RUBBER ROOM AGGREEMENT
Under the new agreement, the teachers will now be assigned to clerical
duty, either in central offices or schools.
There currently are some 550 teachers assigned to these rubber rooms, costing the city $30 million each year.
Using this new process, cases that once may have lasted several years will now be resolved within a few months.
After removing a teacher from the classroom, the department will have 10 days to file incompetence charges or 60 days to file misconduct charges depending on the nature of the case.
If reassigned teachers investigated for misconduct are not charged within the 60-day window, they will be returned to their classrooms.
Similarly, teachers accused of incompetence who are not charged within 10 days of reassignment will also return to their schools.
Investigations can continue after a teacher is back in the classroom, however, and the teacher may still face charges.
In some “non-termination” cases where the department is seeking a suspension at reduced or no pay, the agreement allows the department to use an expedited, three-day disciplinary process.
Additionally, the agreement expands the list of charges for which the department can suspend teachers without pay following a probable cause hearing to include violent felony crimes.
When charges are not substantiated against educators, they will be entitled to back pay.
Under the new agreement, the number of arbitrators will increase from 23 to 39, and arbitrators will now hear incompetence charges seven days a month rather than five.
Additional arbitrators will be hired to hear non-termination cases in the expedited disciplinary process.
While the agreement will not take effect until September at the start of the 2010-2011 school year, the department and UFT have agreed to begin immediately addressing the backlog of cases of teachers now in rubber rooms, with the goal of resolving all current cases by December.
The provisions of this agreement will be enforceable under the grievance procedures of the UFT contract.