Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Monday, September 9, 2013

UFT Win Grievance Against PS 90 Principal Greta Hawkins

Staff wins grievance against ‘bully’ Coney Island principal

PRINCIPAL GRETA HAWKINS 'Antithesis' of a good administrator

A Coney Island principal repeatedly accused of bullying parents and staff and sent for sensitivity training by the Department of Education after making offensive racial remarks has been ordered
to stop “harassing or otherwise discriminating” against union members lawfully exercising their rights.

A June arbitration ruling upheld UFT charges that PS 90 Principal Greta Hawkins’ decision to
hold a separate meeting with each of the 14 teachers named in a Step 1 grievance concerning
lesson plans was both a violation of the contract and an “intimidating and hostile act.”

Hawkins initiated the individual meetings after holding a Step 1 hearing with Chapter Leader
Vicky Giasemis and Betty Matos, a teacher and UFT delegate who represented her 13 colleagues. That initial attempt to resolve the dispute over “excessive” demands to format lesson plans, said Matos, turned into a power play when Hawkins’ manner became “angry and belittling.”

Giasemis testified that at each of the individual meetings, which she attended after warning
Hawkins that they were improper, Hawkins was “belittling, bizarre and angry in tone and body language” as she essentially tried to bully each member into withdrawing the grievance.

In his June 26 decision, the arbitrator agreed with the UFT position that not only did Hawkins
act improperly under the contract by initiating individual meetings but that her goal was “more
aimed at browbeating each grievant than arriving at a mutually satisfactory resolution of the
et al grievance before her.” He called her actions “the antithesis” of a good administrator’s
conduct in addressing a grievance.

Since the original grievance was filed in 2012, nine of the 14 members who filed grievances,
fearing intimidation and reprisals, have transferred to other schools.

“After 15 years at PS 90, it broke my heart to leave but I just couldn’t work another year for
Hawkins,” said Jennifer Meisner, who is now at a Queens school.

The departure of those nine teachers — all veterans — were part of a mass exodus last year
of some 25 staffers, including teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries and custodians, totaling
almost half of the small staff of 60 at the Brooklyn school.

Hawkins has been at the eye of the storm since her arrival at PS 90 in 2009. A New York
Teacher article about her [“Brooklyn principal a ‘bully,’” March 12, 2013 issue] detailed
complaints brought by parents and staff that Hawkins “took a healthy school culture and
made it toxic.”

Grievance Department Director Ellen Gallin-Procida hailed the arbitrator’s decision and the
teachers who stood up for their rights.

“Not only does this decision assure members that the contract protects them, it also
encourages them to stand up against harassment,” Gallin-Procida said.

The UFT also has an unfair labor practice charge against Hawkins on another matter pending
at the state Public Employment Relations Board.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the teachers at PS90!! More teachers have to stand up for their rights with the UFT strong behind them. Some of these principals are bullies especially the new ones from the Leadership Academy. A perfect example is the principal from PS194M in district 5Ms.J.B., she harasses the teachers by writing them up on anything and intimidates the students and parents, bullies and lies on her staff. You have to kiss her ass to get a Satisfactory rate. The teachers who did not kiss her ass or stood up for their rights got U-ratings and some of the teachers were discontinued. The teachers just have to unite and stand up for their rights and hopefully the UFT will be strong behind them.

Anonymous said...

The whole situation is ridiculous, you take a bunch of lazy teachers who just want to get their years in and retire and suddenly when they are made to perform the duties they are paid to do, they complain. The whole bd of ed is useless, that principal is wasting her time trying to make these slugs work.

steve said...

looks like Hawkins posted as anonymous in the second post she is a waste and it is unbelievable that in America today a slug like her can hold that type of a job

Anonymous said...

Why is a person like this any where near children? She is nothing but a vicious racist. She needs to be fired immediately! Her commend " I'm black. Your last principal was white and Jewish. There are more of us coming" is disgusting. She is a disgrace to the profession and her race. And, she's wrong. There are no more like her coming. No one with her substandard behavior should ever be in a position of authority never mind teach our children!