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Monday, September 26, 2022

Bronx Burough President Vanessa Gibson Says Immigrants' Tent City in Her Borough Is 'Not Suitable'

 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (left) and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson (right) 
(New York Daily News)

NYC Mayor Adams’ migrant tent camp planpanned by Bronx BP Vanessa Gibson: ‘Not the ideal location’

By Chris SommerfeldtNY Daily News, September 26, 2022

Mayor Adams’ plan to house hundreds of Latin American migrants in tents in a Bronx parking lot drew skepticism Monday from the Boogie Down’s borough president, who charged that the site is not suitable for several reasons.

Borough President Vanessa Gibson said she’s concerned that the parking lot at Orchard Beach is prone to flooding — a fact that could become especially problematic as hurricane season picks up. Gibson also said access to public transit is notoriously poor at the remote beach, with no nearby subway connections and scant bus service.

Still, Gibson affirmed she won’t stand in the way of the camp, which is expected to house upward of 1,000 migrants at a time.

“While this is not the ideal location and we have raised reasonable concerns, my team and I are working with the Adams administration to ensure that any site designated for our borough has wraparound services,” she said in a statement.

These services must be provided in a dignified, humane, quality and safe space that does not do further harm nor add burden to clients and families. Under these emergency circumstances, we will work together with the administration in a balanced and strategic manner to ensure the Bronx is not overburdened.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency considers the entire Orchard Beach parking lot a “special flood hazard area.” The city also lists the parking lot as a Zone 1 hurricane evacuation area, meaning it’s especially vulnerable to dangerous flooding during storms.

Adams administration officials have not addressed the weather-related vulnerabilities of the site. They have said the city plans to provide a shuttle bus service for migrants to be able to come and go from the tent facilities as they please.

An Adams spokeswoman would not comment directly on Gibson’s statement, but said 50 sites across all five boroughs were evaluated before the administration set its sights on Orchard Beach.

A past example of what the inside of a Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center will look like that would only shelter single adults, according to the mayor's office. Families would be sheltered in a humanitarian relief center with a different setup. (NYC Mayor's Office)

The Orchard Beach location is expected to house only single adults, and will be operational within a few weeks, according to City Hall. The administration has said it’s going to open at least one more tent facility for migrant families.

Gibson’s critique comes as the city’s homeless shelter system remains overburdened by a recent influx f South and Central American migrants.

As of Thursday, more than 13,000 migrants fleeing violence and economic turmoil in their home countries had arrived in the city after crossing the Mexican border, hoping to apply for asylum. Hundreds more are coming every week, according to data from Adams’ administration. On Thursday night, 58,152 people slept in city shelters — more than 10,000 of them migrants, the data show.

Many of the desperate travelers were sent to New York by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has turned the crisis on the southern border into a political cudgel against Democratic immigration policies.

The waves of migrants have brought city shelters to the brink of collapse, and the Orchard Beach encampment is an effort by Adams to alleviate pressure on the system.

The City Council’s Immigration Committee is set to hold an oversight hearing Friday on the administration’s response to the crisis. A Council source said the hearing is expected to feature testimony from Zach Iscol, Adams’ emergency management commissioner, who will have a leading role in building and maintaining the migrant tent centers.

According to Adams, the tents will serve as intake centers, meaning migrants should not have to stay there longer than 96 hours before being provided shelter beds or other permanent housing.

But advocates for the homeless have suggested the tent plan may run afoul of the local right-to-shelter law, which requires the city to provide anyone who needs it a “safe and adequate” place to stay.

In her statement, Gibson also made reference to the shelter law — which the Adams administration already likely violated on two separate occasions this summer.

“As our city has seen an increase in asylum seekers, it is important for us to share in this emergency crisis and ensure that we are all doing our part to assist,” she said. “The City of New York is a right-to-shelter city and is legally required to provide temporary housing to those who enter our shelter system.”

