable manner. At least 19 teachers over age 40 were subjected to discriminatory treatment, including but not limited to: (1) unannounced observations of classroom performance lasting only a few minutes and resulting in negative observation reports; (2) negative age-related comments; (3) negative age-related comments aimed at pressuring older teachers to retire and/or transfer out of the school; (4) issuance, or threat of issuance, of Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings; (5) preferral, or threat of preferral, of §3020-a charges; and (6) unfair treatment, in general, which younger teachers did not receive.

• Specific examples of age discrimination which took place at GCAHS are enumerated in Paragraphs 35 through 49 below. All information is stated upon information and belief, based upon correspondence received by the UFT from pedagogues at the school.

• DIANA FRIEDLINE is a 53 year old teacher of Graphic Arts, who is employed by the Board and has worked at GCAHS since 1988. Ms. Friedline holds a New York City Printing/Cold Type Composition License, as well as a permanent New York State Commercial Art License. The Cold Type Composition License has been phased out and persons newer to the profession in New York City are now offered the Commercial Art Licensure Exam in its stead. During the 2004-2005 school year, the GCAHS administration has discriminated against Ms. Friedline on the basis of age, in that it limited her to certain teaching positions based on her possession of the “older” or “phased out” Cold Type License.

• For example, in March and April 2005, GCAHS advertised a position for a teacher to update the CTE curriculum. The job posting specifically excluded persons who possessed the Cold Type License. Although she is licensed to teach Commercial Art anywhere in New York State, GCAHS's job posting excluded Ms. Friedline from consideration, on the basis of age. In September 2004, Ms. Friedline, for the second time that year, requested that student teacher, Claudio Garcia, be assigned to her classroom, consistent with Mr. Garcia's wishes. Ms. Friedline's request was denied based on her license. Because only senior teachers hold the Cold Type Composition License, it appears that the GCAHS administration once again discriminated against Ms. Friedline based on her age.

 • By Verified Complaint dated March 21, 2005, Ms. Friedline filed a charge of age and sex discrimination against GCAHS with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

• FITZROY O. KINGTON is a 55 year old teacher of Social Studies who was assigned to GCAHS until June 2005. Mr. Kington is currently assigned to the Bayard Rustin High School for the Humanities.

• Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Kington had the highest passing rate on the Regents examination of any Social Studies teacher at the school in June 2004 and June 2005, he was informed by Assistant Principal Matt Guttman that it would be in Mr. Kington's best interest to transfer to another school for the 2005-2006 school year.

• Mr. Guttman told Mr. Kington that Principal Jerod Resnick “wanted to staff the school with ‘young energetic teachers' and wanted to see ‘young teachers' in the classroom.” Guttman further told Mr. Kington that it would, thus, be best for “older teachers” like Mr. Kington to transfer to another school.

• Mr. Kington believes that most of the older teachers at GCAHS received Unsatisfactory annual performance ratings for the 2004-2005 school year, in keeping with Principal Resnick's stated goal of staffing the school with “young teachers”. Upon information and belief, Mr. Kington will be filing an individual charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

• LEAH KONTOVRAKIS is a 67 year old teacher of mathematics at GCAHS. Ms. Kontovrakis said that she believes that the Principal is discriminating against her and other older teachers based on age. During the 2004-2005 school year, the Assistant Principal walked into her class unannounced on multiple occasions, and issued her an unsatisfactory observation report on improper grounds. Ms. Kontovrakis observed that the principal did not treat younger teachers in the same manner. Based on the observation reports, Ms. Kontovrakis was issued an Unsatisfactory annual performance rating for the 2004-2005 school year.

• Prior to the 2004-2005 school year, Ms. Kontovrakis had always received Satisfactory observation reports and annual performance ratings. Upon discussing this matter with older teachers in her school, Ms. Kontovrakis discovered that they were being treated similarly with respect to the onslaught of unannounced observations of brief durations, which negatively characterized the older teachers' performance.

