New York City pays exiled teachers to snooze as ‘rubber rooms’ return

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It’s good to work under de Blasio.

NY City teacher working hard for the money

NY City teacher working hard for the money

New York City’s infamous rubber rooms have rebounded. In one of the “reassignment centers,” 16 exiled educators sit in a city Department of Education building in Long Island City, Queens, including a dozen packed into one room — where they do virtually no work. The Long Island City castoffs begin their day by reading newspapers, then turn on the radio. They get 45 minutes to leave for lunch. They chat and sometimes exercise to “relieve the stress.”
Guess what these “exiled educators” do? They listen to music, do crossword puzzles, chat — and as this exclusive NY Post photo (above) reveals, doze on the taxpayer’s dime. The rules forbid beach chairs and air mattresses, but not nap time. The teacher sprawled on the floor, pulled a wool hat over his eyes to shut out the fluorescent lights and slept.
Others prop up two chairs to recline or just lay their heads on the table. “It’s gone right back to the way it was in the old days, an old-fashioned rubber room,” one banished teacher said.
According to the Post, despite their photographic evidence and teacher testimony to the contrary, the city denies the existence of the derided holding pens. “There are no more rubber rooms,” Department of Education (DOE) officials told The Post last week, saying reassigned staffers are given “administrative duties.”
In 2010, the DOE and the teachers union trumpeted a major agreement to close the centers holding more than 700 idled educators accused of misconduct or incompetence. Many teachers settled charges by paying fines and finally returned to classrooms, while those still expelled were scattered across the five boroughs. But the rubber room deal is routinely violated. “No one pays any attention to the agreement,” said Betsy Combier, a veteran paralegal who helps defend teachers.
The DOE refused to say how many removed teachers and other tenured staffers remain in limbo, but sources estimate 200 to 400 get paid while awaiting disciplinary hearings. Their salaries total $15 million to $20 million a year.
While the city promised to keep removed educators busy, the Queens exiles say they only occasionally oblige requests to do menial tasks like stuffing folders or making copies. Others refuse to do such work, calling it “demeaning.” They mainly just kill time to get through a six-hour, 20-minute day. “I’m so exhausted from being in this place doing nothing,” one said.
Several teachers on the payroll have been benched for up to five years due to a stunning bureaucratic breakdown. The 2010 deal required the independent arbitrators who conduct termination trials to issue a decision 30 days after a hearing, so that vindicated teachers could return to work and bad ones could be axed.
But decisions still come months — or even years — late. The DOE says it can’t enforce the rule. “They’re just letting me sit here,” said a teacher removed from the classroom nearly five years ago on charges of physically abusing children, which he denies. His trial ended four years ago. He makes about $70,000 a year.
Social Studies teacher David Suker has sat in the rubber room since September 2015, even though a state Supreme Court judge overturned his termination. Suker, an Army vet who taught at-risk kids in The Bronx, was found guilty of failing to immediately report his arrest in the Occupy Wall Street protests but was finally fined just $7,000. After The Post asked why the DOE had not put Suker back to work, officials on Friday assigned him to a school as a substitute.
Heckuva job mayor!

Heckuva job mayor!


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0 responses to “New York City pays exiled teachers to snooze as ‘rubber rooms’ return

  1. I was a teacher in the City system for twelve years, and it is an unnecessarily political job. But, although I do not mean to defend these malingerers—those of them who are malingerers—here is the problem: Any teacher can be falsely accused of anything by a student, parent or administrator, for any number of reasons. The City is bound by contract and by law to grant them due process. A number of these teachers most likely do deserve to be fired, yet a number of them do not. So the problem is, how to speed things along so the Board of Education wastes no more time.
    One could say the problem is tenure, and the problems that go along with firing a tenured teacher. Yet if tenure is eliminated, then the politicking in the job gets even worse.
    Ultimately, I would say ABOLISH public education, except on the college level, and let the churches or private schools do the job. But that’s never going to happen.
    I am glad I am out of education. A good (small) number of teachers are weirdos and commie goons!

  2. It could be worse than the rubber room thing , if you remember the article from last week ……” The Masturbation Booths ” …….
    A 45 minute lunch break could become a ” Shake the Johnson break ” , and get paid for it .
    I wonder if deBlasio and Dinkins were twin sons of different mothers at one point in time ?

    • Elton John had a song off of ” Good-bye Yellow Brick Road ” titled ” Sweet Painted Ladies “……… line in the song was ” Getting paid , for being laid , baby that’s the name of the game ” ………
      If E.J. wrote the song for the N.Y teachers , it might read : ” Earning it , while jerking it , ……………………………..

    • LMAO-my thoughts exactly. I wonder how long (no pun intended) until the M.B. starts being the “victim” of repeated drive-by shootings. The ONLY thing more embarrassing than using that booth would be dying while using it. What a legacy to leave your family….

  3. And that’s why, dysfunctional and corrupt though NYC is, people like de Blasio get elected and stay in government.

  4. Thanks, Democrats!!

  5. THIS is what Ted Cruz was referring to when he knocked New York values in the recent debate. And on this point I agree with him, and heartily disagree with Donald Trump.

    • TD, I agree with you on this one. I think this is exactly what Cruz had in mind along with DeBlasio’s attacks on the police and his support of the occupation movement. His comment had nothing to do with 9-11.
      And then the people that voted for DeBlasio, you have to worry about them.


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