Monday, July 23, 2007


It's time to act.

An excessed teacher, frustrated with the UFT response, or lack of, decides to take action. The UFT always prefers to deal with individuals rather than an organized group of people and WILL respond more positively (for PR purposes) when faced with a pressure group. Currently, there are other people holding meetings around certain issues. Look for updates on this blog.

This message is for anyone who's just lost their teaching position and has been abandoned by the DOE, which has broken with the rules stipulated under 17.B. of the Contract and is now claiming on p.4 of their 23-page booklet to excessed teachers that "it is ultimately your [the teacher's] responsibility to secure a new position with New York City."

As of this posting, the UFT website is not showing any sign of life regarding this most recent attack on on public school educators. Don't be confused by the link on called "Denied a Transfer? Let us know," which was not especially designed for excessed teachers. It's for anyone who's had problems with their attempts to transfer.

We're worried here about excessed educators, especially those who don't even get an interview. It is very troublesome that there are no links on the website for "Got Excessed?", "Got IMPROPERLY Excessed?", "Denied an Interview?", or "Know of Any Irregularities in Recent Job Hirings at Your School?" Maybe the union didn't see the problem coming, maybe they didn't care. Whatever is behind their thinking, they are certainly not contacting us at this time, when they could easily find out not only WHO has been excessed, but communicate with each one of us personally to find out how we're doing in this chaos.

Some of us don't share their apathy or hesitation. We think we have to act collectively and get the data for ourselves.

PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS MESSAGE. Tell your excessed colleagues about it. Let's get some raw data on what's really happening to our jobs and our careers, and make sure no one is going to plead ignorance of the situation.

If you've been excessed and want to be sent some information about how things are going for you, copy and paste the questions below into a new email, answer the ones that you want to answer, and send them to: You don't have to give your real name if you don't want to. The data will be compiled and you can say whether you want to be sent updates on what we're finding out.

Your real name (optional) OR a pseudonym to prevent duplication: ________
When were you excessed? Month ________ Year _____

Seniority at the end of June 07: _________________

If you're a teacher, your subject: ______________
Otherwise, your title: _______

Used the Open Market yet? Y/N _____

No. of schools applied to: _______

No. of interviews you were granted: _____

No. of interviews you attended: ______

Has the DOE tried to place you yet (as stipulated in the contract)?
Y/N ______

Any factors you think make your excessing not your fault (e.g., school closing): _____
Any factors you think make it unlikely you'll be placed in a permanent position (e.g., politics, race; optional, but probably very important): ________

Additional comments: ________________________________________

Do you want to be contacted with updates on the statistics? Y/N ______
If so, your email address: _____________________________


  1. How many teachers are now ATR's? How can you draw conclusions based upon one distraught teacher? Surely, people have a right to know and the UFT must respond if teachers are not granted interviews or if they are discriminated against due to their seniority/salary. What are the facts regarding this issue?

  2. This is fact-gathering since you won't hear too many figures from the UFT. In the hours since this was posted people have started emailing details of their situation.

    A UFT official wrote in an email to one of my correspondents (see the Bronx is Burning with ATR's post on July 14:

    "The number of veteran teachers in excess in the Bronx is huge. 33% of the teachers at Stevenson have been placed in excess this June and a whopping 56 employees from Evander Childs have been excessed. Dozens from Walton are out, including the Chapter Leader. Meanwhile, on the hiring committees that I have been attending, at least 3/4 of the applicants have been Teaching Fellows with shiny new Trans B licenses."

    Clearly they know what is happening but are not sharing it, instead doing damage control.

  3. To Ed Notes: Those are tremendous numbers for the Bronx schools. One hopes that these are not indicative of the other boroughs. If they are, there must be action taken.

  4. We senior teachers are doomed! Especially those of us in large high schools.

    Meanwhile, there is an overly complimentary and very misleading article about the Green Dot schools in Tuesday's NY Times....