• Last year Ms. Kontovrakis spoke to a 55 year old female shop teacher who reported that she had to retire because the administration "made her life miserable" by discriminating against her based on age. According to Ms. Kontovrakis, an older English teacher was similarly forced to retire because she was given 5 different classrooms per day and was unable to wheel her books and materials from room to room.

• MIDGE MARONI is a 58 year old English teacher at GCAHS. Since the commencement of her employment with the Board, 10 years ago, until the Spring of the 2004-2005 school year, Ms. Maroni consistently received Satisfactory annual performance ratings and evaluations. Before the end of the Fall Term of the 2004-2005 school year, the Assistant Principal in charge of Ms. Maroni ' s department (English/ESL) was replaced with Eric Brand.

• During the 2004-2005 school year, prior to the Spring Term, Ms. Maroni had received three satisfactory evaluations (two from the previous A.P. and one from the Principal and Mr. Brand, himself). Immediately thereafter, Mr. Brand subjected Ms. Maroni to frequent short-term visits (none lasting more than 10 minutes) to her classroom during March and April of 2005. Mr. Brand's visits were memorialized in a single observation report (hereinafter referred to as "the composite observation"), given to Ms. Maroni on May 2, 2005. The composite observation concluded that Ms. Maroni's performance was unsatisfactory on the numerous dates cited within the report. Ms. Maroni filed a grievance challenging this "observation report" on the ground that it violated the collective bargaining agreement. That grievance is currently pending. Moreover, Ms. Maroni was the only staff member at the school to have received such a composite observation. On May 11, 2005, Mr. Brand conducted a formal observation of Ms. Maroni, and concluded that the lesson observed was unsatisfactory. Ms. Maroni's grievance of that formal observation, too, is pending.

• Between April and the end of June, 2005, Mr. Brand made a number of comments relating to Ms. Maroni's age. For example, he told Ms. Maroni that she is "the kind of teacher who deserves unsatisfactory ratings because she has too many old ideas about teaching." On another occasion, Mr. Brand told Ms. Maroni he was aware that she was a lot older than he, and he said, "I know you don't like being supervised by a younger male." Upon information and belief, Ms. Maroni will be filing an individual charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

• ANDREA SHAPIRO is a teacher, 58 year old teacher, who has been assigned to GCAHS since 1984. Like Ms. Maroni, Ms. Shapiro was subjected to a number of age-related comments and negative, unfair treatment by Mr. Brand, the Assistant Principal of the English/ESL Department during the 2004-2005 school year. Mr. Brand communicated his hostility towards older teachers when he stated words to the effect that he would be having a wonderful English Department the following year because they would have no old teachers. Principal Jerod Resnick allegedly told a staff member that he did not like Ms. Shapiro and did not want to see her or talk to her because of her age.

• During the 2004-2005 school year, Ms. Shapiro was also improperly removed from her compensatory time position and was falsely accused of misconduct. Despite this discriminatory treatment, Ms. Shapiro felt that she had no recourse but to stay at the school and endure the continuing age-related harassment geared toward pushing her to retire.


• In addition to the disparate impact of the Board's discriminatory application of the disciplinary and ratings processes, and the pattern and practice of discrimination to remove older teachers from selected schools, the Board has engaged in intentional discrimination on the basis of age against a number of individual teachers. I make the following representations based upon letters and communications from these individuals to me and/or members of the UFT staff. These individuals have consented to participate with the UFT in the instant charge.

• HEATHER ALLISON is a 40 year old elementary school teacher who has been employed by the Board since 1993. When she transferred from P.S. 50 to P.S. 161 in 1993, Principal Jill Hoder issued Ms. Allison her very first Unsatisfactory annual performance rating and replaced her with a teacher in her 20's who had no experience. Ms. Allison was intimidated by frequent, unannounced visits by her Principal and other administrators. These visits disrupted her class and often lasted only a few minutes. Younger teachers at P.S. 161 were not subjected to such treatment. Ms. Allison is aware of several other older teachers who were driven out of P.S. 161. These older teachers either retired or transferred to other schools.

