Know your rights
Feb 2, 2006 12:26 PM
Union representative should be present at investigatory interview
UFT members should know that they have the right to union
representation at an investigatory interview.
An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an
employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for
discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.
Management is not required to inform employees of their right to union
representation; it is the employee’s responsibility to claim it.
The Department of Education uses three avenues of investigation to
probe charges of misconduct: the Office of the Special Commissioner of
Investigations, theOffice of Special Investigations, and the school
The UFT strongly recommends that members do not speak to any
investigator without union representation.
If approached by an investigator, the member should ask for the
investigator’s business card and say that a union representative will
be in touch to set up an appointment. The member should then
immediately inform the UFT borough office that he or she is under
investigation and needs union representation.
Upon concluding an investigation, OSCI and OSI both produce a report,
which usually contains a disciplinary recommendation for the DOE to
follow. The member will usually be called to the superintendent’s
office to discuss the report. The member should contact the UFT
district representative through the union borough office to arrange for
a union representative for that meeting.
For investigations conducted by the school principal, the member should
not speak to the principal about any allegation without the chapter
All allegations of misconduct, regardless of the avenue of
investigation, should be taken seriously. Members should not rush into
any hearings or interviews without proper union representation.
If a member is removed from a school pending the conclusion of an
investigation, the district representative should be contacted
immediately. The rep will give the member advice about how to proceed