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Some of the Merrick Academy teachers who were fired by administrators using letters delivered by Fedex were given their jobs back last week following negotiations between the Jamaica charter school and the United Federation of Teachers.
Last Thursday, the undisclosed number of teachers who wanted their jobs back and the board of the school, at 207-01 Jamaica Ave., agreed to have the teachers reinstated to their positions with their full salaries intact, the UFT said.
The union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, said the 11 instructors who were fired two months ago were targeted by the school for organizing protests against the board over lengthy contract negotiations.
“Teachers have a right to organize and bargain collectively, and we are happy to have confirmed that right for Merrick’s staff,” he said in a statement.
The UFT could not give precise details on the settlement, including the number of teachers who will be returning.
Representatives for Merrick said it will move forward to make sure students come first.
“This settlement affirms our ability to act in the best interests of our students and will help us maintain the type of culture and commitment to results we expect,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure every one of our students gets a great education, and we will continue to work tirelessly to achieve that goal.”
On July 11, teachers were notified about their firings in a letter that was mailed to them by FedEx. The teachers said they were given no warning, according to the UFT.
The teachers have been working without a contract for nearly two years, UFT officials said.
The union asked the state Public Employment Relations Board to intervene on behalf of the teachers and the board sent a request to State Supreme Court for an injunction pending an investigation. An Albany judge granted the injunction last month.
As part of the settlement, the board withdrew its court action against Merrick, the UFT said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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