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Early Childhood Programs Owed $Millions by NYC

 


It seems likely that the top-level Managers at the NYC Department of Education who oversee the $34 Billion or so dollars that are supposed to go to the students who need that money may not be allocating those funds to where they are needed.

I'm just saying that the culture of spending public money seldom reaches most or even some of the kids.

I know many teachers who spend their own money on resources in their classrooms because there is "no money" at the school.

Really.

Betsy Combier

Betsy Combier, Editor


NYC owes children’s education programs millions in city reimbursements

New York City owes early childhood education programs millions of dollars in reimbursements from last school year — a delay putting thousands of families “at grave risk” of losing services, advocates warn.

More than 126,000 kids under 5 rely on city-contracted early childhood programs or use vouchers for subsidized care.

But directors who contract with the Department of Education charge they’ve repeatedly missed payroll — or had to take out personal loans or credit lines — while waiting for payments.

Others report they’ve been pushed to the brink of shuttering their centers, the directors told The Post in interviews over the last two months.

“Without immediate action, the city’s child care plan will not only be left unrealized,” read a joint statement Thursday from a coalition of seven nonprofits and membership organizations.

“More importantly, the early care and education sector — its workforce and the children and families that depend upon it — will be irreparably harmed,” the advocates said.

A survey by the Day Care Council of New York — one of the providers who signed the statement — showed 41.5% of respondents have delayed paying their employees or vendors because of late DOE reimbursements. The organization represents a few hundred of the approximately 1,400 early childhood programs that contract with the city.

A rep for the Day Care Council, Gregory Brender, said providers he represents have taken out personal loans up to $200,000 — and have been owed as much as $4 million from the city for multiple sites.

The call-to-action was also signed by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, FPWA, Human Services Council, United Neighborhood Houses and UJA Federation of New York.

“The point we’re at, the discussion is are we going to close some of these sites,” said Elizabeth McCarthy, the CEO of Sheltering Arms, a social services organization that operates six early childhood education programs in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

Sheltering Arms is owed close to $2 million in reimbursements from last year. Each location has its own contract with the DOE, and one site has not been paid since October, according to McCarthy.

“We just don’t think we can continue,” she said.

The money crunch comes as child care programs are “closing their doors in record numbers,” according to the latest Mayor’s Management Report — including 400 providers that shut down for good during the first year of the pandemic.

“They [the DOE] just don’t give us the money they’re supposed to give us on time,” said Rosa Gillette, a director at Lexington Children’s Center in East Harlem, which missed payroll twice. “And who’s suffering? The children, the staff.” 

Gillette, who trimmed back her own hours to make ends meet, told The Post she plans to retire.

“As the director — to run a school in that way — I got tired of it. I got tired of the struggle of never having enough money,” she said.

The DOE placed some blame on the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio — but things aren’t any better after roughly nine months under a new mayor and schools chancellor.

DOE spokesperson Suzan Sumer said last month the agency “inherited flawed systems that were implemented with Universal Pre-K that require updating — an ongoing focus of this administration.”

The DOE also attributed payment backlogs to enrollment declines, adding some providers were facing challenges with the contract process itself.

Child care advocates also are warning of more financial pain ahead.

An anonymous complaint Wednesday to state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa from inside the DOE alleged the city is violating state regulations for early childhood programs — and is in danger of losing hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The whistleblowers warn if the DOE fails to comply with the regulations — from supports for kids learning English or with disabilities to professional development — it could jeopardize more than $253 million in state funding for pre-K.

Multiple teams within the agency’s Division of Early Childhood Education have been dismantled in recent months, the employees alleged — including those focused on meeting kids’ needs.

Roughly 400 early childhood instructional coordinators and social workers have also been slashed from their positions, the complaint read — a move the DOE argued will bring those supports closer to schools, but which staffers say will cut services to teachers and kids. The move has also sown confusion since the “excessed” workers have to reapply for jobs.

“It’s a free-for-all,” one of those staffers told The Post. “I’ve worked under three different mayors, three different administrations. I have never seen anything done this unprofessionally.”

