345 Webster Ave., Apt. 4-O
Brooklyn, New York 11230
April 22, 2000
Mr. Kenneth J. Toomey
Public Employment Practices and Representation
80 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12205-2604
Re: U-21634 - United Federation of Teachers
Dear Mr. Toomey:
Thank you for your letter of April 19, 2000. At the present time I do not wish to withdraw the complaint. I recently discussed filing a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Education with the pro se attorney at the Eastern District Court of the United States and was informed that I needed a "right to sue" letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC told me to file a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board.
My supervisors gave me a teaching program in September 1995 in order to trump up a fraudulent case against me for incompetence. Why else would they let me teach children in September 1995? I had, in effect, rejected them as my supervisors, as I explained in the pleadings to your agency. Giving me a teaching program placed children at risk. I was quite right to tell my supervisors that I would not change my teaching except as part of the conciliation process. By refusing to conciliate under the contract and by not telling the Board Conciliator of their intentions, my supervisors were behaving in an unlawful manner and violating my contractual rights.
Had my supervisors attempted executing disciplinary actions against me in June 1995, they would have been rebuffed. My supervisors needed the observation reports they concocted in the 1995 to 1996 school year to generate a fraudulent and misleading specification of charges.
The specification of charges that was voted on by the Board of Education in November 1996 describe an incompetent teacher. The fact is I am a teacher with whom the Board of Education has or had an agreement to conciliate a disagreement about teaching methodology. My supervisors and the Office of Legal Services of the Board of Education fabricated these charges in order to side-step Article 24 of the collective bargaining agreement.
The fact a stipulation of settlement was agreed to by me and by my accusers, which involved only a 2 month suspension without pay and a transfer to another school, is another indication that the charges were not filed in good faith.
The illegal nature of the charges against me is clear also from another point of view. What was I supposed to do in June 1995? Trying to teach the way my colleagues were teaching, which presumably would have made the Principal of my school happy, was out of the question for a number of reasons. I had taught that way for 5 years and had no desire to revert to an ineffective method of teaching.
I did not ask for a transfer to another school because I could have had the same problems there, and because I was not authorized by the Chancellor's office, which was in charge of the conciliation process, to do so.
I did not resign from my position with the Board of Education because there was an open agreement to conciliate. I knew that the Superintendent of Brooklyn High Schools didn't want to conciliate, however, the agreement to conciliate came from the Chancellor who has an interest in improving instruction in New York City High Schools and who paid for all the workshops and seminars I attended.
I learned in November 1996, when charges were filed, that the UFT did not enforce my contractual right to conciliation under Article 24 but, rather, conspired with the Board of Education to violate my right to due process of law. I have a right not to suffer unlawful and fraudulent charges that place my position as a tenured teacher in jeopardy. If filing charges of incompetent teaching in the middle of negotiations about teaching methods is not a hoax, I don't know what is. If conspiring to break the law in not acting in bad faith, I don't know what is. My pleadings quote the letters sent by the attorney assigned to me by the UFT and clearly show that the conciliation agreement was open. I have much more evidence proving that the conciliation process was not completed.
I requested a hearing under section 3020-a of Education Law to refute the charges against me. The findings and recommendations of the panel that held the hearings make no sense at all since I was found innocent of the charge of incompetence, but terminated anyway. The New York State Court of Appeals declined to give me permission to appeal the results of those proceedings on April 4, 2000, and now I am requesting a hearing with your agency. My complaint is timely because I have been pursuing other avenues of redress.
In my brief to the Appellate Division: Second Department of the Supreme Court, and in my motion to the Court of Appeals I explain in greater detail why the charges against me were unlawful and why the findings and recommendations of the panel should be vacated. I have also written down my oral comments to the Appellate Division, which identify the dishonest statements in the specification of charges against me. You can read these documents, my correspondence with the United Federation of Teachers, the specification of charges, and the findings and recommendations of the panel, on my website at www.panix.com/~roemer.
I'll be very grateful if you would give me more guidance about why my pleadings are deficient. I want to learn how the deficiencies can be corrected. I called your office yesterday, and will give you another call soon. My telephone number is 718-438-7375.
Very truly yours,
FAXED AND MAILED