Judge Rules that City Must Reinstate Staff at Turnaround Schools
Legal battles between the city and the United Federation of Teachers are typically long, drawn-out affairs. Not on Wednesday.
In just 40 minutes this afternoon, Judge Joan Lobis of the New York State Supreme Court made up her mind about the city’s request to suspend an arbitrator’s ruling in the UFT’s favor while she considers the city’s formal appeal. There will be no restraining order, Lobis ruled.
That means that hiring and firing decisions that have been made at 24 struggling schools that the city was trying to overhaul will be reversed. The Department of Education will have to reinstate hundreds — and possibly thousands — of teachers and administrators cut loose from the schools as part of the “turnaround” process.
“They no longer have an excuse for not complying with the arbitrator’s award,” Ross said about the city.
Asked by reporters about the education department’s immediate plans for allowing the teachers to reclaim their positions, Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg said, “Talk to the law department.”
The city’s top lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said in a statement that he was confident that Lobis would side with the city as the case moves forward.
The hearing was a first step in the city’s appeal of a ruling handed down two weeks ago by an arbitrator who found that the city’s hiring and firing decisions — a key aspect of the Department of Education’s turnaround plans — violated the city’s contract with the teachers union.