v. Chula Vista Elementary
|2002 Letter to Ann M. Smith
January 17, 2002
To: Ann Smith
From: Maura Larkins
I'm writing to confirm some elements of our meeting of January 11, 2002.
You said that the district has no obligation to pay me. I said I believed you,
and that I couldn't think of any reason you would lie to me. (I now think I was
wrong on both counts.)
I had been led to understand that you were a private attorney who would take
legal action against the district on my behalf if legally appropriate. I
understood that CTA would pay for the first hour of consultation, and that I
would pay for all other hours worked unless CTA made a special
arrangement. I had been told by Tim that at least half of my one-hour
consultation with you would be private.
You told me that I had to go back to work even though my safety is at risk,
and even though the district has violated the contract and the law and basic
standards of decency in my case with total impunity, and even though CVE
refuses to either enforce the contract or to address the district's egregious
behavior in another manner. You said if I were damaged again after I went
back to work, I should grieve again. It should be noted that you said this with
a straight face.
I am wondering exactly what, if anything, the district might possibly do to me
that would induce CVE to go to arbitration on my behalf.
You made a point of questioning Tim in a loud voice as to when the contract
had expired. But I asked Tim if there was an MOU (memorandum of
understanding), and he said, "yes." So the contract is still in force. I'm
wondering if one of the reasons for not going to bat for me is political.
Politics is how CTA got into this mess in the first place. Gina didn't want to
ruffle the feathers of my accusers right before her reelection. In fact, she
kept stroking them with phone conversations and concessions when she had
no business taking the side of one teacher against another. I was ordered
by CTA to "be quiet" about what had been done to me. Now history repeats
itself. This time CTA doesn't want to ruffle the district's feathers. The
contract is a point of pride--the more money CTA gets in the contract, the
better it looks. But why would it work so hard for a contract that it won't
enforce? Because CTA only cares about how it looks on the outside, not
about the moral decay within. It thinks that the world will never know the
truth. It thinks that it can keep its true portrait hidden, like Dorian's Gray's. It
thinks it can destroy one innocent teacher for the financial gain of other
teachers (and increased dues!), without anyone ever questioning its ethics.
You asked me questions about my sick leave. I don't think I gave you the
answers you were looking for. You were all set to write down my words, but
you seemed unhappy with them, and ceased writing.
I informed you and Tim that my benefits had been cancelled in November,
TWO DAYS after I filed grievances. This action was clearly retaliatory. It
occurred two and a half MONTHS after my pay was stopped. It was a bolt out
of the blue.
I informed you and Tim that my June 9 grievance received no response from
the district, and my May 29 grievance received no Level II response. I had
waived time lines for responding to these grievances until November 21, so I
should have received responses on December 3. Tim denied repeatedly
that this was true, although he had received copies of all grievances and all
district responses. Then Tim said that the district denies all my grievances
anyway, so what difference does it make?
I said that it would increase my trust in Tim if he would insist that the district
obey JUST ONE SMALL PART OF THE CONTRACT. Apparently you and
Tim have decided not to enforce any part of the contract.
I think it's not only wrong, it's foolish to continue to violate the principles that
CTA stands for.