“We are also an extra pair of eyes to make sure that things are running smoothly,” the staffer added. “So to remove us from that strikes me as very scary, and I would be very afraid that my child was in a program with no other oversight.”

-ADVERTISEMENT-

Nathaniel Styer, another DOE spokesperson, said the state’s most recent audit found the agency in compliance.

“The work in all of the areas mentioned in this letter continues, and our reorganization is focused on enhancing and improving each of these services,” Styer added.

Racelle Garcia, Fired From Teaching in NYC, Says Mayor Eric Adams Makes the COVID Vaccine Mandate 'Personal'


 

Fired NYC teacher rips Mayor Adams for keeping vaccine mandate: 'Why are you holding onto this?
Fox News, Bailee Hill, September 20, 2022

Rachelle Garcia was fired after 15 years of teaching for not taking the COVID vaccine

A former New York City teacher slammed Mayor Eric Adams after she was fired over her vaccination status, calling the move "personal" as the city fires school employees in droves over the COVID-19 mandate.

Rachelle Garcia, who taught in Brooklyn for 15 years, joined "Fox & Friends First" Tuesday amid reports nearly 2,000 school employees have lost their jobs over the mandate. Garcia was let go after her religious exemption request was denied.

"He's not governing the city as he should," Garcia told co-host Carley Shimkus. "So why is Eric not doing his job? Why is he not letting the city workers back to work? You have teachers willing to go back to work, firefighters, so many city workers are impacted by this greatly."

"People getting homeless," she continued. "Why are you holding on to this? It's like, do you have a personal vendetta against us? Because we chose, we made our decision… What is the problem at this point? And it seems personal."

Garcia's comments come after the president declared the "pandemic is over" during an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" over the weekend. 

"The pandemic is over," Biden said during the interview. "We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it." 

Despite this, New York City is still requiring the vaccine for city workers.

"It has impacted my family a great deal psychologically, emotionally," Garcia said. "My career was taken away. I went to school for this. I studied for this. It wasn't just given to me, so the way it was taken from me, it was harsh. It was cruel."

"I have two small children like you said earlier," she continued. "And my husband… he had to take this burden on to basically work hard and try to maintain, try to bring in two salaries, which is very impactful impossible living in New York."

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Mayor Adams and Unions Will Force Municipal Workers To Enroll in a Reduced Care Medicare Plan To Save Money

 


There is a citywide protest against Mayor Adams' support for the new Medicare Advantage Plan that will, according to him, "save the City a lot of money". Do retirees really want to hear that?

No.

The most alarming issue is the fact that the Municipal Labor Committee is siding with Adams and will try to force City Council to change the administrative law in order to force retirees to accept the new plan.

See 
The NYC Council Must Oppose Weakening Health Insurance Protections

and

New York City municipal unions promote massive cuts to health care for retirees

This is ugly, folks.

Oppose this new private Medicare Plan any way you can, contact your Representatives in Congress, do whatever you need to do to get the attention of a politician who can stop our Mayor from "saving money" while trashing the rights and healthcare of retirees. Please save free healthcare and choice!

Take a look at the Municipal Labor Council, and try to vote out anyone who votes for this new plan.

Thank you!

Betsy Combier, Editor
Adams and Unions Strike Deal on Shift to Cost-Cutting Medicare Plan
The CITY, Sam Mellins, New York Focus, Sept. 9, 2022

The mayor and major city unions plan to press the City Council to clear a path for a privatized Medicare plan for retired city workers.

At a meeting Thursday morning, the administration of Mayor Eric Adams and major unions representing municipal employees agreed on a proposal to clear the way for their long-held goal of switching retired city workers to cost-saving private Medicare Advantage plans.

The insurance shift, first reported by New York Focus more than a year ago, would likely save the city hundreds of millions of dollars a year and help pay for current workers’ benefits — but many retirees fear that it could decrease their access to health care.

