Non-Renewal takes a weird turn

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by cult, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. cult

    cult Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2009

    Hi everyone and thanks to those who have already responded to previous threads.

    My wife was non-renewed this year after receiving generally positive performance reviews (with a few "needs improvements" but no more than other colleagues who were retained). She is not tenured, has a Masters' degree and ten years of experience. We suspect she was non-renewed because she stopped sponsoring an academic club for which the stipend was eliminated, and because she refused to teach a specific course that she was asked to. Her supervisor has already stated that he will not provide her with a letter of reference for a teaching position. He is willing to write a letter for her if she changes fields stating that she was always on time, etc.

    Her school got a new principal this year. Not only is the principal new to the school, this is her first principalship.

    About a week ago, my wife was asked to sign a document stating that she understood that the board would be voting to dismiss her. The board meeting was to be held the following day. In response, she submitted a letter of resignation, which was accepted by the principal. The principal told my wife her termination would be recorded as a resignation.

    Since that time, we received a certified letter from the board stating that they did in fact vote to dismiss her. Today the principal e-mailed my wife rescinding her acceptance of the resignation letter and once again asking that she come and sign a document to the effect that she is "aware" of her non-renewed status.

    We have not involved the union at this point because my wife is too ashamed of having been non-renewed to let the rep know the situation.

    What do you guys think? To me, this sounds unusual. If the school screwed up my wife's termination paperwork, it seems to me this is not my wife's problem. Since they are not offering her a positive reference, it seems like we really have no reason to play along with them.
     
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  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 24, 2009

    Union. Now. Go. Run.

    I know your wife feels ashamed, but this isn't something she should let go. In retrospect, I really wish I had gone to the union over issues I had with an AP and an evaluation I felt wasn't fair, but I was too intimidated by her (and her threats to non-renew me if I didn't do what she said).

    Have her print that email IMMEDIATELY and bring it HOME. Emails have a mysterious way of disappearing from the system once the union gets involved.

    Start writing a timeline of events and have her write down - as close as possible - what exchanges shes and the P shared.

    Tell her NOT to sign ANYTHING. She has RESIGNED, HER RESIGNATION WAS ALREADY ACCEPTED, THE P IS WRONG.

    Sorry if I'm shouting. But she needs union involvement.
     
  4. palla

    palla Companion

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    Mar 24, 2009

    I am so sorry your wife is going through this. I don't have any great advice, but it does sound odd. I would keep a copy of everything - emails, letters from her, letters from the school, especially whatever she is asked to sign.

    I know it is hard to swallow pride, but something is wrong with the situation, so call the rep.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 24, 2009

    I agree...it is time to get the union involved NOW!
     
  6. cult

    cult Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2009

    Thanks everyone. Here is today's update.

    We called the union office in our IL town (my wife felt comfortable talking to a union employee as opposed to a teacher at the school serving as union rep). The officer told us that a non-renewal is actually more advantageous than a resignation. My wife can collect unemployment benefits, for one. So he counseled us to let the resignation vs non-renewal issue go, and not to sign anything. When we asked him what he thought might be going on, he said he thought the fact that my wife is in a protected class from discrimination (she is Mexican) had something to do with it. The school is 60% Hispanic but my wife is the ONLY Mexican-American teacher in the school. There are no non-white administrators either. The rep also told us the school could NOT threaten her with immediate dismissal if she refused to sign.

    What sucks about this whole process is that it really feels that my wife's supervisors are trying to ruin her entire career. It doesn't seem to be enough for them that they are firing her from the school. They are humiliating her and throwing roadblocks in her path in every little devious way they can think to do it. Yet she received two positive reviews THIS YEAR and the reviews she received that were not so good, were not as bad as others (she's close with the teachers in her dept and they all talk).

    The school has been pressuring her to sign this document.....I am sure there will be further developments.
     
  7. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Mar 25, 2009

    I was counseled to resign by my union rep and the head of personnel, but after I went home and thought about it, I decided I did not want to resign. I quickly called the personnel director and she said I could come back in and sign the non-renewal letter instead. I want to be able to receive unemployment benefits this summer as I look for another district. Being non-reelected is rotten, but life goes on, and hopefully a better work environment for your wife, and all of us who have been through this scenario is out there waiting!
     
  8. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Mar 25, 2009

    Cult,

    Are there other districts in the area she can apply to?
     

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