Imagine being late to work more than 100 time because you were eating a leisurely breakfast at home. Then imagine telling your boss, “Sorry, but you can’t fire me!”
Welcome to teacher union politics in New Jersey.
According to the Associated Press, an elementary school teacher who was allowed to keep his job despite being late for work 111 times in two years said Friday that breakfast is to blame for his tardiness.
“I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning, and I lost track of time,” 15-year veteran teacher Arnold Anderson said.
In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator in New Jersey rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School in New Brunswick to fire Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline.
“I have to cut out eating breakfast at home,” he said Friday.
A message seeking comment was left Friday with the school superintendent’s office.
The arbitrator found that the district failed to provide Anderson with due process by not providing him with a formal notice of inefficiency or giving him 90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie referenced the case in a tweet on Friday. Christie wrote: “Think I’m too tough on the teachers union? This is what we’re dealing with in NJ.”