At the meeting, union leaders agreed to a proposal from the administration to make a joint request to the City Council, asking it to amend city law to allow the city to charge retirees for their current health care plans. That would remove a legal roadblock that has held the switch up in court and led the insurer that had won the contract to administer the plan to back out in July.

“It wasn’t all wildly enthusiastic votes, and people were expressing qualms. But the difficulty is we’re not quite sure what else to do, because there is a financial problem here,” said Robert Croghan, chair of the executive board of the Organization of Staff Analysts, a union representing city office workers across numerous agencies. Croghan estimated that 85% of the dozens of union representatives present voted in favor of the proposal.

Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, a union representing fire department employees, told New York Focus that he voted against the proposal. “The law gives us protection in terms of having our current health benefits,” he said. “Why would you open up that Pandora’s box not knowing what could happen?”

The city projects that the shift to Medicare Advantage will save $600 million annually, which would go to a fund jointly controlled by the city and unions that is used to pay for current city employees’ health insurance and other benefits. Without that additional cash, the benefits that the fund provides could be at risk.

The city and union leaders have claimed that retired city workers would receive the same quality of care under a Medicare Advantage plan as they currently receive under Senior Care, the free insurance plan that the city provides to most retirees. But many retirees have raised concerns that a Medicare Advantage plan would provide less coverage and carry greater out-of-pocket costs than Senior Care.

The city had planned to incentivize retirees to switch to Medicare Advantage by requiring them to pay $191 a month to maintain their coverage under Senior Care. In a March decision on a lawsuit filed by retirees to stop the switch, state Supreme Court Judge Lyle Frank ruled the city can’t force retirees to pay for their current care.

Frank’s ruling threatened the viability of the switch as a cost-cutting device. By April, over 65,000 retirees had opted out of the Medicare Advantage plan — more than one out of every five retired employees.

The proposed legislation, endorsed by the mayor’s Office of Labor Relations and the unions’ Municipal Labor Committee, would change the text of the law that Frank based his ruling on to allow the city to force retirees to pay to maintain their current coverage.

The legislation would also open the door to changes to the health insurance of current city employees. Currently, the city is required to pay for its employees’ health insurance costs up to a certain benchmark: the cost of the HIP HMO Preferred plan, which the city has offered employees for over 60 years. The proposed legislation would allow the city to designate a new benchmark plan. Selecting a cheaper plan than HIP HMO could allow the city to spend less on insurance and potentially leave active employees with narrower coverage.

The proposal is detailed in a letter from Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion to Harry Nespoli, chair of the Municipal Labor Committee, a coalition of city workers’ unions. The legislative change “would help ensure the parties have the necessary flexibility to obtain quality and affordable health insurance coverage for covered individuals,” the letter states. The letter also says that at least one plan for retirees and active employees would remain premium-free, as Senior Care and HIP HMO Preferred currently are.

Frank’s ruling allowed the city to eliminate Senior Care entirely, but the city hasn’t given any indication that it is considering that step.

The Adams administration is appealing Frank’s ruling. But if the City Council adopts the Office of Labor Relation’s proposed legal change, then getting the ruling overturned might be unnecessary.

“It’s an end run around the court decision, in a sense,” Croghan said.

The unresolved Medicare Advantage situation is likely to be a significant sticking point in upcoming contract negotiations between the unions and the city, City & State reported on Wednesday. If the unions think that their health care costs are likely to go up, they may ask for larger raises, which would cost billions of dollars. That could be an ask that the city is reluctant to grant, especially since current projections show it is already likely to face multi-billion-dollar budget gaps in upcoming years.

Croghan predicted that the City Council will approve the proposed change.

“It’s something that Adams wants, and now the Municipal Labor Committee says they want it too. Why would the City Council not go along with it?” he said.

Barzilay said that public opposition to the plan, which has been vocal in the past, could present an obstacle.

