The Hartford Office of Talent Management — the Hartford Public Schools’ version of human resources — was not involved in the interviews for teachers applying for positions at Milner/Jumoke, Andrea Johnson of the Hartford Federation of Teachers, explained in a message to the Superintendent. Dr. Michael Sharpe, the Chief Executive Office of Jumoke Academy, conducted the interviews and made hiring decisions. According to Johnson, teachers at Milner/Jumoke have “legitimate concerns about the lack of honesty on the part of their new employer.”
Newly hired teachers attending orientation during the week of August 13th had not received acceptance letters from Hartford, Johnson says. These were letters that teachers should have been sent to sign. After learning about this, Natasha Durrant of the Office of Talent Management was tasked with sending the letters.
Fast forward another week.
Newly hired teachers disclose to the Hartford Federation of Teachers in a meeting about the Memorandum of Understanding — to which the HFT had agreed — that they were not informed during the hiring process that they would be required to work additional days during the summer months. Veteran Hartford teachers also stated that they were not told about this obligation. It was not until after teachers received notice of their appointments that they were given this information.
The HFT says it has attempted to compromise by releasing certified teachers from their assignments after the 2012-2013 school year– a compromise to which Johnson says Board of Education administration has agreed. In her email to Kishimoto, Johnson says that the Superintendent has ignored this attempt to compromise.
Responding to what the HFT views as an “accusatory email” from Kishimoto, Johnson said to the Superintendent: “you either refuse to accept or frankly don’t care about the problem that exists.”