|The Rubber Room - West 125th Street|
|The Rubber Room - 333 7th Avenue|
The rubber room process could never have been set up without a lethal partnership or conspiracy where we see the NYC DOE and the UFT/NYSUT getting along by going along. It's all about politics, money, and control, and how collective bargaining rights can be denied to stakeholders who are forced into paying dues to a union that ignores members' rights to benefit management's pocketbook.
Rubber rooms still exist, although hidden, and the Rubber Room process of charging teachers unfairly continues.
Mayor Bloomberg rented the warehouses in each Borough of NYC (Manhattan and Brooklyn had 2 each) called the rubber rooms starting in or about 2003 (the RR in the basement of 335 Park Place started in 2008). The purpose was to put the prisoners of whim, the DOE employees who were unwanted by a principal for any reason, outside of the school so that the administrators could speak to the students, parents, teachers, counselors, or whomever, freely without the unwanted employee interfering or finding out who was talking to whom. The fix was in.
|Rubber Room 335 Park Place, basement|
When a principal decides that an employee in the school must go, he/she contacts the Gotcha Squad, who creates the Technical Assistance Conference memos (TAC) gathered from all sources to charge the employee. I filed a Freedom of Information request to get the TAC memos filed by the former chief of the 3020-a termination hearings, Florrie Chapin.
Below is the announcement of the 'new' process to get rid of unwanted education personnel:
- These supports are being provided centrally without cost to schools. Principals will not have to find funds within their school budgets in order to access these services, even where they do so repeatedly.
- Principals have full discretion to decide whether to use these supports or not. While we encourage those of you with struggling tenured teachers to use these resources, as we believe it will relieve some of the burden on you and will provide you with the guidance you need, if you feel you do not need the help, then you are under no obligation to use these services.
- These supports are intended to provide guidance for you and reduce the burden on those principals seeking to obtain improvement from poorly-performing tenured teachers. Or, if such efforts are unsuccessful, these services will help you to effectively navigate the evaluation and discipline process. The support personnel are not there to critique or evaluate the work of principals, nor are they meant to create additional work for you.
- While we will likely seek more formal feedback later in the year, we would appreciate any feedback you have on the new supports, positive and especially negative, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randi put me in what she called the "SWAT Team" with Jim Callaghan and Ron Isaac, two reporters for NY TEACHER. Neither Jim nor Ron wanted anything to do with the rubber roomers, saying that they (the people in the RRs) "did not want my help" [Ron's words] and "they are all guilty, so I cant help them" (Jim's words).
I didnt see it that way, I saw innocence until proven guilty and wanted to get all the information on each case so that we, the UFT, could prove the DOE wrong in filing the charges in the first place. I had, when I started at the UFT, no idea that the UFT was not interested in fighting for their members. Maybe I didnt want to see it. But it became clear to me when Mike Mulgrew took Randi's place, and all of a sudden my office on the 16th floor of 52 Broadway was taken (and left empty, by the way), some of my personal belongings went permanently missing (sound familiar?) and I had to meet with people who came to see me, in the cafeteria or the kitchen area. Eric, of Chaz11 finally told Leroy Barr after one of our monthly meetings that he had to give me an office. We finally found a group of empty desks on the other end of the 16th floor, where I moved my stuff and my computer was moved. Then the UFT lost my computer.
|UFT President Michael Mulgrew (seated, right) and Chancellor Joel Klein sign the agreement while Mayor Michael |
Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott look on..