who is not a para or OT/PT.
Problematic: Under our present contract there is a provision for time and attendance expedited hearings under 3020-a. These expedited hearings may not result in termination and while they were problematic on their own the issues involved (as far as the charges were concerned) were clear; you were either at work or not. The explanations were generally unconvincing to Marty Scheinman (an arbitrator selected by the UFT for these expedited hearing) but as long as teachers knew they weren’t going to be terminated they reluctantly accepted either the agreement or decision.
The proposed contract goes over broad. What is considered problematic is itself problematic. After I researched the term problematic behavior in the case law I found references to special education students who brought IDEA cases against the DOE for failing to provide needed services. These students’ behavior was termed problematic. For a teacher I could find no case involving problematic behavior so the arbitrators are left to discern this provision without our rich history of 3020-a hearings as precedent or guidance.
While the burden still rests on the DOE (it is, after all a 3020-a hearing) the expedited nature of the proceeding might and probably hurt an accused teacher. There are no time limits for the DOE to provide charges or serve the written statements of problematic behavior. Under the language of the proposal there is no clear right to grieve the first (or second, for that matter) written notice of problematic behavior. Clearly, by definition, ATRs will have no relationship with the school they have been determined to be problematic yet they (and their representatives) will be put on a crash course to prepare for the hearing which might end in the ATRs termination. While Mulgrew cited the phrase “justice delayed is justice denied” as an argument for the diminution of our 3020-a rights the fact is there is no justice in ramming through a hearing that the accused has no time or ability to defend. This is class Star Chamber procedure.
The acceptance of this procedure as a perceived benefit signals our union’s position in future contracts where it appears all teachers will “enjoy” the benefit of expedited and ill-defined termination proceedings.
This proposal is anathema to the good order of the teaching profession and must be completely understood before it is blindly accepted.