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View Diary: Feds uncover massive cheating ring on teacher certification tests (103 comments)

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  •  Unions defend members based on contractual issues (4+ / 0-)

    I'm no lawyer, but based on long-term experience as a union rep.  in New York State, I doubt that any union would be held legally liable for not aggressively defending a teacher who obtained employment illegally or fraudulently.
    The union rep would do his or her best for the person, but that would most probably involve attending meetings with the employee, taking notes, ensuring that the person wasn't harassed, and ending any meetings that became abusive. And probably advising the person to seek legal counsel. Being fired for fraudulently presenting oneself as a properly licensed teacher to gain employment wouldn't have anything to do with a contract.
    Even properly credentialed probationary (non-tenured) teachers in New York State can have their employment terminated abruptly by school administration.  If school administrators have followed proper (i.e. contractual) procedures for evaluating and documenting the teacher's performance there is virtually nothing a union can do for a probationary teacher who is being dismissed.
    Union reps work very hard to protect their members, but hiring and firing are the purview of school administrators as long as procedures are properly followed.
    Fraud is fraud. Trust me, unions don't want incompetent and dishonest teachers in their schools any more than parents or school administrators do.

    •  I agree. I have had stewards training (3+ / 0-)

      for California's State University System.  

      Our Union can provide some counseling / mediation /intervention in a criminal situation like this, but they would be angry, and resent it. The Unions want and need their members to be good, competent, honest workers. They do not want to spend their time( generally volunteer) and resources (paid by members who don't make enough to start with) on people who are crooked from the get go. To use up important resources   and dirty the reputation of every other member is bullish*t,.

      Further, TR's you are correct, at least in terms of the CSUS system, the union is there mainly to defend against contract and policy violations, and discrimination against gender, race, age, etc. etc.  

      A flat out charge of criminal activity... I think that is pretty much beyond the scope of an educators union. My guess is that the stewards would recommend that the person being accused hire an attorney, and once that happens, it is officially out of the Union's hands. (for our union, anyway)

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