Ending Collective Bargaining for Teachers

It is worth mentioning that at no time do I sign an agreement with any member of the law firm of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, but that doesn’t stop Schwab from proceeding without authority to do everything I have specifically told him not to do, while ignoring what I have asked him to do:

  • In derogation of my right under California Education Code 44944 to a hearing within 60 days, Schwab sets my OAH trial 10 months later on September 12, 2011 and then proceeds to lie as to why he has done it. Among other excuses, he cites budget problems in the state and the unavailability of witnesses during the summer, which is 7 months away.
  • LAUSD does not comply with discovery and yet Schwab gives them two extensions, instead of going into Superior Court and asking for sanctions, adverse findings or fact, and maybe even dismissal of the OAH proceedings on fundamental notions of no due process. When LAUSD finally delivers its discovery, it offers few, if any of the documents requested by Schwab for discovery. Schwab does nothing about this. My specific discovery requests had already been edited down to very little by Schwab’s associate Deborah Esaghian.
  • I ask Schwab to hire an investigator to memorialize witnesses testimony and evidence, before LAUSD has a chance to fabricate more evidence, which everyone who proceeded me in this process tells me LAUSD will do. He refuses saying there is not enough money, which is strange, since he was going to settle this matter for $2,500, but now $15,000 isn’t enough.
  • I ask him to ask UTLA to adequately fund my defense, if it is not adequate as he claims. He never gets around to this.

LAUSD’s main tactic in getting rid of teachers by harassment and falsified charges is to use delay tactics to try and starve the teacher into accepting a settlement based on accepting culpability for something that the vast majority of them are not guilty of. For those teachers who continue to seek justice, LAUSD raises the financial pressure by filling motion after motion that the teacher now has to pay Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad to answer or collaterally attack in Superior Court- a rather expensive process also designed to bleed the teacher without salary.

LAUSD never fights on the merits of a case, since it clearly knows it will lose. Therefore, it uses every procedural dilatory tactic to prolong the harassed teacher’s agony. Whether it’s teachers that have been sitting in “rubber rooms” for 4 years or more or a teacher whose hearing date before the OAH gets continued to a later date at the last minute, LAUSD’s game plan is to use procedure to force the teacher out of their job without ever having to deal with the merits of the case. LAUSD’s legal approach is one of using procedure to delay, while avoiding a substantive case base on the merits at any cost, since there are no merits to most of the cases they bring. They know it. UTLA know it. Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad know it, and even the OAH administrative law judges know it, because they see this going on all the time, but nobody does anything to protect the teacher.

With the departure of Superintendent Ramon Cortines, his Chief of Staff Jim Morris, Staff Relations David Vidaurrazaga, and others continues, even if the teacher is able to ultimately succeed, LAUSD will be left holding the bag of liability, while the corrupt LAUSD or UTLA administrator is either off to another job, retirement, or both. Ah, the joys of double dipping a phenomenon common at both LAUSD and UTLA. Isn’t outgoing UTLA President A.J. Duffy going to work for LAUSD as the head of pilot schools?

leonard isenbergIf Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad and UTLA functioned as advocates and fiduciaries of the teachers they have sworn to defend, LAUSD could not get away with this. Maybe I should take up my complaints with Richard Schwab’s wife Coleen, who sits on the Board of Directors of UTLA, I’m sure she will be sympathetic to my case- not

I remember in law school that we were told to “avoid even the appearance of impropriety.” But Schwab told me when I first met with him on November 17, 2010 that what I learned in law school had nothing to do with reality. Was he right?

Leonard Eisenberg

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Comments

  1. Ryder says

    I was not blaming teachers! I was blaming (oh so clearly) collective bargaining… that causes children to be exposed to VERY VERY bad teachers…. with no hope of escape.

    And it is VERY incorrect to say that teachers never had any say in all of this. They USED to, when we sought teachers because of their skills… individually… before unions corrupted the entire purpose of teaching… it used to be about educating the young. Now it is about securing the jobs of adults, regardless of their ability or dedication. This shift in focus is horribly corrupt.

    When we searched for the best teachers, and paid them… we left THEM to do their jobs… and they had much say in all aspects of education. Yes, parents also have a say, as well they should! They are hiring teachers to do a specialized service FOR them… for it is the duty of a parent to educate their children when all is said and done… so you are incorrect. To say teachers never had any say is simply and plainly wrong. It is truer now than in the past, we agree… but that is what happens when bad teachers take root in a system designed by adults for adults, as we have now.

    I have been very involved… helping and fighting when necessary, the public schools… they treat parents HORRIBLY in my experience. In a private school, one phone call or email, and I could meet with any teacher within 24 hours. In my well funded, affluent public school, where results are poorer BTW, I spent MONTHS, with at least one dozen emails and phone calls to arrange ONE MEETING with a teacher… having to finally get the principal involved to make it happen, and even then, the meeting was controlled by the school, including the agenda, as apposed to me meeting one on one with my child’s teacher.

    It is this level of NON education garbage that we have to deal with, thanks to the fortress of unionized, state run schools… unresponsive to parents, because quite frankly, they don’t depend on parents for anything… not their pay, not curriculum, not job security, nothing… parents are a distraction to the teachers of today.

