It should come as no surprise, then, that the same techniques of intimidation and bullying would be used against KIPP employees who have the audacity to challenge the cult leaders, Levine or Feinberg. The NYTimes reports now that Levine has refused to recognize teachers' legal request to seek union protection, thus assuring an ongoing legal battle that, ironically, could allow the world to see the KIPP reality that exists beyond the edupreneurs' PR machine paid for by Gates and Broad. Have a sneak peek:
. . . .The city’s teachers’ union also filed a complaint with the state’s labor board on Thursday, claiming that the administration intimidated employees at KIPP AMP and used staff meetings to discourage them from forming a union.
According to the complaint, Mr. Levin attended a mandatory staff meeting and said that the teachers’ current retirement, maternity and private pension benefits would be “potentially in jeopardy” and “all of that goes away,” if they formed a union. At the meeting, Mr. Levin distributed a letter with instructions on how to revoke their support for a union, union officials said.
George Arzt, a spokesman for KIPP, said that Mr. Levin was simply responding to inquiries from teachers about their options under state law, and added that the same information was available on the Web site of the state’s labor board.
Union officials said that they have received signatures supporting a union from 16 of the school’s 20 teachers and that no teacher has revoked support since the meeting with Mr. Levin on Feb. 6.
While two of the KIPP schools are formally represented by the teachers’ union, neither school has its own union contract, although one is subject to the city’s contract under a quirk of state law. Teachers at New York City KIPP schools are generally paid about 20 percent more than teachers with similar credentials in traditional public schools, in exchange for working longer hours and a longer school year.. . .