NYC Teacher Union Bosses Consider Buyouts for “Rubber Room” Teachers

An internal Department of Education memorandum outlines a plan to offer buyouts to “rubber room” teachers.  These teachers remain on the payroll, but spend their days in school doing anything but teach.  Geoff Decker has the story in chalkbeat.  The teachers have been assigned to a Temporary Reassignment Center, or “rubber room, ” for some sort of misconduct or incompetence.  Thanks to monopoly bargaining rights, the city is compelled to allow these teachers to remain on the payroll until their case has been arbitrated, which can take years, and often does.  Read Steven Brill’s article, “The Rubber Room,” appearing in the New Yorker magazine several years ago.

The city will pay jobless teachers to quit if they aren’t interested in working in schools, according to an internal Department of Education memo explaining the provisions of the proposed teachers union contract agreement.

The plan, likely to be controversial with some teachers union members, was not mentioned in any of the public announcements about the deal by the union or city officials. But it would be another way for the city to reduce a pool of 1,200 out-of-work teachers who are still on the city’s payroll.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew has previously said he is open to negotiating financial incentives for the city’s excessed teacher pool, called the absent teacher reserve.