Litigation-Will the UFT support us?

Dear Ms. Norton:

We have at least 28 UFT members who have committed to filing a new petition  with a Temporary Restraining Order previously filed under Corwin et. al. v. City of NY<>  demanding a fair remote work accommodation. These dues paying members are paying out of their own pockets for a private attorney because they feel that they are not being properly supported by their employer and their union. We have discovered that there is no policy in the DOE that is universally applied for those members seeking permission to work remotely for the safety of themselves and their family. Our fact- finding has shown that people have been denied multiple times and there is no clear guidance on the “informal accommodation process” which the DOE reluctantly acknowledges exists.

The DOE remote work accommodation process is inequitable. Some members have been arbitrary been denied. Rubber room teachers are told to stay home, do no work, and receive full pay.  In contrast, the members of our group feel that they are being used as guinea pigs and are risking their family’s safety with no real assurance of safe schools. There are many more members out there who are too scared to go public for fear of retaliation by their principals.  My phone has been ringing off the hook for the past six weeks and I keep on receiving email requests asking me about our case and what they should do since they do not feel safe and they doubt the union cares.

We ask that the UFT join us as a party or amicus curiae on this case and stand with us. We have contemplated naming the UFT as a respondent for breach of the duty of fair representation to your members, but we prefer not to do that, and hope that you support your own members’ cause.

Please advise us what you plan to do and if you will stand with us to help assure the safety of our group.

In Solidarity,
Lydia Howrilka

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