Court orders NYCDOE to post union related retaliation against teacher in every school

A judge recently ordered the NYCDOE to now post about the retaliation I experienced in 2012 to every school and office building where UFT members work. Here’s why and why now…

The New York City Department of Education’s Office of Labor Relations lost a case my attorney, Bryan Glass, and I brought against them back in 2012. In addition to retaliating against me for speaking up about misconduct that hurt our students at IS 49 in Staten Island, former Principal Linda Hill also came at me, with the help of others, because I was going to run for Chapter Leader at IS 49. She even made the mistake of writing about it in an email to the previous chapter leader. Under the NYS Taylor Law, you cannot attack a public employee due to union activity.

We took the case to the NYS Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and presented facts, evidence and even had former Principal Linda Hill on the stand. Judge Angela Blassman issued a decision in my favor in 2017, but the DOE’s Office of Labor Relations did not want to act on the discipline that was doled out to them. I mean I do not entirely blame them, as the they did not want others to see this and get any ideas. NYCDOE OLR Director Karen Solimando and Bryan Glass went back and forth about it and PERB in Albany intervened and ultimately sued the NYCDOE on my behalf.

In sum and substance, the NYCDOE had to remove negative observations and disciplinary letters from my personnel file AND post the fact that they were ordered to do so in every school and office where my fellow UFT members worked. UFT members also work out of schools and in district offices, so they have to be posted there as well. That’s over 1,800 locations. Our hope is that this will dissuade others from going after someone just because of their union activity (filing a grievance, running for delegate or chapter leader, etc.) They are also supposed to send the notice out electronically, so we are waiting for that email to go out.

Here is the decision. At the bottom, I put a link to my original complaint. If you feel you are being retaliated against, you can try contacting Bryan Glass and Jordan Harlow of Glass Harlow & Hogrogian. Let us know if you do not see it posted. It should be up for 30 days.

The school system should be about the students and educating them, not spending time retaliating or fighting off workplace bullying. Collaboration is key and it benefits the students.

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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12 Comments

  1. Good work!! I should share with teachers on our School Leadership Team!!

    • This is HUGE,Francisco!
      Now to see how the Mulgrewites respond: will they ignore it, claim they made it happen, change your name on it to one of their minion, or: all of the above!

  2. Daniel Nartey II

    Great news. Thank you for always fighting the fight.

  3. I am glad you won.

    I had a similar experience when the principal realized I was eligible for retirement. All of a sudden I received U ratings and was told I met minimum requirements for the subject matter I was teaching. The evaluator said I kept an “untidy” classroom. They had to take back the “met minimum requirements” because I had over 60 credits in my undergraduate/graduate work in my subject matter. They found out that I was tutoring some teachers in a class with which they had no experience. They retracted the “untidy” classroom because I was known as Mrs. Clean in my department.

    I decided not to fight the U rating because I had planned to retire out west where I had relatives. The last laugh I had was they hired 2 inexperienced teachers to replace me. One quit after 2 months, the other quit after 5 months. They went through many, many teachers to replace me. After 5 years since I retired, they still have not found permanent replacements for me.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!

    GREAT NEWS ALSO ABOUT POSTING ON UFT BULLETIN BOARDS!

  5. For clarification, when they say the “District” is that limited to the District where you were
    working at the time — or this retaliation case must be posted in every Bulletin Board in every
    school?

    Also, for calcification, the ruling goes way back but was never enforced until now?

  6. As of today,January 3,2020 the Principal at CAAS at Tilden HS, has not posted this. Who do I complain to?

  7. I feel so proud of Mr. Portelos! I am aware of all fabricated dishonesty that had been used against Francesco and I am fascinated by the fighter for justice he has been for years. I applaud to you! Unfortunately, I have been in similar or even worse situation, and there appeared not a single decent person to protect or help me. UFT rep, instead of being on my side, contributed to get 3020 for me. Completely disappointed and having no support at all, I had to sign the settlement and retire.

  8. Kiew Choo Steshenko

    First off, CONGRATULATIONS for fighting the good fight!!!
    It was indeed David battling Goliath!!!
    As CL, I too was the target of lies and retaliation and attempts at conniving with impressionable 3rd graders and other teachers. Imagine how dastardly that was (something I naively never expected).
    I had plans to retire so did not want the hassle of a long drawn battle. So I succumbed and left it to karma.
    “She” even had me sent for psychological eval at Chamber Street. The psychologist “understood” as she played the game.
    Even the Hearing Officer (nomenclature?) for rating grievance understood the game and suggested I leave the system and apply to teach at college level.
    Gaglione understood but had his hands tied???
    The District Rep.???:( Should be a position elected by the chapter leaders and NOT someone nominated by union higher ups!
    Betcha there will not be posting of court order in schools where the CLs are NOT doing their job.
    Have also experienced reps from union office who attend hearings unprepared and/or inadequately prepared!!!
    Such a shame on the part of the union- paid with member dues to play games with career and lives of individuals and their loved ones.

  9. Just saw the email on my nycdoe email account, started googling just to see what this was all about! Wow!

  10. Fucking VERY EFFECTIVE!!!!!!

    hahahahahahha

  11. Pingback: What the Portelos PERB win means for every other union member - UFT Solidarity

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