N.Y. Teachers Spend Years in “Rubber Rooms” With Pay, Waiting Misconduct Hearings

June 23, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Something is seriously wrong with the union contracts for teachers in New York City. New York public school teachers facing disciplinary hearings are not sent home and are not given different jobs removed from the classroom. Instead, the school system sends such teachers to designated off campus locations, dubbed “rubber rooms,” to wait for their case to be heard by union arbitrators, while receiving full pay.

There are now about 700 teachers facing charges of misconduct assigned to the rubber rooms, officially named reassignment centers and many of these teachers remain there for five or six years, doing nothing but sit all day. The rubber rooms not only house teachers, but also assistant principals, social workers, psychologists and secretaries as well.

The rubber rooms received their moniker from the padded rooms found in mental hospitals. Teachers banished to rubber rooms complain of a deterioration of their mental health, sitting in a room for eight hours a day for years, with their professional futures in limbo.

The union teacher contract mandates that teachers waiting resolution of discipline complaints must be allowed to continue working, but the school system is not permitted to assign them to other work. The school system’s solution to the strict confines of the union contracts is to house the teachers in rooms that are considered part of the school facility.

Ron Davis spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers, acknowledged that the disciplinary process is slow, but stressed the importance of protecting the due process rights of teachers.

Meanwhile, the rubber rooms continue to fill up at an estimated cost of $65 million a year, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg steps up his efforts to remove bad teachers from city classrooms.

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Comments

4 Responses to “N.Y. Teachers Spend Years in “Rubber Rooms” With Pay, Waiting Misconduct Hearings”

  1. N.Y. Teachers Spend Years in “Rubber Rooms” With Pay, Waiting Misconduct Hearings Adding Info on June 23rd, 2009 9:00 pm

    […] school system sends such teachers to designated off campus locations, dubbed “rubber … Read Full Post: N.Y. Teachers Spend Years in “Rubber Rooms” With Pay, Waiting Misconduct Hearing… Adding Related Info:N.Y. Teachers Spend Years in “Rubber Rooms” With Pay, Waiting Misconduct […]

  2. ace on June 24th, 2009 7:25 am

    Reading this article seriously angers me. Thousands of people have lost their jobs in this s**thole economy and yet these “teachers” are paid to do NOTHING. ALL of these 700 teachers need to be given the pink slip pronto. There are more QUALIFIED individuals than these 700 teachers that can DO the job and make a difference in kids lives.

    These 700 “teachers” are NOTHING but a WASTE of taxpayers money. I’m surprised there’s not a lynch mob organizing in New York. These teachers give others a bad name. They give the whole education/school system concept a bad name. Nobody needs to wonder why education in general is a “joke”.

    This article is just sickening beyond belief.

  3. John Baughman on June 24th, 2009 8:05 am

    I’m not aware of any “rubber rooms” in the Private Sector. Funny how that works.

  4. A Brooklyn High School, Facebook and a Viral Lesbian Teacher Scandal | ChattahBox News Blog on December 10th, 2009 7:47 pm

    […] Mauro and Brito have been removed from the school and assigned to a “rubber room,” while their cases are investigated. The misconduct investigation could take […]

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