“There’ll be people testifying for it, and people testifying against it. It’s just a matter of who’s more persuasive to the City Council,” he said.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Takes Over Local 1549 of DC 37 After Audit Shows Financial Mismanagement

 

DC37 public sector union leader Henry Garrido speaks at the Citi Field vaccination site, March 27, 2021.

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

City Workers’ Union Taken Over by National Parent After Audit Finds Improprieties

The CITY, Reuven Blau and Claudia Irizarry Aponte, September 21, 2022

Local 1549 of District Council 37, whose members include low-paid secretaries and clerical aides, had its management removed and is now being run by AFSCME in Washington D.C.

The union local representing New York City’s public sector clerical workers was placed under administratorship by its international union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), over allegations of financial mismanagement, THE CITY has learned.

Local 1549 of District Council 37 announced the local’s day-to-day operations are under the control of the international union “effective immediately” following an audit that revealed “serious deficiencies and numerous violations of AFSCME’s Financial Standards Code,” according to a letter addressed to rank-and-file members dated Sept. 19.

A draft version of the audit obtained by THE CITY revealed questionable payments to a former employee of the local working as a consultant, gift cards given to union staffers not properly tracked, and $45,500 in car service expenses by ousted Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez that never should have been covered by the union.

Also flagged: $257,000 in American Express charges, where “in many instances, the union business purpose of the charges was not explained.” Auditors stated: “Local 1549’s practices here are very concerning.”

The audit spanned the period of time from January 2020 to April 2022. Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37, said that union members submitted the complaint that triggered the audit directly to AFSCME.

The administratorship is the latest financial scandal at Local 1549, whose members are among the city’s lowest-paid workers. In 2001, Al Diop, the former president of the now 12,000-member local, was sentenced to up to four years in prison for rigging a union election and ripping off union funds.

DC 37, the city’s largest public-sector union, is gearing up for negotiations with the Adams administration for a new contract covering approximately 100,000 workers. Bargaining is set to begin in the coming months — even as the city faces massive budget deficits. The unions are meanwhile trying to make a rocky transition to a new privatized Medicare plan with the aim of saving money.

“We’re committed to getting the best contract possible to our members, and we’re concentrating on dealing with a difficult issue with health care,” Garrido said in an interview with THE CITY on Wednesday. “So, to me, while we can maintain a zero tolerance policy for any kind of misbehavior or anything like that, our focus is to provide services to our members. This is not going to be a distraction or anything for what we need to do to get and deliver for our members in the best way possible.”
‘Emergency Situation’


AFSCME spokesperson Tracey Conaty confirmed the contents of the letter, adding that the matter is pending an internal judicial panel hearing by the international union next month. She declined to comment further.

“In my opinion an emergency situation exists in Clerical Administrative Employees, New York, New York Local 1549, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, in that dissipation or loss of the funds or assets of the local is threatened and the local is acting in violation of the International Constitution,” AFSCME president Lee Saunders wrote in a Sep. 19 suspension notice to the union’s officers cited in the communique to rank-and-file members. “Therefore, in accordance with Article IX, Section 37 of the International Constitution, I am placing AFSCME Local 1549 under administratorship, pending notice and hearing, effective immediately.”

Rodriguez and the rest of Local 1549’s top leadership were immediately removed. The local — with 12 full time employees — is now being run by James Howell, AFCME’s eastern regional director, who earned $271,093 in 2019.

Rodriguez declined to comment. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he told THE CITY before hanging up.

His supporters contend the audit’s findings described financial practices that go on at many of DC 37’s other 56 locals. They also contend the AFSCME takeover is politically motivated.

In January 2019, Rodriguez, who had served as DC 37’s president since the early 2000s, was defeated by Shaun D. Francois I, president of Local 372. That’s the largest local in DC 37, representing more than 23,000 school staff including school crossing guards and school lunch workers.

School crossing guards earn $15.45 an hour and an average of $19,500 annually, according to Intuit, which calculated the data based on 133 TurboTax users. School lunch helpers earn $33,944 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Garrido runs the overall union operation with an executive board, while the DC 37 president has a lesser role — presiding over meetings of the union delegates, presidents, and executive board.

