September 02, 2010

NYSUT local wins reinstatement of charter school staff

Source: NYSUT Newswire

The United Federation of Teachers, NYSUT's largest local representing educators in New York City,  and Merrick Charter School have reached an agreement in the case of 11 staff members dismissed this summer by the school.  The UFT charged that Merrick had fired the workers — who make up approximately one-third of the professional staff of the school —  for union activity.  The union petitioned the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to order Merrick to rehire the fired staffers. They will be reinstated at their previous salaries.  Other teachers and staff have had their cases resolved to their satisfaction.  Further details of the settlement remain confidential.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said:   “Teachers have a right to organize and bargain collectively, and we are happy to have confirmed that right for Merrick’s staff.”

The case began this summer when the 11 staffers were fired  with no warning by FedEx letter to their homes. The UFT asked PERB to seek a preliminary injunction requiring the reinstatement of the fired staffers.  PERB then sought a court order requiring their reinstatement.  

PERB’s request for an injunction was being heard in Albany County Supreme Court by Judge Eugene Devine.  As part of the settlement, the Public Employment Relations Board has withdrawn its court action against Merrick.  Merrick Academy is administered by Victory Schools, a for-profit operator, which charges $1.36 million in fees per year, more than 21 percent of the school’s total budget, on management fees. Victory Management operates a total of six schools in New York City earning $4.41 million in fees per year.

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