Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hundreds of teachers excessed in District 79

NYC teacher Marjorie Stamberg sent in this message to ICE-mail on the massacre of teachers in District 79, which services some of the most at-risk students in NYC.
We are always interested in the response, or lack of such, by the UFT. Marjorie does a nice job of pointing them out. Just another example of how the UFT does a great imitation of a company union and more proof of our thesis that...


Here are some excepts from Marjorie. You are urged to read her entire post at Norm's Notes.

When school starts Thursday, there will be hundreds of GED, ESL and other teachers "excessed" from their jobs in District 79. I am sending this out to alert teachers and educational groups throughout NYCDOE, CUNY and the New York area who need to know of this outrageous attack on NYC teachers.

In the D79 "reorganization", many terms of the final agreement which the union signed off on June 29, have been violated by the DOE, and have gone unchallenged by the union. In fact, the UFT leadership has never provided to the teachers effected the actual text of this agreement.

So what has been the UFT's leadership's response? The UFT has told teachers to individually appeal and grieve if they feel they were unjustly rejected in the interview process! If they win their appeal, they will be reinstated in the "next reorganization" of D79, which could be as late as 2008. And what is this "next reorganization", about which we know nothing? This issue is not about individual appeals. This is a collective massacre of teachers' jobs!

Marjorie Stamberg
ESL teacher, GED-Plus


  1. Leonie Haimson Comments on ATRs & Teaching Fellows surplus from Klein's Principals' Weekly:

    Interesting section below on DOE plans for ATR teachers – those teachers who have been “excessed” out of their previous jobs but not been hired by other schools to fill openings. These teachers re still being funded at full pay by Inter and will now be assigned to schools to be used as “coverage” for absent teachers. The number of these teachers have probably reached 1000 or more – and the costs of this have risen to many millions. Before Klein et al., these teachers had to be hired if there were openings in schools, rather than brand-new teachers.
    Before Klein had derided these experienced teachers as less qualified or somehow substandard – just because their schools may have been phased out. The fact that principals had not hired them elsewhere is not surprising – especially as the new funding system has created a financial incentive not to take them on, since starting this fall, their higher salaries will come out of the school’s budget. The administration may now be realizing the immense blunder and inefficiencies that their new system has created. See below:
    “It is important that ATR teachers be used productively until they are hired for regular positions so that students benefit and so that ATR positions do not create extraordinary costs that could limit funding that would otherwise be available to schools for a variety of purposes. You should supervise ATR teachers at the same level you supervise teachers on your regular staff. Teachers who perform well in their ATR role may be good candidates for vacancies that arise during the school year.”
    They may also have taken on too many Teaching fellows – see below: “
    Teaching Fellows are now available for schools to screen and interview for fall vacancies. Most of these new Fellows are in high-need subject areas, including special education, math, ESL, English, Spanish, bilingual common branches, and bilingual special education….You can search for available Fellows in your borough online using “Fellow Finder” at www.nycteachingfellwww.nycteachingfwww. The website lets you view resumes, schedule interviews or open houses, and notify eligible Fellows of job opportunities. Fellows will also be attending upcoming job fairs on July 25 (. The schools) and August 7 (citywide).
    Yet these dates are long past. This plus the section on ATR’s puts even more at doubt their claim that class sizes cannot be reduced – especially in certain subjects – because of a shortage of qualified applicants. How many qualified teaching fellows and/or ATR teachers are now still w/out jobs? While hundreds of thousands of kids will be sitting in classes of 30 or more this fall?

    You’d probably have to do a FOIL request to get this info out of Tweed.