“I think it’s political because the problems that they noted go on in most of the locals,” said Arthur Schwartz, an attorney who has represented many members who have opposed DC 37’s leaders.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Garrido told THE CITY in response.

“This behavior does not happen in the other locals,” he added. “That is patently false.”

A group of people who challenged Francois’ reelection as head of Local 372 last year alleged that he received $296,015 in improper overtime payments in addition to his salary, according to The Chief-Leader. Overtime has long been prohibited for local presidents at DC 37.

Francois did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schwartz, who is representing Francois’ opposition, noted the local’s treasury has gone down on average by about a million dollars a year since 2015. Francois has asked AFSCME to audit the local’s finances.
Unverified Pay

As for the Local 1549 audit, the 10-page assessment was based on a “review of policies, minutes, financial statements, and a sample testing of the Local’s accounting records.”

The review first took issue with pay given to Ralph Palladino, the second vice president of the local, who retired in December 2021. All told, he was given $170,470 to cover 71 unused vacation days, 43 compensatory days and 14.3 years of severance pay. Other DC 37 locals have similar packages including so-called severance pay for when officers retire, according to labor insiders.

The audit questioned Palladino’s stockpiled comp time and noted there was no proof the union’s executive board approved the overall “cash outs” for him.

“We have been presented no evidence that the full-time officers punch in and out of work at the time clock or have a set number of hours per day or week that they work,” the audit said. “We cannot verify that the compensatory time accrued and paid was properly documented and paid or even the basis for the claim that compensatory time should be granted for work performed.”

The local’s leaders should also create a “clearly defined policy” for retirement payments, the audit added. “The Local should consider whether continuing these large separation payments upon retirement of its officers is in the best interest of the membership,” the financial review said.

Palladino, who for years served as the one of the local’s loudest cheerleaders and activists, said he was not familiar with the audit and declined to comment.

The audit also revealed that the local used Executive Charge Inc., a black car service, to provide rides for officers and staffers.

All told, the union spent $51,301 with $45,500 going toward Rodriguez’s car service usage from January 2020 through April 2022, according to the audit. Rodriguez was driven around 109 times to commute from home to the office or vice versa, the review said.

“This averages to be $288 for each trip for commuting,” the audit said. “Commuting is a personal expenditure and should not be paid for or reimbursed by the Local unless it is reported as…taxable wages.”

Rodriguez did not report the usage as taxable compensation and it was not included on his annual W-2’s, the review noted. “This is a serious deficiency,” the audit said, noting that there were “multiple” times where the union was hit with additional car service “wait time” for Rodriguez ranging from $42 to $168.

The audit also found that the union was using Dan Persons, a former employee of the union, as a consultant. He was paid $2,000 a month for a yearly total of $24,000. As part of that deal, he provided monthly invoices detailing the work performed. “But our review of invoices indicates that he copies the same work performed on several monthly invoices,” the audit said.

Renee Gainer, a former division director at DC 37, was also paid $2,000 a month as a consultant for the local, according to the financial review. There was no formal consulting agreement and her invoices also indicate “that she also copies the same work performed on several monthly invoices,” the audit said.

One labor expert said the local takeover by the international union was significant.

“It is a serious thing,” said Joshua Freeman, a labor historian and author of the book, “Working Class New York.”

“It’s an indication that the local can’t fix its own problems, and that you really have to bring in new leadership and an outside team to try to get things back on track, financially, democratically, whatever it might be,” he added. “So it’s kind of a big deal.”

Saunders, AFSCME’s current international president, was the administrator of the 2001 DC 37 trusteeship. He was put in charge after the vote rigging scandal rocked the union during the administration of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Re-Organization Of The NYC Department of Education Starts the New "Rubber Schools" For 2022-2023

 

Chancellor David Banks

Sometimes I laugh at what I read from the Department of Education's Press Office, other times I despair at the ridiculousness of their deceit.