    Private schools? (that do more with less, typically). It’s TOTALLY different. Parents can affect curriculum. Parents can pressure bad teachers out of the school.

    There is a lesson to be learned there, Leonard.

    Again, bad teachers and the collective bargaining that protects them are to blame… not the good teachers, and certainly not the best teachers… so let’s not pretend that this was my argument, ok?

    Highly paid BAD teachers, are taking money from the poorly paid GREAT teachers. If you want that to change… collective bargaining HAS TO GO.

    Let’s do simple school math. I have 400 dollars to pay two teachers. One hurts children by wasting their time and demotivating them. The other helps kids excel beyond their wildest dreams and keeps them motivated.

    Your version of the world says that I give $200 to the good teacher, AND the bad teacher. Nothing motivates the bad teacher to improve, and nothing motivates the good teacher to maintain her astounding performance.

    Do you *really* think this is a smart arrangement?

    In my world, that excellent teacher gets ALL of the money, I fire the crappy one, and I start looking for another good teacher TODAY, because children don’t have time for anything less. Their years run by so very quickly.

    That’s how you get results my friend. That is how you put good teachers and children FIRST.

    Bad teachers need to be gone. Any child could tell you that.

  2. Ryder says

    You shouldn’t be making this about money. Leftists shouldn’t be so money focused.

    This is all about something much more important. Our children.

    Like it or not, collective bargaining has hurt children…. millions upon millions of lives… damaged by teachers and organizations focused on everything but education… the unions.

    Collective bargaining has put our school systems in jeopardy, with the kids bearing the brunt of the damage. Everyone knows…. bad teachers can’t be stopped from wreaking havoc on the lives of our children because they can’t be kicked out of the profession. Doctors can. Layers can be disbarred… but not Teachers. Bad teachers are like herpes. You have them for life…

    And not only can you NOT protect children from bad teachers, you can’t even persuade teachers to leave by reducing their pay, or even holding it… no, the bad teachers, thanks to collective bargaining, get paid as well as the best teachers.

    Is that the thanks our best teachers get??? not one thin dime more than HORRIFIC teachers get?

    The obscene unfair, unsustainable, and unnatural process that is the teachers union machine… at heavy cost to children, is stunning in it’s dimension, and horrifying in it’s result. Our status as a nation since the rise of the collective bargaining in education had been falling steadily, and it’s shameful that this author chooses to align himself with the failure of this process, siding with the status quo, again, with those most hurt being our children.

    Good teachers know how to teach. It’s not hard to make it work. A building, some desks, good teachers, and students is really all it takes, and people ARE willing to pay for it.

    Instead we are forced to live with schools with massive overheads and top heavy administrations, leaving little for the teacher, the students, and their classroom.

    This MUST END.

    To point to corrupt cronyism as a reason to maintain a corrupted school system lacks all reason.

    • says

      Legal tender is used by both the Left and the Right to finance their vision of society. Key to that vision is adequately financing public education for the children and not for corrupt administrators, politician, and their vendors who presently profit from this longstanding purposeful failing of public education that gives them an ignorant- not stupid- future citizenry that doesn’t have the knowledge to wield the power vested in them by the constitution.

      Notice, I left teachers out of this cabal of culpability. Why? Because they have never had any say as to how public education is run. To lay off this corruption on teachers makes about as much sense as blaming them for the failed banks, stock market, and global warming. As for the teachers’ union machine, they have more in common with LAUSD leadership- ask outgoing UTLA President A.J. Duffy who is planning on going to work of LAUSD pilot schools program- then they have ever had with their own rank and file teacher membership.

      If you truly care about the kids so much, create local control of schools with two-way accountability, something A.J. Duffy, LEARN, and LAUSD have given lipservice to, but in reality, fight every step of the way, since it would finally hold them accountable and give us the schools you say you want.

      German pays its teachers 60-80 thousand Euro a year and they are highly respected members of society with professional business people and lawyers running their unions. They don’t negotiate from a position of weakness like UTLA, but rather as equals who demand respect. Maybe that is why Germany has an intelligent enough educated population to vote for the elimination of nuclear power, since they are capable of critical thinking.

      • in_awe says

        Germany has an intelligent enough educated population to vote for the elimination of nuclear power, since they are capable of critical thinking.

        You seriously believe this statement? And what alternative sources will they employ to make up the shortfall of electricity? In the US the alternatives have all been blamed for everything from killing the earth to exterminating endangered birds.

        Germany will need to produce more than 42% of its power from alternative sources – an unlikely achievement by 2020. So, the alternative is to rely on coal and natural gas fueled power plants and put an incremental 400 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere by 2020 (the next 9 years). Or then can reduce electricity consumption and downgrade their economy, or rely on other nations to provide it with its needed energy. That didn’t work out so well when it relied on the Soviet Union for its natural gas needs (ditto for Ukraine which was also politically blackmailed by Russia over energy).

        It sounds like the Germans have been treated to the same politically motivated drivel from its teaching corps that Americans have since the 1970′s. The idea that shutting down the nation’s nuclear energy industry is an “intelligent” decision resulting from critical thinking is laughable.

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