    The article lauds the flexible Green Dot contract and...well, let me just quote from the article:
    "The union representing Green Dot teachers, Association de Maestros Unidos, has a 33-page contract that offers competitive salaries but no tenure, and it allows class schedule and other instructional flexibility outlawed by the 330-page contract governing most Los Angeles schools."

    This is the end of organized labor as we know it....the article also states how Randi is helping to bring Green Dot into the South Bronx....Goodness gracious! What won't that woman do to be lauded by those who hate organized labor???? SHAME ON RANDI FOR SCREWING THE UFT MEMBERS!!!!! I hope one day she is impeached.

  5. Just finished reading the article. The fact that Randi is trying to bring Green Dot to the Bronx confirms everything I ever thought about her.

    I found it particularly interesting that the young teachers are so willing to embrace Green Dot, while senior teachers are hesitant (and rightfully so). With the large numbers of young, idealistic Teaching Fellows entering the ranks of NYC public school teachers, can't you see that happening here?

  6. Perhaps Randi Weingarten should invite the NEA to NYC to support Edison or any organization create charter schools with a union different than the UFT since this is exactly what she has done in supporting Green Dot in LA. Long live dual unionism! the Albert Shanker Solidarity Award 2007 goes to Randi Weingarten.

  7. Perhaps Randi Weingarten has a better view of education in America then the average teacher. I also read the article and what impressed me was that Green Dot has taken over failing schools, High Schools and did so with a teachers contract albeit, not the 300 page contract the LA teachers have. Maybe Randi is posturing an experiment in New York to offset the eventual dissolution of teacher unions as happened in LA. By engaging Green Dot in NY and being pro-active she will have a stronger say rather than fight the wrong fight at the wrong time. Please note that the article claims that the LA union has been fragmented and Green Dot in one school competed and drew the students away from that school district. What makes you think that could not happen in NY? Also note, that Black and Hispanic parents advocated for the Green Dot take over. Give Weingarten credit for being ahead of the curve on this issue. I believe that she will maintain core contractual values and tenure when this entire era of corporate accountability expires.

  8. I was a teacher in Los Angeles and now have retired (to Las Vegas). That article in the NY Times is full of bulls++t. The parents didn't advocate for it and the younger teachers went for Green Dot because they were duped....

    The article is so misleading. Green Dot has not made any progress. They throw kids out of their schools if they harm the progress in the Green Dot school

    I am shocked that your union is cooperating with this mess called Green Dot. What is wrong in NY?

  9. Our contract is miraculous. Against pressures that are analogous to an army surrounded by hostile forces, we have not only escaped destruction or capture; we have turned the tables and emerged victorious.
    Thanks to our Agreement, our excessed members can no longer be dispatched around the city like itinerants. Thanks to that redemptive document, our excessed members can luxuriate in genuine and binding job security. It is practically impossible to be laid off. The Open Market is an option; it is not compulsory to participate in it. Remember that the prior Seniority Transfer Plan restricted transfers to 5% of any school, and the applicant was mandated to have had 3 straight S ratings, and there were built-in restraints that worked unfavorably for those in 'shortage area" transfers. All that has been swept away, and there is equal liberty for all to escape a venal principal, seek a school with a philosophy more compatible with one's own, or a location less remote from home. The freedom is full and democratic and serves all and denies opportunity to none. Let's hail the fact that we have not merely held our own as a union, but have advanced into heroic new territory.

  10. Ron, shouldn't you be spending your time writing propaganda for the NY Teacher so you can earn your 60 thousand pay-off money in more productive ways? Or is Randi paying you to write these comments?

  11. Our contract is miraculous? Are you kidding? We didn't turn the tables and emerge victorious, we gave it all away! How many excessed teachers existed before these contracts? How many of those teachers were senior and tenured? I was excessed 25 years ago by a senior, tenured teacher - it is ironic that 25 years later I am an ATR at the same time that brand new teachers, many of them still in graduate school, are hired and have actual positions! How many teachers were excessed as a result of school reorganizations? Remember - no seniority rights when the building changes its name, and the principal has to hire only 50% of the staff.
    Maybe the post that I responded to was tongue-in-cheek; I certainly hope so!