Take the new announcement of a re-organization, where people in so-called "leadership" positions are now reassigned so that resources may be used in a more 'effective' way, whatever that means. 

See NYC DOE District Leadership

I heard from last school year's rubber roomers that they are being assigned to home duty while this reorganization is going on. The rubber rooms still exist, but they are hidden.

Anyone who was granted a religious exemption from getting the COVID vaccine will keep this exemption and work remotely with all benefits until June 2023.

Anyone who was granted a medical exemption has until December 31, 2022 to get the vaccine. That is the date for medical exemptions to expire.

Mayor Adams has insisted that the COVID Mandate which says that anyone who works in a school must be vaccinated will remain in force. Parents of children in the NYC DOE can go to the school for events at any time, and no vaccination needed.

I call the new reassignment centers "rubber schools" in honor of the "rubber rooms" fame. These rubber schools are buildings where people with exemptions work on their assignments, whatever they might be. The Annex at PS 128 in Queens was a rubber school last year. People with exemptions called this their workplace for the 2022-2023 school year.

Evidently the NYC DOE no longer rents these places for people who are reassigned, and new locations are being sought for what could be hundreds of employees. People who are currently reassigned are told to sit at home and to call in every morning until the new places are found.

What is a "rubber school"? First everyone I am pretty sure has heard of the NYC rubber rooms. These are rooms, or parts of rooms or offices where employees of the Department sit and do nothing relating to their license while awaiting vindication at 3020-a or, settlement.

The NYC DOE is, in my opinion, a mess. There is too much money in the hands of too few people with no accountability for ignoring human rights, budgetary guidelines or rules, and the laws of New York, State and City.

Betsy Combier

From: Press Office <press@schools.nyc.gov>
Sent: Friday, September 2, 2022 1:58:45 PM
To: &52 Chambers (DIIT) <52ChambersDIIT@schools.nyc.gov>; &All Central DHC <&AllCentralDHC@schools.nyc.gov>
Subject: NYC DOE PRESS RELEASE - CHANCELLOR BANKS RE-ORGANIZES CENTRAL STAFF & RESOURCES TO BETTER SUPPORT STUDENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 2, 2022
N-29, 2021-22

CHANCELLOR BANKS RE-ORGANIZES CENTRAL STAFF & RESOURCES TO BETTER SUPPORT STUDENTS

 

The re-assignment of approx. $100,000,000 in resources is a result of Chancellor Banks’ focus on putting Department of Education directly in support of students and schools. 

 

Email for Chancellor Banks:  NYCChancellor@schools.nyc,gov


NEW YORK - New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced that approximately 1,000 staff members and $100,000,000 in associated resources will be reassigned from the Department’s Central Division and Borough-Citywide Offices to more closely support schools where they are and invest the resources that they need. This re-organization will bring staff closer to the communities, schools, students, and teachers that they serve. This includes deploying over 100 social workers to district offices to support students and families – with a specific focus on high-need communities like students in temporary housing. The approximately 1,000 staff are being reassigned and reorganized to maximize the instructional, socio-emotional and operational support available for students, community-based organizations, partners and schools from early childhood and beyond.

“Our Administration continues to be clear in our primary purpose – we are going to do what is best for young people at every turn. As we continue the work to reimagine the education we provide, it is critical that our central and borough staff are moving closer to the communities, schools, students, and teachers they serve,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Our Superintendents are accountable for partnering with families and schools to meet the needs of their communities and improve the school experience of our students, and these personnel are being reassigned to support those efforts.”

It is this Administration’s ongoing priority to meet schools where they are with the resources they need; the reassignment of central and borough staff members brings resources closer to where they are needed in schools. Support personnel will be reassigned from Central School Leadership, First Deputy Chancellor, and Early Childhood Divisions, and from the Borough Citywide Offices to more effectively support schools in coordination with District Superintendents. In addition to the city's ongoing commitment to moving supports and resources closer to schools, the Administration is also keeping its commitment to identifying efficiencies across Central, reducing 300 central and field vacancies in FY22 and FY23.

