Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Abolishment of positions by a BOCES


Abolishment of positions by a BOCES must be made in good faith
Appeal of Christopher Curtis and G. Michael Newell from action of the Otsego-Northern Catskill Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 15,831

Christopher Curtis and G. Michael Newell appealed BOCES’ decision eliminate two positions of “English Teacher” in the Alternative Education Department effective September 1, 2004, because of a reduced request for services, contending that the stated reason for the abolition of their positions was unsupported by the facts.

With respect to Newell, BOCES argued that his appeal is moot because he retired from his position and that the Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest.”

The Commissioner agreed in part. He said “[r]etirement constitutes a formal and presumably permanent withdrawal from the teaching profession” and ruled that Newell’s petition is moot to the extent he seeks reinstatement to his former position. In contrast, the Commissioner said that Newell’s claim that seeks back salary and benefits “is not entirely moot because he alleges that BOCES abolished their positions improperly and unlawfully assigned others to teach English classes prior to the effective date of his retirement.”

As to the claim that BOCES abolished their positions in bad faith in violation of the Education Law, the Commissioner pointed out that Education Law Section 3013(1) provides that if a position is abolished and a similar position is created, the person who filled the abolished position must be appointed to the new position. However, neither Curtis nor Newell claimed that BOCES created similar positions and failed to appoint them to those positions. Rather they contend that BOCES “effectively created” two positions by redistributing their workload.

The Commissioner said that, in general, a board of education, acting in good faith, may abolish positions and consolidate the duties of the former positions among existing positions, citing Education Law §§1709[16] and [33]. Similarly, said the Commissioner, a board of cooperative educational services may abolish a position and consolidate it with another without creating a new position, pointing to Education Law §3013[3][a].

Noting that the record reflects that the elimination of two full-time English positions in BOCES’ Alternative Education Department was for economic and administrative reasons, the Commissioner concluded that Curtis and Newell failed to meet their burden of showing that BOCES acted in bad faith in abolishing their positions. Accordingly, the Commissioner ruled that neither is entitled to the requested reinstatement or back pay and dismissed their appeal.

The full text of the Commissioner’s decision is posted on the Internet at:

=========================
The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions is available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click On http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/ for additional information about this electronic reference manual.
=========================

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

Caution:

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.

THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader should seek such advice from a competent professional.

Items published in NYPPL may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission to copy and distribute such material. Send your request via e-mail to publications@nycap.rr.com

Copyright© 1987 - 2017 by the Public Employment Law Press.



___________________



N.B. From time to time a political ad or endorsement may appear in the sidebar of this Blog. NYPPL does not have any control over such posting.

_____________________

.