• MADELYN DIMITRACOPOULOS is a 64 year old English teacher assigned to Flushing High School, who has been employed by the Board since 1962. She was the only teacher in the English Department to be assigned to teach out of 4 different classrooms. After Ms. Dimitracopoulos grieved this assignment, it was reduced to 3 classrooms. According to Ms. Dimitracopoulos, most younger teachers only have 1 or 2 classrooms from which they must teach. As a result of hauling books and supplies from room to room throughout the day, Ms. Dimitracopoulos, who had informed the school of her prior medical condition, tore her miniscus ligament. When another teacher and a student assisted her, they were told to stop because the administration indicated that Ms. Dimitracopoulos was to carry her materials herself.

• Ms. Dimitracopoulos has also been a victim of unfair observations. For example, on a few occasions, her administrators observed her lesson for only the last 5 minutes of class and rated the entire lesson as unsatisfactory. The Chairman of the English Department, Ms. Burton, changed Ms. Dimitracopoulos's teaching program 3 times during the 2005-2006 school year and took away her elective class.

• During the 2004-2005 school year, an article entitled “No Time to Retire,” with the word “No” crossed out, was anonymously placed in Ms. Dimitracopolous's mailbox, obviously suggesting that it was time for Ms. Dimitracopoulos to retire. She immediately went to Ms. Burton for assistance and was ignored. Indeed, rather than receiving assistance from the administration, the article was placed in Ms. Dimitracopoulos's attendance folder. Upon information and belief, Ms. Dimitrocopoulos will be filing an individual charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

• JOY HOCHSTADT is a 66 year old teacher who has been employed by the Board since 1997. She has been assigned to Brandeis High School since 2000. At the close of the 2004-2005 school year, former Assistant Principal, Richard Weiss, issued Ms. Hochstadt an Unsatisfactory annual performance rating on the basis of alleged latenesses. Ms. Hochstadt's supervisor was acting under the mistaken belief that the 7:50 AM bell rang at 8:00 AM, and based the allegations of lateness on this misapprehension. Despite the fact that she was an experienced Biology and Science teacher, Ms. Hochstadt was denied AP/Honors classes; instead she was assigned outside of her tenure area to special education classes. Ms. Hochstadt was further discriminated against when the Board denied her a compensatory-time assignment for which she was qualified.

• The Principal at Brandeis High School also attempted to prevent Ms. Hochstadt from returning from an approved medical leave, retorting that although she may have had tenure in the system, she did not have tenure in the school. The Principal communicated his disdain for older teachers when he told Ms. Hochstadt that a teacher who cannot stand the entire day should retire. Despite the discriminatory treatment that she suffers, Ms. Hochstadt continues to be employed by the Board.

• PATRICK KANE is a social studies teacher presently assigned to Susan E. Wagner High School. Mr. Kane has been employed by the Board since 1981. Immediately prior to his current assignment, Mr. Kane was one of at least 3 teachers working at South Brooklyn Community High School, who were replaced by younger teachers. Prior to being replaced, Mr. Kane's pedagogical performance was superb. Each year, he received Satisfactory annual performance ratings and he received continued commendations for his work.

• LINDA KUZNESOFF-HERMAN is a 57 year old teacher who has been employed by the Board since 1980, and is presently teaching elementary students at P.S. 276K.

• Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman was denied assignment to the position of teacher of a 5 th grade gifted class, despite her 25 years' experience as a teacher, 4 years as a literacy staff developer, and 2 years as a literacy coach. Instead, the position was given to a younger teacher in her 30's, Dale Taylor-Campbell, who had no prior experience teaching gifted students. All of Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman's prior annual performance rating ratings were satisfactory. In fact, Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman trained Dale Taylor-Campbell when she arrived at the school.

• Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman has grieved this violation. Principal Jonathan Straughn made specific discriminatory comments toward Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman. For example, Principal Straughn told her that he would not rehire her as the literacy coach because he needed “new blood” for that position. Furthermore, in explaining why the position needed someone else, Principal Straughn told her she was at the stage where teachers become “battle weary.” Upon information and belief, Ms. Kuznesoff-Herman will be filing an individual charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

• BARBARA LAROCCA is a 55 year old school counselor who has been employed by the Board since 1972. She was assigned to P.S./M.S. 83 in 2005 and is presently on maternity leave. Ms. Larocca asserts that the Board discriminated against her on the basis of age in that she was shifted around a lot and was allowed no permanency in her teaching assignments. Although she was told that she could not return to her previous assignment due to purported “budgetary concerns,” it appears that the motivating factor was her age. Ms. Larocca asserts that all of the guidance counselors who have 13 or more years of experience are unassigned within the school.