Our 45 new and returning New York City public school District Superintendents began on July 1 and are tasked with implementing Chancellor Banks’ “Vision for Transforming and Building Trust in New York City Public Schools.” In partnership with families and their school communities, the Superintendent’s immediate goal is to ensure that every school receives the support needed to be fully prepared for a strong start to the 2022-23 school year.


###

Contact: Chancellor’s Press Office press@schools.nyc.gov  

Friday, September 2, 2022

Jennifer Norris, Administrator at The Trinity School, Admits Laundering Her Progressive Politics Into The Classroom

 


Teachers, social workers, staff, or anyone working with children should never lead a conversation in discriminatory animus.

Evidently, this is exactly what Jennifer Norris, private school Trinity's Director of Student Activities, did. Shame on her.

When asked about 'saving' white Republican Boys, Norris is quoted in the article below as follows:

 “I don’t know. I think they need to go. I think they’re really awful people. That’s kind of what I’m afraid of with my white students that are rich. I’m like — do you ever have to deal with this? They’re so protected by capitalism. It makes me sad.”

It looks like Ms. Norris may be the one to go.

I hope so.

UPDATE: Trinity no longer has Ms. Norris on salary. Their investigation continues.

 Betsy Combier

Progressive NYC School Administrator Put on Paid Leave After Sting Video

National Review, Brittany Bernstein, September 2, 2022

A New York City private school has placed an administrator on paid leave and hired outside counsel to conduct an investigation into video recordings that appear to show the school’s director of student activities admitting to laundering her progressive politics into the classroom, according to an email obtained by National Review.

Trinity School, a $60,000-per-year private school on the Upper East Side, said in an email to its community members on Friday that it would retain an outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation after the conservative outlet Project Veritas posted videos of the administrator, Jennifer “Ginn” Norris, bashing “really awful” white Republicans.

“There’s always groups of teachers who want to do these [activist] things but the administration just wouldn’t let us,” Norris said in the sting video. “So, we’ve been just sneaking things in [through] the cracks.”

Trinity’s head of school and the president of its board of trustees wrote in the email that the school and Norris have regrettably “become the focus of media attention as the result of video recordings of Ms. Norris that were made without her knowledge or permission by someone who misrepresented himself.”

While the circumstances surrounding the recordings are deeply disturbing, and we are profoundly troubled by the reprehensible way Ms. Norris and our school community were targeted, we are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness,” the statement reads. “Importantly, the sentiments expressed in the video do not reflect the mission or values of Trinity School.”

The message adds that, as part of the investigation process, it plans to “review school protocols and practices that are in place to ensure that we are living up to our determination to build a more inclusive community.”

Norris makes several troubling statements throughout the secret recording.

According to Norris, white male students on Trinity’s campus “feel very entitled to express their opposite opinions and just push back,” adding that “there’s a huge contingent of them that are just horrible.”

“And you’re like, ‘Are you always going to be horrible, or are you just going to be horrible right now?’ Don’t know,” she added.

Asked if there is any saving white Republican boys, Norris replied: “I don’t know. I think they need to go. I think they’re really awful people. That’s kind of what I’m afraid of with my white students that are rich. I’m like — do you ever have to deal with this? They’re so protected by capitalism. It makes me sad.”

Norris is also seen in the video telling Project Veritas that she is able to bring in guest speakers twice a week and that she told her boss she would be “100 percent Democratic” with the students.

She said she would never let a Republican voice on campus.

“I’m in charge as far as they [the administration] are concerned. So, if they want to do that [bring Republican speakers], then somebody else has to do it. Because — not on my watch, I guess,” added Norris on the video that appears to have been filmed on June 12.

Trinity’s email to the school community adds: “This is a profoundly difficult moment, but we remain determined to model our conduct on our inspiring mission and the ideals of respect, belonging, and open inquiry that are embedded in it.”