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

Published by the LA Progressive on June 27, 2011
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About Leonard Isenberg

am a second generation teacher in LAUSD. I graduated from Monroe High School in 1964 with an excellent public school education that has allowed me to earn three college degrees: BA in European History- UCLA, Doctor of Jurisprudence- Golden Gate University, and a Masters in Education- UCLA. The exceptional education I received as a basis for my later higher education has given me the ability to be successful as a producer in the motion picture business, a professor of comparative law in France, and a social studies teacher at various locations in Los Angeles. My life experience both here and in Europe motivates me to work for the creation of a first rate public education system here in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States, which I unequivocally believe is the prerequisite for dealing with the myriad of problems that we presently face as a society.