Today I talked to someone who is pretty familiar with the 3020a process. I told this person about the two letters that I received on March 6. (See posts "Behaving like Animals" and "Swear to God"). This person seems to think that these letters could constitute formal charges, and that I should have filed for a 3020a hearing within ten days of receiving the letters. I showed these letters to my Chapter Leader when I got them, but he didn't tell me to file for a 3020a hearing. I just e-mailed my DR, but she hasn't gotten back to me yet. The last I heard from her was that if investigators showed up from the DOE, to take their card and tell them not make any statements. I've been sitting in the basement ever since, trying to keep positive and keep busy.
Does anyone know if those letters could constitute formal charges and if I am no longer able to file for a 3020a hearing?
"You are hereby advised that the above-described conduct may lead to further disciplinary actions, including an unsatisfactory rating, and disciplinary charges that could lead to the termination of your employment"
"This violates Chancellor's Regulation A-421. I note that you were given a copy of Chanclellor's Regulation A-421 at our first faculty conference in September (see attached copy of your signed acknowledgment of receipt)."
Charges and specifications are rather formal documents. You will know it when you see them. You will be given the option (!) of a 3020a hearing when/if disciplinary action against you is attempted. At that point you have 10 days to respond and will immediately contact the union (and will be assigned a NYSUT attorney). This option is on a form letter enclosed as part of the charges. Until charges arrives UFT advice is to sit tight and say nothing. Any statements from you may limit your defense against these charges.
I would guess that the principal has conducted an investigation, interviewed witnesses, gathered documentation, and that charges are being written up against you.
Principal P is pretending you are a threat to students which justifies your removal and all but guarantees he cannot/will not return you to the classroom.
In all honesty, I wonder why you have not been assigned to a rubbber room awaiting charges and are instead in a basement awaiting charges. It may be a situation like Chaz has written about whereby your principal tries to negotiate your retirement (by showing you a barrage of possible charges) and if that fails send you to the rubber room awaiting charges.
Keep your chin up...anxiety attacks are part of the process...keep on asking questions...since I am in year two of my own private (above ground) rubber room I may be of some help.
This was the scenario I got from my Chapter Leader and District Rep., but who knows what they'll try to get away with next.
Thanks for the reassurance.
Anon is correct. It appears that the Principal is either waiting for OSI to investigate or has done the investigation and is waiting to sent you to the rubber room. It is only when the DOE is ready to file 3020-a charges will you be removed to the rubber room.
Your CL & DR are incorrect, the 3020-a charges will be given to you after you are sent to the rubber room and based on your blog SCI is not involved in your case and investigators will not approach you unannounced.
Here is "official" information about §3020-a hearings:
I hope you understand what is happening to you. You are being set up for 3020-a charges.
I understand that I'm being set up. That's why I started this blog--to bring the process into public view.
It wasn't so much of a problem while they were writing u-rated observations. I know my field very well and have no doubts that I can demonstrate that I am a competent teacher.
Then came the charges of verbally abusing students. I can say that the charges are false, but people seem to automatically believe the kids--not just the people setting me up who are biased against me. Others as well.
I am very concerned about this, because it seems that the Principal can get some kids to say just about anything she wants them to. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of her office to see how she does it.
I know people sent to the rubber room and sat there for a long time before 3020a was filed, if ever. In many cases they are not. Sometimes it is all about intimidation. Sometimes they try to fine you and even that is negotiable. You can call a number of witnesses. You can ask for your hearing to be open and even invite people like the press. Do it all. Make them prove their charges and provide a rigorous defense.
What will undermine the principal's bad faith efforts to fire you is her barrage approach. I simple time line would suggest to any arbitrator that she failed in her attempts to pretend you are pedagogically incompetent...so is giving this verbal abuse/corporal punishment avenue a try.
Sit tight. Your documentation will serve you well. If you are feeling stressed and getting a headache, take a day or two.
That is not me above my previous post but I agree with the sentiments!! Make them prove everything they put in their charges. Have fun with this. I sense a book in your future.
Once given a 3020a you will be directed by UFT reps to write a rebuttal to each charge.
This will help your NYSUT lawyer (once assigned) to prepare your defense. Since you have the time now in the basement you may want to anticipate each charge and prepare a careful and thorough rebuttal to each one. This will also tell your NYSUT attorney that you are a prepared, logical, intelligent and competent respondent. There is no substitute for this first impression and will reinforce any representations you make to him/her about a disinterest in settlement. They, in turn, will transmit their impressions of you in any offline discussions with the arbitrator and DOE counsel. Much rides on the credibility of the witness and respondent. Your lawyer will know that the imprression he/she gains form you in discussion will be the same that the arbitrator gains from you. Anything you can do to show your thoughtful and careful side will contrast with efforts to show you as an out-of-control screamer. Additionally, the NYSUT attorneys are very busy and will frequently adopt your suggestionsand rebuttals in terms of cross examination and defense. They do not have investigators and paralegals. You will be your own best advocate.
Miraculously, in my first meeting with my NYSUT lawyer, I came across as organized, calm, cool, and collected. And very pleasant to deal with. No matter the wild developments I have presented myself this way over the past two years. This has paid untold dividends.
LI, you're right about writing the rebuttals. Many of my posts are rebuttals to letters and observations. However, I have gotten behind, and should try to catch up as soon as possible.
Anon, Chaz, and LI, thanks for the information--which by the way was confirmed by an attorney.
Anxiety attacks can also be sorted in a natural way. Some natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan. There's also cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and programs like Panic Away and The Linden Method, to name a few. Hope this helps!
Great post. Some natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan. There's also cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and programs like Panic Away and The Linden Method, to name a few. Hope this helps!
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