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.