• DAWN MANSON is a 57 year old Science teacher previously assigned to South Brooklyn Community High School (“SBCHS”). She has been employed by the Board since 1970. After providing satisfactory service at SBCHS for 21 years, she and 2 other teachers, Patrick Kane and Barry Greiper, were asked to go through the School Based Option transfer program. Ultimately all three older teachers were informed at the last minute that they had been replaced by more qualified teachers.

• The teachers who replaced Ms. Manson, Mr. Kane and Mr. Greiper were all younger than they and did not appear to possess the superior qualifications that the Board alleged. The new principal at SBCHS is Kate Garrison, who is in her 30's. When Ms. Manson ran into a former student a few months ago, the student told her that the director had indicated that the 3 teachers had been replaced because they and their teaching techniques were too old.

• BRUCE MORGAN is a 58 year old teacher who began working for the Board in 1970. Between 1980 and 2004, Mr. Morgan did not teach. When Mr. Morgan returned to teaching for the Board in 2004, he was assigned to P.S. 115K. At the close of the 2004-2005 school year, Mr. Morgan was issued an Unsatisfactory annual performance rating. Additionally, Mr. Morgan's name was placed on the Ineligible/Inquiry List, which precluded him from working within the Board. Although, Mr. Morgan was originally offered a Satisfactory annual performance rating if he transferred, he was ultimately discontinued from his position. Mr. Morgan is in the process of filing an individual charge with the EEOC, alleging discrimination based on age, sex and race.

• SIDNEY RUBINFIELD is a 56 year old teacher who has been employed by the Board of Education since 1971. Since 2004, Rubinfield has worked as a teacher of emotionally handicapped students at P.S. 721Q. Rubinfield was removed from the classroom and replaced by a younger teacher, Ann Toback. The Board falsely alleged that Rubinfield submitted IEPs late. The Board further discriminated against this teacher when it denied Rubinfield seniority assignments in all selections, withheld a Circular 6 assignment, and denied the teacher's assignment choice for this past September. Upon information and belief, younger teachers at the school were not charged or disciplined for same conduct alleged against Rubinfield.

• The Principal discriminated against this teacher in that she refused to talk to, assist, or even provide classroom keys to Rubinfield. The Principal even refused to assist when this teacher was trying to restrain an autistic student who was acting out, even though the Principal assisted younger teachers in similar situations. Additionally, the Principal has made multiple discriminatory comments aimed at this older teacher. For example, the Principal stated that young teachers knew the proper teaching theories, and that older teachers were stuck in the past. At a May 2005 meeting with Rubinfield, the Principal described Rubinfield's years of seniority as “dead years”. In response to the continued mistreatment of older teachers, the faculty of P.S. 721Q distributed and signed a petition against the Principal.

• Sidney Rubinfield filed an EEOC complaint against the Board in August 2005.

• ROBERT DAVID VOGEL is a 58 year old Technology teacher who was assigned to P.S. 53K and who has been employed by the Board since 1991. At the close of the 2004-2005 school year, Mr. Vogel was issued an Unsatisfactory annual performance rating and was charged with misconduct, pursuant to Education Law §3020-a. Mr. Vogel was reassigned out of the classroom, and was replaced by younger teachers. Both his Unsatisfactory annual performance rating appeal and § 3020-a case are pending. Mr. Vogel's prior performance was always previously deemed satisfactory.


• Based upon the foregoing facts, I respectfully request that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigate the instant charge of age discrimination and issue a complaint of age discrimination based on both disparate impact and disparate treatment against the New York City Board (or “Department”) of Education.

Sworn to before me this
14 th day of November, 2005

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