clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Labor board moves to block charter school from firing teachers

A state employment panel is suing to bar a Queens charter school from firing the teachers it dismissed a month ago.

The Public Employment Review Board is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Merrick Academy from firing the 11 staff members — roughly a third of the school’s teaching staff — that the school fired in July. The move comes after the city’s teachers union appealed to the board to intervene on the teachers’ behalf. The eight teachers and three teaching assistants were notified they’d been fired via FedEx and some believe they were targeted for protesting the school’s policies and calling for union representation.

The board’s ruling states that “there is reasonable cause to believe an improper practice has occurred,” and says it will seek an injunction from the State Supreme Court to prevent the firings from going through.

In 2007, an overwhelming majority of teachers at Merrick Academy voted to make the United Federation of Teachers their exclusive bargaining agent. Merrick became the first of several charter schools to unionize as part of the UFT’s campaign to bring the typically non-union schools under contract. But since then the UFT and school’s board have yet to reach a contract agreement.

Help Chalkbeat raise $80k by Dec 31

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom filling a vital community need. We could not do this without you, and we need your support to keep going in 2022.

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat New York

Sign up for our newsletter.