Attendance / Absenteeism / Tardiness  Petitioner was a tenured custodian who missed seventy-three days of work without documentation and without calling in to discuss his absence.  The district met the burden of proving excessive absenteeism, incapacity, insubordination and conduct unbecoming.  Petitioner’s dismissal from employment was upheld by the TEACHNJ Arbitrator.  Tenure Arbitration of Carratura, Kearney 3/21/2019.

Where board issued a formal reprimand to teacher for same absences which subsequently became evidence in the tenure arbitration, arbitrator determined that the district’s conduct demonstrated the absences warranted a written reprimand and not tenure dismissal.   Arbitrator determined that teacher’s expressed preference to remain in administration did not equate with a refusal to teach or a neglect of duty.  District failed to demonstrate conduct unbecoming where teacher slowly intervened to stop two students from “play slap-fighting” in the classroom where teacher told the student to stop and they stopped and sat down. District’s exaggerated characterization was taken  as evidence of the District’s predisposition to terminate teacher.  Arbitrator determined it was fundamentally unfair for the district to discipline an employee for misconduct more than once.  Tenure Arbitration of Furhmeister, Pleasantville 3/28/2019.

Tenure Arbitration-Inefficiency  Arbitrator upheld tenure charges against administrative secretary who missed 970 days of work over ten years.  Tenure Arbitration of Gomes, Elizabeth City 3/4/2019.

Arbitrator in an inefficiency arbitration, acknowledged the limited role of an arbitrator and upheld inefficiency charges against tenured teacher. although the teacher raised concerns regarding her evaluations, arbitrator[‘s analysis was limited to whether the District acted arbitrarily and capriciously, not whether individuals conducting the observations should have been more reasonable in evaluating the teacher or in providing the teacher with another evaluation. Arbitrators should avoid discussing the substance of an individual evaluation. Instead, the arbitrators look for serious structural problems in the way that a CAP was administered or in the way that the evaluations were structured.  Tenure Arbitration of Jastrzembski, Camden City 3/7/2019.

Tenure-Conduct-Based  DeShan was a former Catholic priest who impregnated a 16 year old female in 1990.  He subsequently left the priesthood in 1994 and became a teacher in the Cinnaminson School District in 1996.  The district filed tenure charges in December of 2018, alleging conduct unbecoming due to students claiming that DeShan’s prior conduct disturbed them and should require that he be fired from his teaching position.  The matter was assigned to an arbitrator by the Commissioner of Education. The arbitrator granted DeShan’s motion to dismiss as the charges were based on hearsay evidence and did not reflect incidents that took place during his tenure as a teacher in the district.  Tenure Arbitration of DeShan, Cinnaminson 4/2/2019.