Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time for a Bailout ... of ATR's

"If the ATRs lose, the union is dead.... it might as well close up shop"


It's bailout party time all over the place.

With the Absentee Teacher Reserve issue - as a result of closed schools and high salaried teachers not being hired by principals who can get 2 newbies for the price of one vet - it is time for the Department of Education to guarantee the salaries of these people instead of charging the individual school. Call it a bailout, so in vogue today. And so cheap compared to AIG and Bear Sterns and who knows what else? (WAMU anyone? My mattress is offering me some nice interest rates.)

In addition, every single ATR should have a job before one new teacher is hired.

Since these people are being paid to be subs and do coverages, at least allow schools to use them to create more classes where there is overcrowding. To do any less is insanity. But then again we are talking about Tweed.

The drumbeat is already starting to force these people out of the system with claims that they are not looking hard enough for jobs. In fact many have given up after getting zero responses once their salaries are known.

Rumors of negotiations and buyouts being offered are floating around. We just love the quote in the NY Post yesterday (see refs on the post previous to this) from a Tweedie that they are reluctant to offer a buyout because some people are hanging on who would retire otherwise. The DOE will probably hire Alvarez & Marsal to consult at $15 million for advise on how to turn the screws. Water boards can be installed in all schools with ATR's fairly cheaply.

And then there's the UFT, which signed all the contracts and defends the very system that created this mess in the first place. Will they, can they, pull some kind of deal which will screw ATR's? Probably not on the surface. But look deeply underneath to see the scum of any deal. You can bet there's lots of ugly stuff lurking.

UFT Unity hacks in the schools are claiming teachers will get to vote on any contract change.

Let me tell you how this "vote" will be conducted.

One morning, an emergency Delegate Assembly will be called for that afternoon. Presentations will be made at the meeting (details to follow, of course) and a vote will be rushed through. Will teachers get to vote in schools? Nahhh. This is really not a contract change, you know. Just a slight modification, so it doesn't have to go to the membership. Unity Caucus members who know this is wrong - will make every excuse in their minds to vote with the leadership.

It is my sense that the union is just as anxious as the DOE to get rid of ATR's - in the worst sense since they are the most disaffected and angry at the union. The leadership is placing its bet on the younger teachers who will not stay in the system long enough to see the light. As Under Assault pointed out the other day, check the NY Teacher for all the goodies for new teachers with barely a mention of the ATR situation. All teachers need to understand that entire schools can be turned into ATR's at the whim of the DOE by announcing it is closing.

One of the reasons for closing large high schools,where the UFT was stongest,was the undermining of the union at its root level. Game, set, match to BloomKlein, with Randi Weingarten serving as the handmaiden.

Ed Notes has been saying it for a long time: there's a lot of congruence (and collaboration) in purposes between Tweed and 52 Broadway.

Here is an email posted to ICE-mail by a teacher at Lafayette HS in Brooklyn, an historic school in the process of being closed which has left a pool of teachers without positions.

In light of today's news on the DOE's plans to lay off ATRs, call it whatever you want, some of us feel it should be a all-union issue, and that the principals should have to hire ATRs first, unless they can make a case that they need someone for a position that an existing ATR could not fill. The Unity line coming to us through our chapter reps seems to be, they can't lay off ATRs (who can believe that?!) and if they want to "buy out" ATRs, the union would have to vote on it first, so don't worry. Well, Randi & Co. can get a vote on just about anything they want. This is not a fight about a group of ATRs, but for seniority rights for union members. There will be hundreds of new " ATRs" every year. As one teacher said, if the ATRs lose, the union is dead, it might as well close up shop.

Comment on the ICE blog:

Don't forget South Shore High School. Ten or so of us are ATR's and sit in the Teachers Center (thank heaven we have it -- computers, a/c, good conversation) but the madness doesn't end there. Last week another 10 or so were declared excessed even though they have, and will continue to have programs, some full, some short. My guess is that the principal figured out how to milk the system since ATR salaries come from Central not out of her budget.

We were told that next week we will all (the ones sitting, that is) be shipped out to whatever schools need subs. I am horrified that I have no say in where I am sent, who I work for, etc. Why have I put in all those years, all that training, to have absolutely no say in my future? Even per diem subs have more say when they register with Subcentral.

Ed NOTE: From day one Klein wanted the right to ship teachers out to schools at his whim and despite union cries it would never happen, guess what? It has.


  1. Norm- Randi is not getting ready to get rid of the ATRs as everyone knows this would end seniority and tenure. The entire state labor movement would be undone. When you keep bringing up this issue, you play right into her hands for when it doesn't happen and she takes credit. Meanwhile, she gives away something else.

  2. I didn't say she was going to get rid of ATR's. Only that she would allow conditions to arise which can lead to getting rid of them just as she did in allowing conditions that led to their creation in the first place. And then when Klein staarted charging schools for the cost of senior teachers that was the nail in the coffin. Did she not anticipate that would happen? Then call her dumb and outfoxed.

    I don't think she's either. If she did see it coming and went ahead anyway, that make it much worse - in the category of a stab in the back.

    She is already taking credit for the status quo - ATR's exist and there are no layoffs and no bumping.

  3. As long as this woman refuses to mount a single job action, she remains a collaborator.

    The UFT can't strike, but a lot more could have been done in the face of such obscenities to the profession. Work to Rule, for one.

  4. The UFT loves ATRs--we pay dues, and all the newbies that are hired to replace us--2 for the same salary as one senior teacher--also bring in Union dues, so Randi and her minions are making more $$ than ever! What the ATRs need to do is unify, and sue the UFT and DOE!


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