Teachers union in court win
By YOAV GONEN
Last Updated: 1:36 AM, July 25, 2012
The city can’t proceed with plans to significantly change the staffs at
24 struggling schools because the move would violate union contracts, a
Manhattan judge ruled yesterday.
The decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis upheld an
arbitrator’s earlier decision finding that the Department of Education
was using school closures as a means to go around seniority job
protections for teachers and principals.
Under staffing rules, teachers without poor evaluations can typically
be removed only when their schools are closed, and new schools are
required to hire back 50 percent of teachers from the schools that were
The city had intended to combine those provisions — closing the schools
and restaffing them like new schools, while keeping the students in
City lawyers said they would appeal, but are faced with a shrinking
window for legal action with the start of the school year just six
“The mayor and chancellor will not allow failing schools to deprive our
students of the high-quality education they deserve,” said city Law
Department counsel Michael Cardozo. “Although we will, of course,
comply with the judge’s ruling, we strongly disagree with it.”
Mayor Bloomberg first announced the unusual overhauls in January. They
would have impacted more than 3,000 teachers and other school workers.
Judge upholds arbitrator's ruling
published July 24, 2012
UFT President Michael Mulgrew sent the following email message to
members in the 24 PLA schools.
Today Justice Joan Lobis of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
upheld the arbitrator’s decision that the Department of Education
violated our contract and the CSA’s contract when it decided to excess
all of the staff at the 24 PLA schools and make you reapply for your
Specifically, the judge determined that the arbitrator was within his
authority to issue his decision ordering that you have the option to
return to your school or the school that replaced it.
This is a tremendous victory for UFT members in the 24 PLA schools and
for our entire union. We stood firm in this fight because we knew, from
day one, that the DOE was wrong in its interpretation of our contract —
and because we could not sit idly by while thousands of good teachers
were unfairly forced out of their positions by a mayor intent on
maligning our profession.
We fought for what is right, and today we were successful. The DOE has
said it will appeal to the Appellate Division, and we will continue to
defend your rights. We believe we will prevail on the appeal.
You should have by now received a letter from the DOE informing you of
your rights and responsibilities moving forward. We encourage you to
read it carefully and make a decision about your plans for the coming
school year. If you have any questions, please call your UFT borough