Targeted for his union activity, DC teacher Jeff Canady lost not only his job but nearly a decade of his life as he and his union fought back against the disastrous effects of former Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s “teacher replacement” strategy, which left nearly 1,000 educators jobless. Canady and other DC teachers won their grievances against DCPS earlier this year, but are still waiting for their back pay. Canady spoke about his experience at a press conference Monday morning, organized to expose what the Washington Teachers Union said is “an ongoing effort here in DC to undermine public employee union bargaining power.” Canady, like other teachers fired during the Rhee “teacher replacement” strategy, filed a grievance challenging his termination. He then waited nearly a decade for a hearing, a period in which he was unable to get hired for any other teaching jobs. After he exhausted his savings and pension benefits, Canady wound up living in the Central Union Mission shelter for the homeless. Finally, a neutral arbitrator ordered DCPS to pay Canady his full back pay—as well as legal fees—within 60 days. After repeated legal maneuvers, stall tactics and a denied appeal, DCPS claimed it would reinstate Canady, but he’s still waiting, nearly a year later. “This is a complete violation of Canady’s civil rights,” said WTU president Liz Davis. photo (l-r): Davis, Canady and AFT president Randi Weingarten; photo by George Farenthold
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