  2. Scores of teachers earning 70G & up working as fill-ins

    Tuesday, March 13th 2007,

    Hundreds of tenured teachers who have failed to land permanent jobs in city schools are on the public payroll earning hefty salaries to work as substitutes and fill-ins, the Daily News has learned.
    While most substitute teachers make $141.70 per day, 236 of the 564 teachers whom nobody wanted to hire currently pull down more than $70,000 a year, plus benefits, to do the same work, according to a News analysis of Education Department data.
    Forty of those teachers make more than $90,000 - and some are slated to get raises next year, bringing them to the six-figure level.
    "It's outrageous - an example of where teachers unions just aren't in the real world," said Jason Brooks of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, a conservative Albany think tank. "Anytime you can get a better-qualified teacher, whether a sub or full time, that's outstanding. But for a system that's continually looking for more money, to be paying substitute teachers so extraordinarily much is ridiculous."
    The teachers union blames Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, saying he undermined the teachers' ability to find jobs by publicly criticizing them. Klein has argued teachers who can't find jobs don't deserve them.
    The 564 teachers on the department's unwanted list as of Feb. 1 are not necessarily bad teachers. Only 24 received unsatisfactory ratings from principals last year.
    But none was able to find a permanent job, despite thousands of teaching positions available every year for teachers in every licensed area, said DOE labor policy director Dan Weisberg.
    "The majority of teachers [who applied] did get hired," Weisberg said. "These folks did not. ... There are market forces at work here."
    As many as 54 of the teachers also were on the unwanted list last year at this time, the data show. Under current union rules, they can stay on the list indefinitely, receiving regular contractual raises.
    This situation is the product of a compromise the department made with teachers in 2005.
    Teachers union President Randi Weingarten said she had warned Klein that the contract change was a bad idea, and said the administration made it worse by bad-mouthing teachers on the so-called excess list.
    "These folks are good teachers, and they deserve to be employed," she said. "I fault management 100% for this because they never picked up a finger to say to principals that these are good people. ... They put an incredibly unfair taint on teachers in excess."
    Before contentious contract talks in 2005, tenured teachers who lost jobs because a school closed or a position dried up were assigned to new positions in the school system - regardless of whether the new principal wanted to hire them.
    Veteran teachers also had bumping rights, enabling them to take jobs from teachers with less seniority.
    "It did huge harm," Weisberg said. "We had many, many multiple horror stories from principals who would talk about five or six excesses walking into their buildings in September and claiming jobs they had intended to give to other candidates who were a good fit for the building."
    Having those teachers work as overpriced subs is a vast improvement, he said. "We do get some value from them in subbing, but there's no question it's a cost to the system."
    Some of the teachers on the list say their years of experience has hurt them in trying to get jobs.
    "Some told me I was too old. Some told me I was too expensive," said Judy Cohen, a teacher who makes $90,472 a year.
    She said she sacrificed job security two years ago when she left her classroom to become a mentor in a program that was eventually eliminated. "I had an excellent career, and I'm a good teacher," she said.
    Others have been hurt by their less than stellar reputations - deserved or not.
    Eva Chejfetz was touched by scandal when a schools investigator found that she was having an affair with her boss, former Region 4 Superintendent Reyes Irizarry.
    Teacher Enid Ximines, who also makes $90,472, said she couldn't get a job because she was fighting an unsatisfactory rating she says her principal gave her after she filed an age discrimination suit against him.
    Now she's teaching a different class every day at Tilden High School, not using her skills as a math teacher, even though that's a shortage area. "To me, it's really demeaning to experienced teachers to be treated that way," she said.
    Shop teacher Warren Katz, who earns $93,416, said he couldn't find a permanent job because he was fighting allegations he failed to properly monitor an autistic student at a time when his shop room at a Staten Island high school was short on teacher's aides. He's now working as a long-term sub in a Brooklyn special ed shop class.
    Others, like Simon Pluda, a $93,416 Queens Spanish teacher, landed on the unwanted list after a stint away from the classroom awaiting a disciplinary hearing on charges he refused to discuss. "I teach anything they send me to teach," Pluda said, adding the real problem is principals who "gave me [unsatisfactory ratings] for no reason."

  3. My school was closed and I have been an ATR teacher for a year. What the DOE, the UFT and.... did with the school system is inmoral. They kicked out all the senior teachers because of their age and the UFT is not doing anything to fix this big problem. I put my grivance an nothing happen. ATR teachers please wake up and let's tell RW. to help us as a group.


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