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. I too thought that that post "Our contract is miraculous..." was a spoof, but I'm not sure, so just in case, here goes.

    "Against pressures that are analogous to an army surrounded by hostile forces'' -- TRUE

    "...we have not only escaped destruction or capture" -- TWILIGHT ZONE.

    My 20-yr career all S-rated is now over. I have not been granted a single interview, and DOE cannot force me or my high salary onto a principal that doesn't want to pay it. I predict ATR limbo til I retire.

    "... we [RW/Unity] have turned the tables and [BloomKlein has] emerged victorious."

    "Thanks to our Agreement, our excessed members can no longer be dispatched around the city like itinerants" -- TWILIGHT ZONE.

    Can, and are! ATRs can be placed in ANY school, the wording doesn't even restrict it to "home" school or a single other building. Read my lips: ANY school, ANY time.

    "... luxuriate in genuine and binding job security" - TWILIGHT ZONE:

    Just name me one ATR that luxuriates in a subbing position.

    "... it is practically impossible to be laid off." TWILIGHT ZONE.

    If they break you first by making you an ATR, next stage is getting you to quit or giving you the boot. I shouldn't have to explain this to you, because we've seen enough of these techniques by now: placement in a difficult school or program, or in a rundown facility no one wants to teach (or learn!) in.

    Multiple observations, negative write-ups, harassment. I guess it depends how much you'd be willing to tolerate for the bucks. But that's not the profession I signed up for.

    "The Open Market is an option; it is not compulsory to participate in it." - TWILIGHT ZONE.

    All the DOE emails and documents to excessed teachers shift the responsibility of finding a job onto the teacher. Here's two examples, quotes from their letters: "[it is] your responsibility to secure a new position", and "you should immediately commence submitting applications." Dozens of more like this, ordering us around and telling us how we proceed. Your "not compulsory" thing is only true on paper. Reality is -- and I heard this from the horse's mouth -- the DOE is no longer able to freeze jobs until the excessed people are placed. We once had that safety net, but WE DON'T HAVE IT ANYMORE. What could you possibly be thinking?

    I am not commenting about the Sen. Transfer Plan and ways to escape a venal principal - any gains we make a negotiation is fine with me.

    "The freedom is full": TWILIGHT ZONE
    "democratic": TWILIGHT ZONE
    "serves all": TWILIGHT ZONE
    "denies opportunity to none": TWILIGHT ZONE
    "held our own as a union": TWILIGHT ZONE
    "have advanced into heroic new territory": TWILIGHT ZONE

    Every single SENIOR teacher has a real good chance of not finding, or being placed in, a permanent position at all. This is because they changed the way salaries are going to be paid. Principals are now wearing T-shirts saying "2 4 the price of 1".

    Next: every single teacher who doesn't get placed is an ATR indefinitely, with no program, no preferences, no possibility of building relationships with kids or staff, no classroom, maybe even no place to put their things for the day. All those people are STILL TEACHERS but are in a caste all their own and virtually voiceless and powerless. They are now the city's babysitters, not by choice ('cause I'm not knocking professional subs, who chose that path and the rest of us are very grateful for their service), but in a lot of cases, maybe most, against their will and, in a large number of cases, as the result of factors outside their control (school closings, restructuring, etc.)

  14. 11:11 comment deleted is same as 11:39 with some corrected typos.

  15. Seriously, does ICE even serve a real purpose other than to drive a wedge within our union? Has ICE ever accomplished anything worthy of mention? And no, a sham presidential candidate in the last election, shoddy quality YouTube films, and heckling during the Delegate Assembly doesn't count.

    -Son Of Unity, the next generation
    I'll be back!


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