Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill advocates and educators Torii Bottomley and John Pepi backed New York City teachers, who testified in support of the New York Healthy Workplace Bill at the New York State House in Albany on Monday, February 8. After his corrupt administrators bullied him and his union offered no support (similar to Torii, John, other MA educators and nurses), New York City teacher Francesco Portelos led other disenfranchised New York City educators to form United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Solidarity, a group that endorses the New York Healthy Workplace Bill.
Bottomley explained that it’s important to emphasize the financial impact of workplace bullying to legislators: $22 million annually in taxpayer dollars for New York City alone according to the Huffington Post. When New York City administrators conspire to bully teachers, the administrators send teachers to what’s called a rubber room – unused space where teachers do nothing.
Bottomley also observed that with corruption, bullies target those who “know too much,” and higher-ups let it happen because these employees “cost too much.” She added “if you know the dirty history of the players, you’re more expert or qualified than your boss, and you make more money than your colleagues from age or experience, you end up with a target on your back. If followed, protocols only serve to give the boss’ actions legitimacy. You are on your own.”
Professor Gregg Morris revealed, “This is the first time in a long time that I felt great about being a teacher.” Bottomley reported that legislators seemed to be receptive to the testimony but they should continue to hear from those outside education so that legislators understand that workplace bullying cuts across every industry.